Harrison won its first 12 games a season ago, then lost to Pulaski Academy in the Class 5A semifinals.
This season, the Goblins have continued their regular-season success, starting 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the 5A-West Conference.
Searcy’s Dixon player of week
Searcy senior quarterback Bryce Dixon is this week’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas Preps player of the week.
Dixon completed 23 of 33 passes for 329 yards with 5 touchdowns and no interceptions in the Lions’ 54-21 victory over West Memphis on Friday. Searcy led 34-21 at halftime.
Through five games, Dixon has completed 102 of 165 passes for 1,601 yards with 16 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.
Dixon will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s meeting Monday. Former University of Arkansas quarterback Bill Montgomery is the guest speaker.
Searcy (5-0, 2-0 6A-West Conference) travels to Marion on Friday.
— Jeremy Muck
Harrison, with 24 seniors, is averaging 40.8 points per game.
"We've got an experienced group that's played well," Harrison Coach Joel Wells said. "We had a real tight ballgame with Morrilton [39-33]. Other than that, our team has taken care of business."
On Friday night, Harrison visits central Arkansas to take on Vilonia at Phillip Weaver Stadium in Vilonia.
The Eagles (3-2), led by Coach Todd Langrell, are also 2-0 in the 5A-West, with league victories against Alma and Huntsville.
Senior running back Draven Smith leads the Eagles. He has rushed for 1,030 yards and 14 touchdowns on 87 carries. He's had three 200-yard games, including a 313-yard, 6-touchdown performance Sept. 20 at Beebe.
Also, senior wide receiver Tyler Moran has caught 27 passes for 488 yards and 5 touchdowns, and sophomore quarterback Austin Myers is 43-of-81 passing for 621 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
"They're a much better football team," Wells said of Vilonia. "The sophomore quarterback is good, the running back is good, and the wide receiver is good. They present a lot of challenges."
Limiting the Eagles' trio is crucial, Wells said.
"We have to control their running game," he said. "We have to finish drives and put up some points. If we take care of the football, I don't think there's any reason why we can't score some points."
The Goblins' key weapon is senior running back Gabe Huskey, who rushed for 2,150 yards and 33 touchdowns on 269 carries in 2018 on his way to being an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas Preps first-team running back selection. This year, he has 607 yards and 13 touchdowns on 52 carries in 5 games. With Harrison enjoying big first-half leads in four of its five games, Huskey's numbers are down compared to last season, but Wells knows he'll need him down the stretch.
"He's a home-run hitter," Wells said. "He's been one of the best football players in 5A for three years now. He's bigger and faster than he's ever been."
Harrison is searching for its first state championship since 1999. While it's a big goal for the Goblins, Wells said he wants his team to remain focused from week to week.
"They're highly motivated," Wells said. "We've got a good football team. But we're taking it one game at a time. The 5A-West is always tough."
For the first time in his high school career, Cannon Turner will not play for Arkadelphia.
Turner, a senior quarterback who has started 46 games since his freshman season, will miss the Badgers' 7-4A Conference home game against Fountain Lake on Friday because of a shoulder injury suffered last week at Joe T. Robinson.
Turner hurt his left shoulder -- his nonthrowing shoulder -- on a kickoff return in the second quarter against the Senators. He had returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown earlier in the game.
Arkadelphia turned to junior Braeden Thomas at quarterback, and the Badgers went on to defeat Robinson 28-27.
Badgers Coach J.R. Eldridge said Turner had a MRI on his shoulder, but his status past Friday's game is uncertain.
Turner has completed 26 of 53 passes for 372 yards with 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions this season. He's also rushed for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns on 70 carries.
Without Turner, Arkadelphia (4-1) rebounded from a 22-21 loss to Nashville in its conference opener to improve to 1-1 in the league, which was impressive to Eldridge.
"Losing him was really tough in the moment," Eldridge said of Turner. "Our players were able to really respond well. I thought our players showed a lot of guts and went out there in the second half and continued to believe in themselves."
Eldridge has confidence in Thomas, who was Arkadelphia's junior high quarterback from seventh through ninth grades, to keep the Badgers on track.
"He's such a good kid," Eldridge said about Thomas, who has seven touchdowns this season (five rushing, two receiving). "He's an explosive football player from a running back, quarterback or a slot position. We're excited about his week of preparation. He's done a good job."
Raiders on roll
Drake Widener wasn't coming to Riverview to rebuild. He was coming to the Searcy school to win.
So far, the Raiders are doing just that.
Riverview (4-1) is 2-0 in the 2-4A Conference with victories over Central Arkansas Christian and Southside Batesville.
"I hate losing more than I love winning," Widener said. "We had to figure out what to do to be successful. Our guys are ready to do whatever it takes."
Seniors Logan Miller at quarterback and Ashton Williams at running back have led the Raiders offensively.
Miller has rushed for 748 yards and 11 touchdowns on 103 carries and is 25-of-58 passing for 259 yards with a touchdown.
Williams has totaled 585 yards and 9 touchdowns on 59 carries, while also recording a receiving touchdown.
"Everybody knows Logan and Ashton is where the offense runs through," Widener said. "They've stepped up."
Widener also credited senior wide receiver Colton Cook, senior running back Drake Ivy and junior running back Xander Duckett for their play offensively.
Discipline and toughness were two things Widener preached throughout the offseason. The Raiders, who host Mills on Friday night, have bought in.
"We had to believe we were going to win," Widener said. "The kids believe they can win right now."
Dennis back home
Highland junior defensive back Brandon Dennis was discharged from Arkansas Children's Hospital on Tuesday and is at home in Hardy, Coach Adam Carter said this week.
Dennis suffered a concussion in the Rebels' 54-14 victory at Cave City on Friday. He returned an interception 49 yards to the Cave City 1 in the third quarter and was tackled to the ground.
Carter said Dennis will stay at home this week and next week to recover. Dennis also can't drive for six months, and as of Tuesday still had nausea, Carter said.
Dennis was at Children's Hospital from Saturday to Tuesday, Carter said.
Highland (1-4, 1-1 3-4A Conference) hosts Rivercrest on Friday night.
The Rebels have rallied around Dennis. Players went to Rebel Field on Saturday as a team to say a prayer for him.
"These kids are motivated and playing for Brandon," Carter said. "They're a tight-knit group. They understand now that you don't know when your last play is going to be."
Sports on 10/10/2019
Print Headline: Mature Harrison on a roll