Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Playoffs Week #5 Matchups

4A State Championship - Warren vs Booneville

Warren is finally back to the championship game. Warren is annually a top 5 preseason pick and often a favorite to be on top at the end, but they have been snake bit several times over the years including their loss to Nashville in the 2006 state championship that is still disputed by many Lumberjack faithful.  After starting the season 0-3 with losses to top higher classification teams in Fayetteville, Pulaski Academy, and Camden Fairview, the Lumberjacks have reeled off 11 straight victories by an average score of 42-12.  This is not the same type Coach Bo Hembree offense that we saw win two straight championships in 2001 and 2002.  They are much more balanced, but they will still beat you with the big play.  As good as this team is on offense, we think their defense may be the underrated part of this team.  They held an Arkadelphia team that averaged 48 points per game to a season low of 24.

Warren's opponent will be Booneville, giving us a rematch of the 2001 state championship game that some might argue was the beginning of the domination of the spread in this classification that we have seen in this classification.  It seemed to be an "out with the old, in with the new" game that was an instant classic that saw Warren passing attack outlast the running attack of the Bearcats, 45-39.

Booneville has a statement to make as they will leave class 4A and drop down to class 3A for the foreseeable future.  Still running the flex bone offense, still a hard-hitting defense, and still some of the toughest, hard-nosed dudes in the state, these Bearcats are ready to leave 4A with a bang.  They are undefeated on the season averaging 40 points while allowing just 12.  While these spread teams are putting up their points across the state, Booneville has quietly been dominating with old-school football in West Arkansas.  The biggest knock on Booneville in the past has been their inability to keep up with the speed of the south teams and their pass defense.  We think this year they have debunked that myth and will be able to keep up with Warren.


3A State Championship - Charleston vs Glen Rose

It's a true battle of heavyweights as neither team has even played a close game in 3 months as both have dominated their opponents by about 30 points per game each.  There is no score comparison to do with these two as they both mercy ruled their only common opponent, Benton Harmony Grove.  We could measure strength of schedule and who is more battle tested, but none of that really matters in a state championship game.  These two teams did lock up last year in the playoffs that saw the Beavers win in Charleston, 31-28.  In the end, we think it comes down to the QB position, and the arguably the best QB in Arkansas resides in Charleston, Ty Storey.


2A State Championship - Des Arc vs Junction City

The 2A State Championship features most peoples' preseason #1 in Junction City, and a team that didn't even crack the top 10 in Fearless Friday's RPS until week 7 and not until week 10 by Hooten's Arkansas Football.  However, they have slayed two members of the 2A-8 already in Strong and Bearden.   There is no truth the rumor that they will be given the 2A-8 conference championship trophy to hoist alongside their state championship trophy if they win on Saturday.

This game is a rematch of the 2008 state championship game that saw Junction City kick a field goal to win, 10-8.  Many fans love the underdog and would love to see Des Arc pull this one out, but it's really hard to slay a dragon.


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