Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 Playoffs Week #5 Match-ups

It is the final week of the 2014 Arkansas high school football season. The three smallest school classifications play their state championship games this weekend in Little Rock. You will find the championship game capsules and our picks below. Next week, we will have the state final results and then eventually present our traditional helmet tribute to all 6 state champions.

  • Mena vs. Warren
    • Saturday, December 13
    • 12:00 pm
    • War Memorial Stadium (Little Rock)
The 4A contest features the Mena Bearcats and the Warren Lumberjacks. The Lumberjacks are familiar with deep runs in the playoffs over the 15 years having won back to back titles in 2001 and 2002. Warren lost to Booneville in the state finals just last year. The Bearcats return to the state finals for the first time since their only championship in 1976. Second year coach, Tim Harper, has Mena firing on all cylinders as they have beaten 2 conference foes in route to this title game appearance. Both teams have played excellent defense during their playoff runs and we don't expect that to change. However, Warren's team speed may be an issue for the Bearcats run defense.

OUR PICK: We are going with the heart rather than the head, so Mena over Warren in a 27-24 game.

  • Charleston vs. Smackover
    • Friday, December 12
    • 7:00 pm
    • War Memorial Stadium (Little Rock)
The 3A title game features the Charleston Tigers and the Smackover Buckaroos. The Tigers are in familiar territory as this is their 6th title game in 11 years, and they are the 3A defending champion. Ty Storey, a highly touted Razorback commit, will be the feature story of the game as he looks to win a 2nd state title on Friday and then enroll at the University of Arkansas in a few weeks. Smackover, on the other hand, is playing for its first state title since the 1949 season. The lone loss for the Buckaroos in 2014 has come at the hands of the Junction City juggernaut in the only close call for the Dragons. So, Smackover is familiar with tough defense and high powered offense. We look for this game to be a back and forth shootout.

OUR PICK: Charleston over Smackover in a 45-42 game.

  • Junction City vs. Hazen
    • Saturday, December 13
    • 6:30 pm
    • War Memorial Stadium (Little Rock)
The Hazen Hornets will take on 2-time defending state champion Junction City Dragons in the 2A state title tilt. Both teams arrive in the title game undefeated with Junction City looking to win its 40th straight game. Dragon dominance has been the story of 2A football in Arkansas for the last decade, and they continue to produce D1 football talent at this small school. Hazen has never won a state title, but the Hornets have looked dominant at times this season as well. The real question in this game may be whether or not the Hornets believe that they can slay the Dragons. If they can keep it a ball game into the 2nd half, then we may see tension that has not been there all season for Junction City.

OUR PICK: Junction City over Hazen in a 42-14 game.

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