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Prep Football Report

This article was published August 13, 2017 at 1:00 a.m.

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Rogers High junior Will Sims (11) breaks away from sophomore teammate Vincent Vo on Friday during practice at Whitey Smith Stadium in Rogers.

ROGERS -- The Mounties' first-team offense showed off a variety of weapons in a short scrimmage Friday evening at Whitey Smith Stadium.

Sophomore quarterback Hunter Loyd threw three touchdown passes -- each to a different receiver -- while senior running back Colin McWhorter showed off his quickness with some nice runs.

Loyd threw scoring strikes to Andrew McGlynn, Hunter Hawkins and Garrett Dake. He found the 6-foot-4 McGlynn on a 10-yarder and ended the varsity part of the scrimmage with a 32-yard pass to the 6-5 Dake in the corner of the end zone.

In between, Loyd flipped a swing pass to Hawkins, who broke down the sideline and ran 32 yards for a score.

Rogers coach Mike Loyd liked what he saw in the scrimmage, except for several bad snaps by the first and second teams.

"I thought we protected pretty well, but we got to get the snaps right," Loyd said. "It starts with the snap and next week, if we get a few more on the ground, it's gonna be old-school underneath the center."

"I saw some good things from ones on defense, the receivers, offensive line and quarterback got in good rhythm. Colin McWhorter was very productive. He's a guy that's kinda leading us right now. I saw some good things from the young offensive linemen. They were kinda nervous with a little crowd out here, but after the first four or five plays, they were good."

A-Ron Jones, a returning starter on the defensive line, has also worked some in the backfield. Loyd acknowledged he can be tough to tackle at 241 pounds. Jones had the ball stripped early in the workout, but showed nice burst for a 15-yard gain late.

War Eagles end week on high note

ROGERS -- War Eagles coach Tony Travis threw a curveball at his players and staff to close the second week of fall camp.

The team finished practice Friday morning with a scrimmage, which isn't all that unusual. But he allowed players to call offensive and defensive plays during the final 15 minutes. Assistant coaches also swapped duties during that final segment.

"I didn't tell the coaches we were going to do it," Travis said. "I had told the quarterbacks all week long at the end of the day on Friday, y'all were going to call your own plays. I had kinda told the linebackers, too, be ready to call the defense. We just called the coaches in and we just flipped it, offense and defense.

"We just had a little fun. I think we'll do a little more of it, not a lot, but I think the kids had fun with it."

The offense put together a pair of 40-yard scoring drives in that final part of the scrimmage, while the defense dominated early on. Quarterbacks Trey Kitterman and Zach Brown each scored on short runs.

Kitterman hooked up with senior Zach Gall for a 35-yard completion to set up Brown's 1-yard keeper for the touchdown. Senior linebacker Joseph Nunnelee also picked off a Kitterman pass.

The War Eagles were a little thin at receiver late in the week as returning starter Jay De La Rosa was held out with a tight hamstring and Dylan Moore was absent because of a death in the family. Seth Curren and Brendan Collins were also out with injuries, but Travis is hopeful both should return before the season opener.

Tigers looking to finalize depth chart

BENTONVILLE -- Friday's morning showers caused Bentonville to conclude its second week of preseason drills with a scrimmage inside the Tiger Athletic Complex.

The Tigers conducted 6 a.m. practices each day, and the coaching staff spent the second week looking for a little separation from their players.

"Early on, everybody was getting reps and everybody was getting an opportunity," Bentonville coach Jody Grant said. "Each week, the depth chart is addressed, and the focus becomes more on the varsity -- ones and twos. Sophomore reps decrease, but they still get reps.

"We're just trying to find people and fit them in the right places. We have some guys in the two spots that are competing for the one spots, and we wanted to heat up those competitions. That's specifically what we did in our scrimmage."

Grant said those on the defensive line have caught his eye during this week of drills, particularly some younger players that can bring length to the position as they learn their roles. The Tigers like to rotate players in their three-man defensive front, so depth becomes an issue there. Grant said he feels like there are six or seven who can play those spots.

Another interesting battle is at inside linebacker with players competing for playing time.

"It's a good problem to have that kind of situation because you have quality players," Grant said. "But we have to make some decisions on some guys. That's what this week was about."

Bentonville will shift to its normal afternoon routine Monday when classes begin, and Grant said the Tigers will go through a mock game week.

Wolverines ramp-up intensity

BENTONVILLE -- The biggest difference in West's second week of preseason drills was the ability to get more aggressive during practice, which comes with being able to put on pads.

"The first week, with no pads, kind of eliminates some of the things you can do," Wolverines coach Bryan Pratt said. "So we took care of special teams and some of the fundamental stuff. When you get the pads on, you can start tackling.

"I think that's our emphasis. We're now having competitive parts in our practice where we go goods-on-goods. It's been good for us, and we couldn't do this last year because we couldn't platoon. It's been good for us to compete and good for our kids."

Unlike the summer workouts, when West suffered some serious injuries, the Wolverines have just a few minor bumps and bruises after the more aggressive workouts. Linebacker Hunter Swoboda, meanwhile, is out of the walking boot after his summer injury, and it looks more promising that he can return for the season opener against Pryor, Okla.

"The bumps and bruises, we can live with that." Pratt said. "We know we'll have those, and we've talked to our kids about getting treatment, and our trainers do a phenomenal job. Right now, we're doing OK with injuries. I'm hoping they will stay away."

Pratt said West will begin to get more into a game-week situation when practice resumes Monday as students head to class.

Red'Dogs work to eliminate mistakes

SPRINGDALE -- From an experience standpoint, Red'Dogs coach Zak Clark believes his team is well ahead of where his squads were at this juncture in his first two seasons.

Little things, Clark said, like running through the practice script, has progressed at a much quicker clip than in previous years. Continuity and player familiarity with the offense and defense has contributed to that.

"It was everything we could do, in a team setting, to get six plays every five minutes in a normal tempo," he said of past teams. "Now we're getting 8-9 plays in and not stressing pace."

But while steps in the right direction are being made, Clark wants to eliminate the fatal, and mostly mental errors -- bad snaps, busted assignments, jumping offsides -- that at times creep into his practices and halt potential scoring drives or defensive stops.

"Every now and again, our bad is the type of bad that gets you beat," Clark said. "About every 5-6 plays we'll have a catastrophic error we've got to get fixed. If we can get that cleaned up, and that's a big if, I like where we're at.

"But until then we've got to keep plugging away."

After four straight days of 6:30 a.m. practices, Springdale wrapped up the second week of fall practice Friday evening with a scrimmage at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium. Quarterback Layne Hutchins led a pair of scoring drives, once using his feet to find the end zone. Running back Darrell Parchman also scored after bouncing a run to the edge.

Quarterback Will Mueller early on found running back Garrett Vaughan on a wheel route for a 50-yard score. Defensive lineman Isaiah Nichols found himself in on a number of tackles and was disruptive throughout.

On Aug. 22, Springdale will make the short trip to Shiloh Christian for a preseason scrimmage.

Parchman showing big-play ability

SPRINGDALE -- With some football players it can take time for the light bulb to come on. This offseason, that happened for Har-Ber at a position of need.

Senior receiver Nick Parchman burst onto the scene during spring drills and the Wildcats' 7-on-7 work as videos of his big-play ability against quality competition circled social media. He's certainly caught the eye of coach Chris Wood and his staff.

"He's turned the corner. We're really pleased with Nick," Wood said. "He's gotten better each and every month, and about spring ball his focus, his drive (kicked in) -- he's a really mature player for us. He's had a great summer and it's continuing to build."

The six-foot, 180-pound receiver is being looked at to help fill the void left by All-State receiver Trey Smith, whose 771 yards and 11 touchdowns far and away led the team last season. Last fall, the Wildcats were 8-0 in games in which Smith found the end zone and 0-3 when he didn't. A playmaker or two on the edge would help Har-Ber find the balance it wants on offense.

And since last season's disappointing loss to Bryant in the state quarterfinals, Wood has looked to diversify his offense and slot the best players on the field at key positions alongside junior quarterback Grant Allen. Blaze Brothers, Payton Copher, Logan Collins and others are expected to see time at skill spots, and Parchman is no exception.

"He understands its his senior year, his last time through it and he wants to seize the day," Wood added. "He's working at a high level and its paying off when he gets on the field. He has a lot of talent and skill set and now he's applying the mental side of the game and the details in practice."

Har-Ber will work through eight more practice days before Bentonville High, North Little Rock and Bixby (Okla.) come to Wildcat Stadium on Aug. 24 for what should be an interesting scrimmage.

Bowers growing into leadership role

FAYETTEVILLE -- Imagine being next in line after a pair of SEC quarterbacks and another that's in the NFL.

Add in the fact the team is coming off back-to-back state championships, and the pressure could shatter the windows of the Harmon Field press box.

Somehow, Darius Bowers appears unfazed and confident.

The Bulldogs' junior quarterback will start for the first time Aug. 21 when Fayetteville heads to Greenwood for a scrimmage.

"There's a lot of pressure that comes with starting at quarterback for any team," Bowers said. "But especially at Fayetteville coming after guys like Brandon (Allen), Austin (Allen) and Taylor (Powell).

"They all did great things here, and I'm just trying to do the same."

First-year coach Billy Dawson has been impressed with Bowers' poise and character in the few months he's been able to work with the 6-2, 190-pounder.

"He's got a lot on his plate right now, so those wheels are spinning a little bit, but he's doing well," Dawson said. "He's got some leadership qualities on and off the field. Leader-wise, he's exactly what we're trying to get our guys to follow."

'Highway 62 Battle' moves to Tuesday

FARMINGTON -- The annual "Battle of Highway 62" will take center stage on its own night this season as Farmington will host longtime rival Prairie Grove on Aug. 29. The game was originally scheduled for Sept. 1 but was moved up so more fans from the area could see the game.

"That's why we did it," said Farmington coach Mike Adams. "We felt like a lot of people around here would like to see a Farmington-Prairie Grove game and we hope to have a lot of people come out."

Farmington handed Prairie Grove its only regular season defeat two years ago with a 28-12 win while the Tigers bounced back with a 35-14 victory last season. Even though it has been a nonconference tilt since Farmington moved up to Class 5A in 2014, the game still serves as a measuring stick of sorts for both teams and towns.

"Every year is different," Adams said. "We've heard from several people that they think Prairie Grove is going to have one of the better teams they've had in some time, and we feel like we have a better chance to be better than we have been numbers-wise, strength-wise and athlete-wise, so we hope it'll be a good game.

"It usually is."

Kickoff for the opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Farmington's Allen Holland Stadium.

Sports on 08/13/2017

Print Headline: Prep Football Report: Mounties show promise in scrimmage

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