Friday and Saturday football didn’t fare overly well for Faulkner County football teams.
Conway, Greenbrier and Vilonia picked up wins, while Mayflower, Conway Chrstian, UCA and Hendrix all were on the losing end.
Conway played future 7A Central opponent Jonesboro at John McConnell Stadium and it showed that Jonesboro has a ways to go before it competes and reaches the upper echelon of perhaps Arkansas’ toughest high school football conference.
Once the Wampus Cats got their legs about them, it was soon a no contest as Conway controlled the game from the end of the first half onward.
Save for a late score in garbage time that resulted in a 42-25 loss, the Wampus Cats dominated the Hurricane 42-18.
As for Greenbrier, it was involved in a shootout with talented 4A Arkadelphia, but ultimately, the Panthers’ high-octane offense was what won out.
Cooper Wilcox and the rest of Greenbrier’s offense has shown its tough to stop. A week off this Friday will give the Panthers a chance to rest before jumping into the always competitive 5A West.
Meanwhile, in Vilonia, the Eagles took a close one from Maumelle in a 34-32 win over the Hornets.
It was a well-deserved win for the Eagles that also showcased Vilonia’s skill players.
However, something I initially didn’t catch when I was watching games Friday night was an unfortunate choice of words from the EagleVision broadcast that was directed toward a Maumelle player.
After Vilonia Austin Myers handed the ball off to Lane Hunter, future Arkansas Razorback and Maumelle’s Nico Davillier hit Myers.
Davillier was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and exited the game, and the broadcast team got on him for playing too aggressively throughout.
However, it was calling Davillier “a thug, trash player” said by EagleVision co-founder Corey Eary that was unfortunate in this sequence.
I know that as a fan of the team, one who is calling a game, emotions can ride high, especially in a competitive game like that one was.
But, an adult calling a high schooler “a thug, trash player” regardless of circumstance is wrong.
Vilonia High School has released a statement condemning those words and apologizing for what was uttered on a non-school-sponsored broadcast. Eary has also apologized for his choice of words during the game.
I went back to check the full broadcast on YouTube just to see more of the context, and to see if the chat on the game mentioned this, but the stream from the game have been removed from the Vilonia High School YouTube page.
Unfortunately, I’ll have to chalk this one in with other bad things I’ve heard uttered during sporting events by adults toward kids. Let’s all be better than this.
Moving to Saturday’s college games, both UCA coach Nathan Brown and Hendrix coach Buck Buchanan said they didn’t get their teams prepared.
Buchanan also said he didn’t want to make the excuse that his team didn’t get to play Week 1, while Wisconsin-River Falls did, but first-game jitters may have been a factor early.
The Warriors couldn’t get much right on either side of the ball, which pitted them down 35-6 at halftime.
It seemed like the tide was changing in the early part of the third quarter, but WRF kept pushing on the gas to grab a 49-33 win over Hendrix.
I’m certainly not going to make excuses for the Warriors either as they just didn’t look like they were ready to play like Buchanan said.
Hendrix will have a couple games to right the ship before Southern Athletic Association play begins Oct. 2.
As for UCA, that was a tough game to lose.
Coach Bobby Petrino has taken a program that I watched growing up as a Springfield, Missouri, resident that lost way more than it won into a strong FCS program.
Petrino, whether he’s a standup individual or not, is a darn good coach and this Missouri State program is lucky to have him there.
But, I couldn’t help but once again seeing a UCA team that starts slow and has to claw back and win late.
UCA football teams have all too often played in games like this over the last two or three seasons.
The Bears have fought back and won plenty of those games, but I’ve stated this about previous UCA teams that have played from behind, eventually starting slow is going to catch up and it has for the last two weeks.
The Bears have played good football teams these first two games. I’m not taking anything away from Arkansas State or Missouri State, but with all the expectations the UCA football team puts on itself and the talent that is there, play should be more consistent throughout and we shouldn’t see this team wait until the second half to click.
The ground game was much better this week and the offense totaled 453 yards, but third-down conversions were still at a lackluster pace, converting just three of 11.
Also, losing the turnover battle was a hole that UCA couldn’t climb out of.
I don’t want to harp too much on Breylin Smith because he deserves every accolade he gets. On Saturday, he became one of four quarterbacks in UCA history to throw more than 7,000 yards.
He’s a good quarterback, but sometimes, I wonder why he makes the throws he does.
The miscommunication in the red zone late in the third quarter wasn’t necessarily his fault, and you can probably make a case for the final interception that ended the game was not all too important with the length of the field and time to go, but there was no doubt that was an ill-advised pass he made at the end of the game. It isn’t the first time I’ve seen these throws made, though.
And certainly, the loss shouldn’t be pinned on Breylin. He had a fine game, but offensively, things need to tighten up if UCA wants to get to the FCS playoffs, especially with the schedule it is facing this season.
Andy Robertson is the sports editor of the Log Cabin Democrat and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.