Chris Murray: Arkansas High School Football Wrap – Champions Crowned


The 2013 Arkansas high school football season came to an end, not with a bang but a whimper.

That’s no major slight to the teams involved; it’s just how things worked out. Wintry weather delayed the title games by a week. The larger classifications still faced bitterly cold conditions, while the smaller classes put up with persistent rain. All in all, not ideal. There were still some quality performances, and six champions were crowned.

Friday night’s Class 4A state championship was twice delayed by lightning, for a total of two hours and nine minutes, resulting in the contest finishing shortly before midnight at War Memorial Stadium. Saturday’s two contests were both blowouts – one an unfortunate state record, while the other was marred by penalties and poor sportsmanship.

The Booneville Bearcats withstood a frantic finish to claim the title with a 14-12 victory over the Warren Lumberjacks.

Warren pulled within two points on Kilay Cox’s 21-yard touchdown run with 4:47 left to play, but Drake Jones was stopped short on the two-point try. Warren’s onside kick went out of bounds, and Booneville moved to the Warren 11 before turning it over on downs.

Jones completed passes of 19 yards to Jaylon Marshall, and 13 to Darveon Brown. A pass interference penalty got the Lumberjacks to the Booneville 41, but Jones was sacked by Justin Shackleford on third down. Jones’ desperation pass on the final play was intercepted by Matthew Berry.

Booneville thoroughly dominated the first half and led 14-0, but the Bearcats repeatedly failed to convert in the red zone, with six possessions ending in Warren territory without scoring. Bryson May rushed for touchdowns in each of the first two quarters. Bearcats quarterback Cody Harrel was named MVP.

Warren was held scoreless until late in the third quarter. The Lumberjacks rushed down the field behind Cox, who scored from five yards out. The game was delayed twice due to lightning for a total of two hours, nine minutes.


The Junction City Dragons won their second straight Class 2A Arkansas high school football state championship – and fifth in 11 years – by trouncing the Des Arc Eagles 60-0 on Saturday.

The Dragons (13-0) set records for largest margin of victory and biggest shutout in state championship finals history. Junction City scored its first four touchdowns on just eight plays from scrimmage, and did not face a third down until the second quarter. The entire second half was played with the clock running, under the Arkansas Activities Association’s sportsmanship rule.

Junction City outgained Des Arc 497-126. The Dragons’ explosive offense produced touchdowns on plays of 64, 67, 53, 62 and 55 yards. Most valuable player JaQwis Dancy rushed for 163 yards and two scores. Quarterback Randall Holyfield passed for two touchdowns and rushed for two more.

Des Arc simply had no answer for Junction City’s speed. Twice in the second half the Eagles moves inside the Junction City 35, only to turn over the ball on downs. It was a bitter ending to an outstanding season for the Eagles.


In Class 3A, Charleston completed a perfect season with a 42-19 rout of Glen Rose in the finals. Junior QB Ty Storey, who has verbally committed to Arkansas, passed for 378 yards and six touchdowns.

After Storey was intercepted on the Tigers’ first possession, it was all Charleston (15-0). The Tigers roared ahead 35-0 in the first half. The Beavers finally got on the scoreboard, but Charleston was able to invoke the “mercy rule” in the second half.

Storey’s favorite target was Taylor King, with whom he connected seven times for 71 yards and three touchdowns. Austin Pittman hauled in six passes for 128 yards and two scores. Storey was named Most Valuable Player.

Glen Rose (12-2) was able to move the ball against the Charleston defense, racking up more than 400 yards, but the Beavers could not overcome the six turnovers they committed. In addition, Glen Rose was flagged 18 times for 193 yards.

The Beavers were led by Carlos Burton’s 189 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Clay Holicer also passed for a score.


Booneville, Junction City and Charleston joined Bentonville, El Dorado and Morrilton as state champs. The Devil Dogs were clearly the most surprising of that group, as the rest were all expected to be at or near the top of their respective classes. Morrilton did not even win its conference, but it got hot at the right time. Overall, a very compelling year of high school football. We’re all looking forward to 2014.

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