Playoffs begin this week for most
By Jeremy Peppas
Little Rock Parkview travels to Morrilton in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Both teams enter the game with deceiving records as Morrilton is 6-4, while Parkview is 5-5.
Both are ranked by Hootens.com at No. 7 and No. 9 respectively. The game has been dubbed by Hootens as the Class 5A Game of the Week.
Morrilton is the No. 2 seed from the West, while Parkview is No. 3 from the Central.
Now, about those records. Morrilton struggled when star junior quarterback Jacolby Criswell was lost in a preseason scrimmage to a knee injury. Expected to miss the regular season Criswell was expected to be a key cog for the Devil Dogs. And with him out, Morrilton struggled, but Criswell recovered remarkably fast from knee surgery and played the last two games as the team won its last four games.
Criswell passed for 551 yards and five touchdowns. He showed why he’s being recruited by SEC schools like Arkansas, Georgia and Ole Miss.
For Parkview, the Patriots are back in the playoffs after a three year absence.
Key to the team’s success has been Geary Allmon and Thomas McCauley, who have combined for nearly 2,000 yards rushing this season.
(Geary Allmon celebrates after a touchdown. — Image by Jaison Sterling)
Hootens.com has Morrilton as the 11-point favorite.
The winner will face the winner of Hot Springs Lakeside and Blytheville.
In other playoff games, Nettleton will be at Texarkana, Greenbrier at Little Rock Christian, and on the other side of the bracket, Fairview is at Wynne and White Hall at Harrison. Valley View is McClellan and the state’s top team in 5A, Pulaski Academy, will host Alma.
Both teams are traditional powers with the Airedales being a regular playoff participant. PA is aiming for its fifth consecutive state championship and the winner will likely face McClellan.
If it is the Lions and PA, that’s a rematch of last year’s state championship game.
In Class 7A, North Little Rock went undefeated for the third consecutive season, and have a first round bye.
NLR Head Coach, Jamie Mitchell
(Damon Bell celebrates with Tyler Day after a 2pt conversion).
They’ll host the winner of Fort Smith Southside and Springdale. On that side of the bracket, Bentonville West also has a bye, along with Rogers and Conway.
The other half of the bracket has Bentonville with a bye and will face the winner of Van Buren and Fort Smith Northside. Bryant also has a bye and they’ll face the winner of Catholic and Fayetteville.