Stat Leaders Week 8

Division II Report


Lions in the way

Only one team stands in the way of Shiloh Christian’s chance to play for a share of the conference championship, and that’s Gravette.

The Lions (4-4, 3-2) will host the Saints on Friday after pounding Huntsville 62-28 last week. Shiloh Christian (6-2, 4-1) advanced with a 55-6 victory over Lincoln.

“Gravette, certainly, is a dangerous football team,” Shiloh Christian coach Jeff Conaway said. “They play well at their place and we need to be playing our best football this week.”

Jarret Russ rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns last week to lead the Saints while Tajae White ran for four touchdowns and threw for another in Gravette’s win over the Eagles. The Lions also have a top playmaker in Austin O’Brien, who has rushed for over 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns this year.

“They do a great job presenting multiple formations and alignments,” Conaway said. “Defensively, they mix their fronts and will challenge run and pass protection schemes with multiplicity.”

Saints’ senior linebacker Andrew Osbourne will return Friday after missing last week’s game because of an injury.

Gravette’s chance at the upset will increase if Shiloh Christian is looking ahead to next week’s game against Pea Ridge, which leads the 4A-1 Conference race. The Lions can earn the No. 3 seed in the league after winning a first-round game in the playoffs last season.


Burns heats up locker room

Second place in the 4-4A Conference will likely be determined when Dardanelle plays at Ozark on Friday. Both teams have lost to Booneville, which leads the league beating the Sand Lizards 21-20 last week.

Ozark (6-2, 4-1) rallied for a 28-21 victory over Pottsville after trailing 21-0 at halftime.

“Usually, I’m pretty calm but I laid into them pretty good,” Ozark coach Jeremie Burns said. “We came out in the first half flat as can be, but we woke up in the second half and executed a whole lot better.”

Quarterback Dawson Dietz, who had three interceptions in the first half, threw for 176 yards and rushed for 156 yards, including a 44-yard burst. Eddie Graham rushed for 72 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Burns knows Dardanelle (7-2, 4-1) will be focused on Ozark after losing a one-point decision to Booneville (7-1, 5-0).

“They’re physical up front and they have playmakers,” Burns said. “But we played Booneville and Charleston close and I think we have a good chance against Dardanelle if we play like we’re capable.”


Elks home again after road win

Elkins return home to face rival Greenland Friday after earning a big road last week at Melbourne.

The Elks (6-2, 4-1) took over second place in the 3A-1 Conference with a 58-28 victory over the Bearcats (6-2, 3-2), who dropped to third. The win for Elkins followed a loss to Clinton (8-0, 5-0), which leads the league.

“We talked with our kids about not letting that game effect us,” Elkins coach  Chad Harbison said. “We just kind of persevered against Melbourne. It’s a long trip and we didn’t play that well.”

Elkins outscored Melbourne 26-6 in the second half to break open a tight game. Sophomore quarterback Quinn McClain was 19 of 36 for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Chance Jones ran for 155 yards and three scores and J.J. Miller returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Austin Anderson threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns in the Pirates’ win over Green Forest.

“Austin appears more confident and his arm strength has gotten a lot better since last year,” Harbison said. “He can sling it down field and they’ve got four or five dudes who can hurt you.”

— Rick Fires • @nwarick

Chip Souza

Chip Souza

Sports Editor at NWA Media
Chip Souza is the sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His primary beat is Benton County schools. He is a native of East Texas with more than 30 years of sports writing experience in Texas and Arkansas. He has earned numerous writing awards in both states.
Chip Souza

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