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10 takeaways from Arkansas high school football Week 4 games: Instant analysis

Pulaski Academy suffers worst in-state defeat in 18 years
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Here are 10 takeaways (in no particular order) from the fourth weekend of the 2023 Arkansas high school football season. 

1. PA suffers its worst defeat to an in-state team since 2005

It wasn’t that Pulaski Academy lost to its neighborhood rival, Little Rock Christian, Friday night; it was how they lost to them. The Warriors snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bruins, with a sportsmanship-rule induced 55-13 victory.

PA lost to Lipscomb Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) 64-28 in 2021, but you have go all the way back to a 46-0 loss to Warren in 2005 to find PA’s most lopsided defeat to an in-state opponent before Friday night’s blowout. PA also lost to Springdale 62-0 in 2003. 

2. Arkansas baseball commit has huge night for Fayetteville

Jaison Delmar entered Fayetteville’s game at Bentonville West on Friday with just 12 catches for 179 yards in three games. Delmar, who has battled injury, made up for it Friday. He racked up 210 yards and five TDs in a 55-21 win over the Wolverines.

Delmar, a University of Arkansas baseball commit, benefitted from another big night from senior quarterback Drake Lindsey, a University of Minnesota commit. He passed for 437 yards and six TDs. 

3. Mountain Home wins at the horn

Mountain Home lost on a last-second pass play at Lake Hamilton last week. On Friday night, the Bombers pulled out a buzzer-beater of their own against Russellville. Mountain Home kicker Kelso Haught hit a 15-yard field goal as time expired to pull out a 24-21 win over the Cyclones.

Kelso has made all four of his field goals this season and hasn’t missed an extra point.

4. Bryant’s defense flexes its muscle

It took Bryant’s offense some time to put points on the board, but the defense shined from the beginning in a 48-7 win at Forth Smith Northside

Friday night, the Hornets held the Grizzlies to just seven first downs and 97 yards of offense (just one yard rushing). 

Bryant led only 10-0 early in the first half but eventually put points on the board while racking up 650 yards of total offense.

Hornets senior QB Jordan Walker was 22 of 37 for 386 yards and five TDs.

5. Arkadelphia notches first win 

Arkadelphia went winless in the nonconference season but notched a big win Friday night. The Badgers blitzed Nashville 44-6.

Arkadelphia’s nonconference schedule was challenging as the Class 4A Badgers stepped up to play three 5A teams. AHS lost to Camden Fairview 43-27 in the opener, 24-7 to Hot Springs and 36-14 to Arkansas High.

Friday night, the Badgers dispatched the perennial power Scrappers by converting two fumbles into offensive touchdowns early and never trailed.

Nick Williams intercepted a pass and returned it for a TD, and quarterback Cade McBride passed for 186 yards and 3 TDs and ran for 148 yards and 1 TD.

6. Arkansas High is undefeated

Arkansas High stayed undefeated with a 28-7 win over Magnolia on Friday night. The Razorbacks are 4-0 and off to their best start since 2020, when they were 7-0. The Hogs played only eight games that season because of COVID. In 2019, Arkansas High started 3-1.

AHS continues 5A-South Conference play at Camden Fairview next week.

7. Hot Springs Lakeside continues to surprise

Hot Springs Lakeside is one of the biggest surprises in Arkansas this season. Lakeside won only two games a season ago. New head coach Garren Rockwell took over the program and has revived the Rams.

Lakeside’s only loss was a one-point setback to Class 4A defending state champion Malvern.

Thursday night, Lakeside ran past Camden Fairview 34-20 in the conference opener. Junior Grady Ohman led the Rams with two TDs. Lakeside plays at Magnolia next week and at undefeated Arkansas High in two weeks.

8. Rogers QB Williams’ big night fuels Mounties win

Rogers never trailed Fort Smith Southside in a 44-38 road win Friday night. However, they did need to score late to secure the win and stay undefeated.

Senior quarterback Dane Williams made sure that happened by hooking up with Caleb Hudgens on a 65-yard TD pass that put Rogers up for good with just over a minute left.

Williams impressed by completing 26 of 44 passes for 480 yards and six scores. At one point, Williams rattled off eight straight completions.

Williams and Co. face a tough task next week playing at Fayetteville, which they beat at the horn last fall on a last-second field goal.

9. Mills wins wild game over White Hall

Mills University Studies needed a TD in the closing seconds to win its first 5A-Central Conference game and stay undefeated against White Hall on Friday night.

Comets QB Achilles Ringo hit Akyell Madison with a 10-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left to secure a 31-27 win over White Hall. The Comets are 5-0 and 3-0 in league play. They play at Maumelle next Friday.

10. Marion win sets up conference showdown

One of the biggest games in the state next week will be Marion at Benton. Both teams are undefeated in the 6A-East. Marion made sure to hold up their end of the bargain by blasting Greene County Tech 37-0 Friday night. Running back Jaylen Smith ran 17 times for 179 yards and a TD. Linebacker Victor Turner had an interception, a blocked punt and a forced fumble in the win. 

The Patriots' wins have all come against teams that don’t have winning records – GCT, Jacksonville, El Dorado and Wynne. The game at Benton will be a measuring stick.