The Airedales and Mountainburg Dragons host foes for first round of playoffs.
Both Alma and Mountainburg will be at home on Friday night to host the first round of their respective playoff games.
The Airedales host White Hall, the No. 4 seed from the 5A South while the Dragons welcome England.
White Hall at Alma
White Hall defeated De Queen 28-10 to wrap up the No. 4 spot in the playoffs and the trip to Alma.
The Bulldogs began the season 4-0 averaging 50 points per game while giving up just 18 points per contest.
White Hall lost their next three games to drop to 1-3 in 5A South Conference play. The Bulldogs lost by eight to Lakeside in Week 6 and to Watson Chapel by one the following week.
However, White Hall got back on track and defeated Hot Springs, Hope and De Queen to secure a playoff bid.
White Hall must win to qualify for the playoffs. Bulldog senior QB Ollie Reddick has passed for more than 1,200 yards and ran for more than 1,000 yards this season.
Last week, Alma was upended 35-31 by Maumelle, who managed to toss the playoff bids into chaos at least until the following Saturday morning. (See Leland Barclay’s column on the 5A seeding.)
Maumelle pounded the ground game for 309 yards and finished with 434 yards. Alma had 406 yards with 231 through the air.
Tyler Alexander led Alma with 104 yards on 17 carries. Garrison Jensen added 19 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
Brayden Johnson hauled in 12 passes for 181 yards and one TD. Jensen was 16 of 24 passing for 231 yards and an INT.
Keegan Roseberry paced defense with 12 tackles (10 solo) and made three stops for a total loss of 10 yards. Christian Snipes added 11 tackles (8 solo). Coltin Bowerman had seven tackles.
England at Mountaiburg
Due to the odd framework of the 2A-4, the Dragons had a week off in leading up to its eighth straight playoff appearance.
Mountainburg will host England, who eased into its spot by defeating Poyen 40-27 the final week of the season.
England began the season with a pair of losses before it got a win by edging Little Rock Episcopal 46-44. However, the Lions struggled to maintain any momentum. After a 1-2 start, the Lions finished the regular season 5-5. The only time it had back-to-back wins was the final two games of the season starting with a 45-16 win against Quitman.
“We better be ready to play,” said Mountainburg coach Tom Harrell. “England comes from a very talented and competitive conference. Not much separates the Top 5 in the 2A-5.”
Senior Darrius Clarkson has rushed for 1,444 yards in his first nine games this season with 16 touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Mason Brazeal has thrown for 1,102 yards in his first nine games this season with five touchdowns and six interceptions. Junior Tyler Woods has caught 34 passes for 650 yards and nine touchdowns.
The two teams last met in 2015 when the Lions defeated Mountainburg 48-28 in the second round.
Senior Robert Roxin helps guides the offense with 29 of 45 passing (64 percent) for 641 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception in his first year as a starter at the quarterback position. Roxin also has 615 yards on 129 carries with 15 touchdowns.
Junior Austin Taylor has 45 totes for a team-leading 647 yards and six touchdowns. Classmate Jesse Quick added 33 carries for 435 yards and four touchdowns. In all, Mountainburg has rushed 328 times for 2,459 yards and 33 touchdowns.
Senior Connor Rogers had 12 catches for 236 yards and four touchdowns. Classmate Dillon Jones has hauled in seven passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns.
A win will put the Dragons at Conway Christian or bring Cross County to Mountainburg.