After a month on the road, the Barton Bears will return to the friendly confines of Frank McClellan Field Friday night for a homecoming encounter with the Perryville Mustangs. In fact the Bears will be the only Phillips County high school football team playing at home this weekend.
Central travels to the Capital City to take on Little Rock McClellan and Marvell heads to England. DeSoto takes on Winona Academy at Winona and Marvell Academy has the weekend off.
Barton kept its perfect record intact at 5-0 after pounding the Riverview Raiders into submission, 46-12 last Friday evening. Laquarius Hall was the Bears' offensive star of the night, passing for five touchdowns to four different receivers. On the receiving end of those passes were Justice Cole, who hauled in two for 27 and 13 yards respectively, Cameron Anderson, Jarrod Rose and Chajobie Fulcher.
Anderson and fullback Quinton Simmons generated more than 100 yards apiece on the ground. They also tacked on a pair of touchdowns with runs of 24 and 37 yards respectively.
Perryville, 2-3, enters Friday's contest coming off a 45-27 loss to Episcopal. The Mustangs have already passed 2012's victory total in which they went 1-9 and an eighth place finish in the 2-3A Conference.
The team is blessed with some experience with a roster loaded with 16 seniors. The Mustangs return nine starters on offense and five on defense. Perryville has not made a playoff appearance since 2009.
Barton shut out the Mustangs last year at Perryville by a score of 36-0.
Central's pass defense was simply no match for the Pulaski Academy Bruins. The Cougars fell behind 15-0 before they knew what hit them as the Bruins coasted to a 50-28 victory in a wide open offensive football game.
Pulaski Academy quarterback Will Heafley completed 19 of 24 passes for 347 yards and six touchdowns. Zack Kelley was on the receiving end of six of those passes for 81 yards and a pair of scores.
This Friday, the Cougars, 2-3, 1-1, face a winless Little Rock McClellan squad,0-5, 02. Jacksonville hammered the Lions, 31-6 last Friday.
At this point in the season, the Lions may find it difficult to repeat 2012's modest 3-7 record and fifth place tie in the rugged 5A Central contest. Experience is a serious problem for McClellan who return only two starters on offense and five on defense. The Lions' team strength is speed but it lacks size.
The Lions last made the playoffs in 2011.
At Cad Polk Stadium a year ago, the Lions edged the Cougars, 40-32.
Marvell, 0-5, and England, 4-1, 2-0, meet in a conference clash at England Friday. The Mustangs dropped a 36-12 decision to Des Arc last week. The Lions are coming off an 18-14 squeaker over Palestine-Wheatley.
England was 7-4 in 2012, good enough for a third place finish in the 6-2A Conference. There's not a whole lot of experience, particularly in the offensive and defensive lines. The Lions have three returning starters on offense and four on defense and are blessed with a lot of team speed.
Page 2 of 2 - The Lions bowed out of last year's playoffs in the opening round by an overwhelming 54-6 score at the hands of Mineral Springs.
England dismantled Marvell 61-8 on the Mustangs turf in 2012.
All kickoffs are set for 7 p.m.