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So, what did we learn from a long, opening week of the high school football season that stretched from Monday to Saturday?

Plenty, actually. Let's review.


Pea Ridge can make a strong case for team of the week in Arkansas after winning two games in five days against quality opponents.

The Blackhawks traveled halfway across the state to beat Hamburg 50-30 on Monday then finished the week with a 29-19 victory at Booneville on Friday. Pea Ridge rallied to win the game after falling behind 19-0 in the first quarter.

It is unusual for teams from Arkansas to play twice in the same week, although teams from other states do it regularly in the playoffs. The Blackhawks could've used used fatigue as an excuse for their poor start at Booneville but that's not how the team and the coaching staff rolls.

"I don't know how much adversity we overcame other than getting our rear ends kicked by Booneville in the first quarter," Pea Ridge coach Stephen Neal said. "We needed to be humbled a little bit and coach (Scott) Hyatt and the Booneville Bearcats humbled us. I can't say enough about how much they've improved from last year to this year."

Pea Ridge will receive a well-deserved week off before playing consecutive home games against Farmington and Gentry.


Teams from the 4A-1 Conference mostly started strong after placing three teams in the state semifinals last season.

Besides Pea Ridge's two road victories, Prairie Grove won a rivalry game at Class 5A Farmington, Shiloh Christian beat Elkins, Gentry blanked Lavaca, Lincoln beat Westville, Mo., and Berryville whipped Lamar.


Fort Smith Southside and Fort Smith Northside can each point to poor starts in their losses on Friday.

Southside trailed by as much as 28 points and lost 48-35 to Springdale Har-Ber. Northside fell behind 34-0 at halftime and lost 34-7 to Greenwood.

Southside, which outscored Har-Ber 15-0 in the fourth quarter, hopes for a carryover this week at Greenwood. The Bulldogs beat both Fort Smith schools in each of the last two seasons.


Fans of recruiting got an eyeful of two junior prospects Tuesday in the season opener between Little Rock Christian and Warren, the defending champion in Class 4A.

Justice Hill, an Arkansas basketball commit, accounted for more than 200 all-purpose yards in Little Rock Christian's 43-28 victory over the Lumberjacks. Hill's debut overshadowed the play of wide receiver Treylon Burks, a Division I prospect for Warren who caught eight passes for more than 200 yards in a playoff victory last season at Prairie Grove. Burks, who's received offers from Arkansas and Auburn, was limited to three catches for 23 yards against Little Rock Christian.

Fans in Northwest Arkansas can see Hill when Little Rock Christian plays at Shiloh Christian on Friday. Hopefully, Saints' fans won't hang an "Overrated" sign like they did last year in reference to Isaac Disney of Prairie Grove.

That didn't turn out too well. Disney caught two touchdowns and had an interception in a 45-15 victory for the Tigers.


It is sad when a high school team cancels its season, especially one that's been as good as Augusta.

The Red Devils will try again next year after they were left with 10 varsity players on their roster. That's a stunning decline for Augusta, which won state championships in 1982, '83 and '92.

Former Arkansas All-American Billy Ray Smith Sr. played for the Red Devils. So did Jimmy Gunn, who was an All-American at Southern California in 1969. Both had solid NFL careers.

Augusta is a Class A program located just east of Searcy. The Red Devils hope to return next year after playing a junior high schedule with 14 ninth-graders and nine eighth-graders.


Rick Harvey is a former co-worker who spent eight years covering mostly high school sports with me for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is now heavily involved in much more important work as a Volunteer Services Coordinator for the Oklahoma/Arkansas Region of the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross had a telethon earlier this week to help provide disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey and nearly 40 volunteers from Arkansas and Oklahoma have been deployed to Texas, where the damage is most severe.

Want to help? Here's how:

• Text the word HARVEY to 90999 for a quick $10 donation to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

• Visit the website for donations

• Call 1-800-RED-CROSS

Sports on 09/03/2017

Print Headline: Rewinding exciting first week of high school football


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