Conference play begins this week as all Faulkner County teams returns to action with three on the road and two at home.
Starting in 7A Central competition, the Hooten’s game of the week for 7A is between the undefeated Conway Wampus Cats at the 2-1 Fort Smith Southside Mavericks.
The Wampus Cats are currently ranked no. 4 in the Arkansas Sports Media Poll with Fort Smith Southside receiving 16 votes to be included in the overall poll, on the outside looking in.
Conway is coming off a bye week after a three-win start.
Through the first two weeks, the Wampus Cats had to come back from trailing late in the games against 6A El Dorado and 7A West foe Bentonville, while beating Jonesboro pretty handedly.
As for Southside, the Mavericks beat 7A West opponent Bentonville West 44-31 before losing 52-27 to 6A Greenwood and then beating Rogers Heritage 52-22.
Last season, the two teams played to a 54-47 overtime game at Conway.
This time, the two teams will play in Fort Smith with the possibility of a leg up in the 7A Central with a pair of coaches who were roommates at Henderson State in college with Keith Fimple leading the Wampus Cats and Jeff Williams leading Southside.
Elsewhere in the 7A Central, Northside is playing at Bryant, Central is playing at North Little Rock and Catholic is playing at Cabot.
Conway’s game will be shown on the Conway Corp channel.
In 5A both Greenbrier and Vilonia will be on the road as both teams take a trip out west as they play conference foes for the first time this season.
Greenbrier will look to bounce back from a tough loss to Little Rock Christian when it played without quarterback Andrew Johnson, who had a concussion.
Johnson has been a big part of the Panther offense, completing 41 of 67 passes this season for 619 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Greenbrier also has also won seven of the past eight matchups against Huntsville.
For Vilonia, spirits are riding high after the team notched its first victory for coach Todd Langrell in last week’s 42-36 win over Beebe.
This week, however, the Eagles will travel to Alma, who has had a rough go of things to start the season, going winless in three games while scoring just one touchdown since its 48-33 loss to Van Buren on Aug. 28.
Vilonia’s junior running back Draven Smith is averaging 9.3 yards per carry this year, while wide receiver Reed Sadler is averaging 20 yards per catch.
Comparatively, Alma junior wide receiver Grayson Bailey has nine receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
The game can be seen on the Vilonia Eagle Football Foundation YouTube Channel.
The undefeated Mayflower Eagles will look to get things going strong in its first game in the 4-3A Conference.
They will be playing previous 2A opponent Danville who is coming to the conference.
In nonconference play, the Eagles have been playing like it did last year, scoring 52 or more points in all three wins.
The first game against 4A Central Arkansas Christian was tougher with the Eagles winning 59-35, but the Eagles rolled past Marshall and Parkers Chapel 53-8 and 52-8, respectively.
This week, Mayflower hosts 3A newcomer Danville who fell to Lamar 19-18 in the opening week, while beating Dover 43-19 and Waldron 35-19.
This week will be tough competition for both teams as it could be seen as a measuring stick for both teams as they move forward in their new conference.
The game can be heard on 92.7 FM.
Conway Christian will finally get to competition that is on common ground when it begins 5-2A conference play against Poyen.
The Eagles currently sit at 1-2 after starting its opening week against undefeated 4A opponent Bauxite before beating 2A Spring Hill and then losing to 3A title contender and undefeated Clinton.
CCS went on a much deserved bye week last week and will face an undefeated Poyen team.
Poyen has been high scorers in their trio of wins, scoring 55 against Drew Central, 58 against Bismarck and 60 against Murfreesboro.
The Indians have also given up at least 20 points in each game.
The high-powered offenses for each team should prove to be a possible shootout.
The game can be heard on the Conway Christian at conwaychristianschool.org/athletics.