VYPE Arkansas Week 0 Preview Conway Vs El Dorado
The Conway and El Dorado matchup was one of the best in the state last season. The Wampus Cats won in double overtime over El Dorado 48-41. The victory over El Dorado helped set the stage for Conway going 9-3 last season and a nice run in the state playoffs. Meanwhile, the Wildcats were able to rebound and finished with a playoff appearance as well but with just a 5-6 record on the season.
El Dorado will open the season with a new coach on the sidelines. Steven Jones comes to El Dorado from Junction City. El Dorado is going to very dynamic on the offensive side of the ball with Alex Hicks shifting over to running back from the quarterback position. Hicks topped the century mark in five games last season and should surpass those totals in 2019. El Dorado fans should look for Steven Tollette to use his quickness and route running to catch passes. The Wildcats should be able to test the Wampus Cats' defense with a mix of the run and the pass.
The Wampus Cats have experience returning at the quarterback position in the form of Nick McCuin. McCuin has the respect of his teammates and is an accurate passer. McCuin has a talented receiving corps that he can distribute the ball to. Shane Smith makes plays in the passing game and the return game for the Wampus Cats. Smith had three kickoff returns for touchdowns last season and El Dorado would be smart to kick away from him.
Both Conway and El Dorado fans would like the defenses to force more three and outs in this game than what happened last season. El Dorado has Quentin Frazier who has been a mainstay on the defensive line for the Wildcats. Frazier can rush the pass effectively, but he also does a good job of shutting down the running game. Meanwhile, the player to watch on the defensive side of the ball for the Wampus Cats is linebacker Reed Hughes. Hughes had a terrific season in 2018 and is looking to continue his solid play this season.
The Conway-El Dorado game was a classic last season and fans should see a repeat of it this season. Observers should look for another close game this season with the Wampus Cats scoring late to win the game 27-24.