MORRILTON, Ark. – Arkansas High must get physical to get past Morrilton Friday night in the second round of the 5A playoffs.
The Devil Dogs (4-4) and Arkansas High (6-0) clash at 7 p.m. in Morrilton. Both teams have lost games to the Coronavirus, none in 5A more than the Razorbacks. Records may be deceiving in this matchup, with one state source picking Morrilton to win.
“Morrilton is a big, physical football team,” said veteran Razorback coach Barry Norton. “They had some injuries early, but got healthy about mid-season. Offensively, they run a power game. They’re going to run downhill at you. I think the strength of their team is defense.”
Morrilton has several two-way performers
Ringleaders for the Devil Dogs on offense include quarterback Demerius Martin, running back Jackson Moll and wide receivers Reggie Toney, Jackson Dixon and Jaylon Mullins. Tucker Granbury will see action at quarterback, tight end and linebacker.
If the Devil Dogs have a weakness it’s the fact they play so many kids both ways. Toney and Mullins will also play linebacker. Moll is a safety.
“Defensively they’re big up front with 6-4 and 6-3 kids on both ends,” said Norton. “Those guys are very active. We’ll have to be able to handle those players. It’s going to be a tough, physical game, that’s what it’s going to be.
“We’ve got to protect the ball, play good defense and win the kicking game.”
Bishop now catching passes for Hogs
Arkansas High made some position changes two weeks ago in hope of making the team more explosive. Senior quarterback Braylon Bishop was moved out to receiver. Layton Lammers is now getting most of the snaps at quarterback.
“Layton is doing a good job of throwing the football,” said Norton. “We needed to get more explosive, and we did a bit last week against Alma. Braylon is hard to handle one-on-one. He’ll still play some quarterback, because he’s a factor there, too. We’re also using him some on defense at safety. Braylon wants to do a lot of things. He wants to be out there.
“We still haven’t put it all together yet, and it’s time. “Right now I think we’re close. The lack of playing has really hindered the progress of our football team. We’ve got to get past that.”
Friday’s winner advances to play Maumelle or Wynne.