While Van Buren, Alma and Mountainburg hits the road for Week 3, Cedarville remains behind to host homecoming and Class 4A Waldron Friday night at Glen Wisely Stadium.
The Pointers and the Dragons are still looking for their first win of the season. Van Buren heads to the Little Rock area to take on J.A. Fair while Mountainburg heads north to face a different kind of Bulldog (of the Decatur variety).
Alma heads east to face Class 7A/6A Russellville as it will be a homecoming of sorts for head coach Doug Loughridge, who began his coaching career with Jeff Holt and the Cyclones. Loughridge spent five years (1999-2004) in Russellville before he became head coach at Charleston.
"This will be my first time to coach against Russellville since leaving there," said Loughridge. "I am grateful to coach Holt for giving me a chance to coach with him. He was a great mentor to me and he still is."
Last week the Cyclones capitalized on six Siloam Springs turnovers to rally back and won 45-23.
Cody Jones completed 30 of 39 passes for for 448 yards and five touchdowns to three different receivers, including to Jalen Curtis who had 10 catches for 210 yards.
It was the second time in as many weeks the Cyclones had to rally from a deficit to win a football game.
"We will be expecting to see five of the most athletic skill guys we have seen all year," said Loughridge. "Cody Jones does a great job delivering the football and has great pocket presence."
The Airedales carried a 7-0 lead into the second quarter, but Greenwood quarterback Jabe Burgess, a Division I quarterback prospect — the fourth in eight years from Greenwood, threw three touchdown passes on three consecutive second quarter possessions as the Bulldogs won 47-7.
Alma senior quarterback was 8 of 22 passing for 114 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Airedales were limited to 203 yards of offense while Greenwood had 445 yards.
Senior linebacker Alex Burris, a two-time all-state selection, leads the Airedale defense with 26 tackles (17 solo) after two games.
"I expect our kids to bounce back and have a great week this week," Loughridge said. "Two emotional rivalry games in a row is mentally draining. They are ready to come out and play a good football team on the road to push our non-conference record to 2-1 and give us momentum going into conference."
Last season, Seth Linker kicked an 18-yard field goal to give the Airedales a 17-14 win over the Cyclones.
Van Buren at J.A. Fair
The War Eagles have won just four games since 2006, but won their opener to North Pulaski (20-0) before dropping last week’s game 36-21 to Pulaski Robinson.
Coach Brooks Coatney told his team during Tuesday’s meeting, while many of the players look the same from last year, Fair was stronger and faster.
"We played Fair last season, so we’re familiar with what the War Eagles will do," said Van Buren coach Brooks Coatney. "Fair is 1-1 and it wants to go 2-1. The War Eagles haven’t had a lot of success over the years. So, they’re looking to build on that. The quarterback is somewhat similar to what we faced last week, I just hope he’s not that good. It will be a challenge for us."
The Pointers dropped their second game this season by less than a touchdown as Poteau had to utilize a trick play and an injured quarterback to find a way to beat Van Buren 43-40.
"We wanted to be in a position to win in the fourth quarter and that’s something we can build upon. We’ve lost two tough ball games, so we just have to try and find that way to win," Coatney added. "Our coaches are doing a good job getting these guys prepared, and the players are beginning to see the importance of not just showing up for practice, but having a good practice. They’re embracing the challenge of getting better each day with their techniques and fundamentals."
Tyrone Joseph led Van Buren’s offense last week with 155 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Joseph also caught one TD pass. Quarterback Bradley Eversole completed 22 of 39 passes for 234 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Last season, Van Buren held Fair to just 27 yards of offense and mounted a 36-0 halftime lead.
Waldron at Cedarville
Homecoming arrives early for the Pirates this season as the crew looks to give coach Mark Shelton his first 3-0 start as the head skipper.
Last week, the Pirates rallied in the second half to beat Conway Christian 26-21. Corey Fincher had his breakout game as he rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Senior quarterback and three-year starter Dylan Shelton was 13 of 19 for 188 yards.
The Bulldogs have dropped games to Cedarville’s 3A-4 Conference foes to start the season and will be looking to correct that course.
Waldron leads the series 2-1.
Mountainburg at Decatur
The Dragons are still seeking answers and a win as it faces another conference opponent on the road Friday night.
Mountainburg led 14-7 against Union Christian last week, but the Saints kept finding ways to get around the Dragons.
Coach Tom Harrell said that Union Christian seemed to have an answer for everything he and Dragons were throwing at them.
Union Christian quarterback Braxton Smith completed 24 of 50 passes to rally his squad to a 28-21 win.
Decatur is 1-1 with a conference win over Hartford, 44-0, last week.
"Decatur has improved a great deali the past two years and will be very challenging," said coach Tom Harrell. "We have made some changes in our defensive secondary and try to simplify things defensively. I feel we have shown a lot of improvment this week."
The Dragons lead the series 7-2.
Moutainburg defeated Decatur 43-14 last season by limiting their opponent to 89 yards and four takeaways in the second half.