The Watson Chapel Wildcats will conclude their season with senior night against the Maumelle Hornets at 7 p.m. tonight.
After a conference championship season last year, the Wildcats struggled this year as depth was a problem they couldn’t find a solution to. Although they haven’t won games like they would’ve liked to do, Watson Chapel Head Coach Jared Dutton said he is proud of his seniors for hanging in and not giving up.
A majority of the senior class were a part of Dutton’s first conference championship at Watson Chapel, and he said he would love nothing more than to send those seniors out with a win over Maumelle.
Just as they have throughout the year, the Wildcats will be challenged by a Hornet team that features a senior quarterback in Tyler Maxwell and a senior leading rusher in Darius Thompson. Since neither team qualified for the 5A state playoffs, this will be the last time that Maumelle’s seniors will suit up in their high school careers, so Dutton and the Wildcats are expecting them to be at their best.
Maumelle has proven that they’re capable of scoring points. Last week, the Hornets hung 63 against Little Rock Christian in a losing effort.
Watson Chapel’s offense, led by junior quarterback Devin Curry, will look to keep pace with the high-scoring Hornets and give the senior class a reason to celebrate.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium.
Dollarway hosting Rison for senior night
In his first year as the head coach of the Dollarway Cardinals football team, Martese Henry has started the task of rebuilding the program. The team has won more games this season than they did in the past two seasons combined.
With one more game on the regular-season schedule, the Cardinals will recognize 15 of their players tonight on senior night as the Rison Wildcats roll in.
Around the mid-way point in the season, Henry said they would lean on their seniors to finish the season out, and he said he couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve done for the program.
“They’ve meant the world us,” Henry said. “A group of young men that have never quit, despite not having much past success. They display what a champion looks like. We’ll lean on them again tonight. They’re excited for the opportunity we have as we’re actually playing for something. They’ve been very instrumental to our program as a whole.”
When Henry says they’re playing for something, he’s referring to an automatic playoff berth. If the Cardinals win, they’ll be in the 4A state playoffs. If they lose, they’ll have to rely on help from another team in order to get in.
“I just know if we win we’ll get an opportunity of going to the playoffs,” Henry said. “Everything is predicated on winning, whether it’s the fourth or the fifth seed.”
To secure the victory, the Cardinals will have to knock off the unbeaten Wildcats led by Head Coach Clay Totty. Henry is aware that they’ll have their hands full, but he thinks his players are up for the challenge.
Rison features Arkansas Razorbacks commit senior athlete Malik Chavis.
“One thing about it, Coach Totty has his team in real good form,” Henry said. “They’re undefeated, and they’re No. 1 in the conference. He has a tough ball club that doesn’t make too many mistakes. They have a couple of Division I athletes, and we match up well as far as speed. We’re going to play with a lot of heart and passion, and I think they’ll do the same. It’s going to be a very fun night.”
Kickoff between the Cardinals and Wildcats is set for 7 p.m.
White Hall hosting Pulaski Academy for senior night
White Hall Bulldogs longtime Head Coach Mike Vaughn has gone on record saying that their program is senior led. On senior night, the Bulldogs will recognize about 10 players. It's a smaller group compared to what they’ve had in the past.
Although the group isn’t as big as some others, most of them have been a part of the program since they were freshmen, and they have all bought into the Bulldog way.
Senior Kyle Lambert is the lone offensive lineman and has been a leader on the team for a couple of seasons. Seniors Josh Looney, Tre’Don Marks, C.J. Collins, Koby Drake and Baylor Owen all have made heavy contributions to the Bulldogs' success this year.
After falling to Little Rock Parkview last week, the Bulldogs now sit in fourth place in the 5A Central standings. They’ve been guaranteed a playoff spot for a couple of weeks now, and according to Vaughn, playoff seeding is their main focus going forward.
On senior night, the Bulldogs will welcome in the division's top team, the Pulaski Academy Bruins, who are currently undefeated in conference play.
No team in the 5A Central conference has gotten close to knocking off the Bruins, and if White Hall were to do it on Friday, it would give the Bulldogs a boost of confidence going into the postseason.
Bulldogs senior quarterback Looney has thrown for more than 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns this season and will lead the offensive attack. Owen and Drake lead the team in receiving while junior running back Donte Buckner looks to contribute to the running game.
Pulaski Academy features a high-powered offense and a defense that doesn’t give up many points. Last week, the Bruins pitched a three-quarter shutout to beat Watson Chapel 51-14.
Bruins junior quarterback Braden Bratcher has completed 185/276 passes for 2,690 yards and 31 touchdowns, so expect the Bruins to put the ball in the air a lot.
Kickoff between the Bruins and the Bulldogs is set for 7 p.m.