VYPE Arkansas Week 0 Preview Fort Smith Northside Vs. Rogers Heritage
The high school football season has arrived, and it is time to look at several games that will be key matchups to start the season off. The first in the series of games we are going to look at is a 7-A conference battle between Fort Smith Northside and Rogers Heritage.
The Northside Grizzlies are coming off an appearance in the state semi-finals and are looking to take the next step this season. The Grizzlies have some firepower on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Matt Hollenbeck and Dreyden Norwood will both likely see snaps in the matchup against the War Eagles.
The Grizzlies rushing attack is in good hands with Demarion Shepard. Shepard rushed for over 360 yards and three touchdowns last season. Northside fans should expect Shepard to get his share of the carries this Friday. The running game was impressive last season and should serve the Grizzlies well to kick off the season.
Northside fans should keep an eye on tight end James Clayton in this week 1 match up. Clayton has good hands and size and will create problems for opposing defenses as the season goes on. Northside Fans should look for Northside to bring the defenders up and then hit them with the passing game.
The Heritage War Eagles are coming off a winless season, in 2018. Rogers Heritage is looking to improve game by game this season. Opening against the Northside Grizzlies is not an easy match up for the War Eagles.
Coach Steve Hookfin has some experience at quarterback in the form of Jeb Brown. Brown is an accurate passer and dangerous runner. Brown rushed for a little under 100 yards and a touchdown against Fort Smith Southside and would like to get off to a solid start against Northside this season. Dreagon Blackwell and Brady Laird will also likely see some snaps against the Grizzlies.
The rushing attack for Rogers Heritage is led by Isaiah Tibbs. Tibbs had a breakout game against Fayetteville last season and has the potential to have a big season this season. Tibbs is a solid receiver out of the backfield, and he will cause opposing defenses problems this season.
The War Eagles have a big play threat in the passing game with Ricky Perez. Perez has excellent speed and his size creates a nightmare for opposing cornerbacks. Heritage fans should look for the War Eagles to get Perez involved early. The War Eagles have potential to improve this season and showing improvement against a tough Northside team will give them some confidence as the year goes on.
This game should not resemble the 69-0 game from a year ago. Northside jumped on the War Eagles early and did not let up. Fans should look for a better game this season, but Fort Smith Northside should win this one 38-17.