Conway (4-0, 1-0) at NORTH LITTLE ROCK (2-2, 1-0)
Time; 7 p.m.
Place: North Little Rock Stadium
Something you should know: The Charging Wildcats are playing their first home game after four straight road games.
The keys: North Little Rock must slow down what has been a high-powered and balanced offense by the Wampus Cats. The Charging Wildcats have been inconsistent and have had a tendency to turn the ball over. The Charging Wildcats must also pass well enough to develop their often-potent running attack, which averaged more than 430 yards a game in victories over Little Rock Catholic and Russellville.
The skinny: A key early 7A/6A Central matchup since each team is 2-0 in the league. Historically, Conway teams have had trouble and have not played well at North Little Rock. Another major aspect will be the Conway defense’s ability to contain the Charging Wildcats’ team speed. The Wampus Cats have not started 5-0 since 2002. North Little Rock has won five of the last six games between the two teams.
GREENBRIER (4-0, 1-0) at HUNTSVILLE (2-2, 0-1)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Something you should know; Huntsville is a first-year member of 5A-West, having moved up for 4A.
The keys: Last week, Huntsville had trouble with Vilonia’s rushing attack. Now, the Eagles must shift gears and face a balanced Spread attack with one of the most prolific offenses in 5A. Controling both quarterback Neal Burcham and running back Hunter Winston will be a challenge to a young defensive team.
The skinny: Realistically, for serious contenders for a 5A-West title, beating Huntsville is almost a must. On paper, the Panthers seem to have more overall strength.
VILOINIA (4-0) AT ALMA (3-1, 1-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Airedale Stadium, Alma
Something you should know: This will be Vilonia’s first game away for Phillip Weaver Stadium in three weeks and its first true road game of the season.
The keys: For Vilonia, it’s the ability to control the ball and keep Alma’s offense off the field. The Airedales are led by back Issac McCoy, who has rushed for 672 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The skinny: A huge test for Vilonia if it is to move among the strong contenders for the 5A-West crown. Alma seems to possess the most potent offense the Eagles have faced, and Alma has won the last two meetings by a combined scored of 81-20.
MAYFLOWER (0-4, 0-1) at BRINKLEY (0-4, 0-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Something you should know: The teams combined for 84 points last season with Mayflower winning 56-28.
The keys: For Mayflower, it will be getting off to a strong start and avoiding turnovers. The Eagles surrendered 45 points in the first half last week against Riverview in a 45-20 defeat.
The skinny: It’s pretty much a must-win situation for Mayflower’s chances for the 3A playoffs. The Eagles also need a victory for a confidence-builder for the last half of the season. Brinkley has lost nine of its last 10 games and seven in a row.
CONWAY CHRISTIAN (3-1, 2-0) at MOUNTAIN PINE (1-3, 1-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Mountain Pine
Something you should know: Conway Christian running backs Bates Isom and Adam Ragland have already combined for more than 1,300 rushing yards this season.
The keys: Conway Christian must avoid turnovers and early mistakes that could slow down its offense. The Eagles also must be able to handle one of their longest road trips in conference play. The Red Devils finished second in the conference last season but are still searching for an identity particularly on offense.
The skinny: It’s a pivotal midseason game as far as the pecking order in 5-2A. Mountain Pine needs a victory to stay among the top contenders. A road victory by CCS could help set up major showdowns with Bigelow and Magnet Cove later in the season.