Area high school football teams will wrap up their non-conference schedules Friday night before the district competition gets underway one week from tonight. Games on tap this evening include Barton at Clarendon, Wynne at Central and Cross County at Marvell.
In private school action, DeSoto returns home to take on the Tunica Academy Blue Devils. Marvell Academy has the week off.
Barton takes on Clarendon in a non-conference rivalry that dates back several years. Last season, the Bears mauled the Lions by a lop-sided 42-12 score at Frank McClellan Field.
Clarendon comes into the contest winless, having lost to Cedar Ridge 37-20 last week and Marked Tree, 36-8 on opening night.
Clarendon welcomes back seven offensive starters and five on defense.
The Bears have won their first pair of games. Last week they soundly whipped the Des Arc Eagles, 33-0. Barton had a little tougher time with the DeWitt Dragons in the opening contest, holding on to post a 38-29 victory.
Barton can strike quickly with speedy and powerful backs. Four of the Bears' touchdowns last week came on plays that covered 30 or more yards. A long gainer on the ground set up the other score
It will be a long night for the Lions' defense. They must contain the speed of Cameron Anderson and Chajobie Fulcher and the powerful inside running of Quinton Simmons. The Bears are capable of keeping defenses honest with the passing combination of quarterback Laquarius Hall to wide receiver Justice Cole.
Clarendon was 2-8 last fall and last appeared in the playoffs in 2011.
The Wynne Yellowjackets ride into Helena Friday night sporting a 1-1 record, having been nipped by Marion 28-27 opening night before pounding Vilonia 52-28 the following weekend.
Wynne had no problem handling the Cougars on their home turf in 2012, posting a 43-0 shut out. That squad was 11-1 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs before bowing to Camden Fairview 34-21.
Wynne returns only two starters on offense and defense from that squad.
Central rolled up 47 points against the hapless Marianna Trojans, while yielding only one TD late in the contest. The playmakers for the Cougars were Keith Hayes with a pair of TD runs and Anthony Lewis, who also scored a pair of TDs. Sandy Wright and Devonte Howard also had scores.
Marvell has lost both of their first two contests but managed to put some points on the board in a 27-12 loss to Hermitage and 38-6 drubbing by Augusta.
The Mustangs may be in for a long night. The Thunderbirds are 2-0 after bombing Brinkley 45-13 last Friday and destroying Harrisburg in 81-57 in what appears to be a lopsided basketball score. Last year, Cross County leveled the Mustangs, 54-0.
Page 2 of 2 - Cross County was 3-6-1 in 2012, failing to make the playoffs. The Thunderbirds return five starters on offense and eight on defense.
All games kick off at 7 p.m.