2019 VYPE Arkansas Football Preview: Rogers Mounties
The 2018 season was a tough one for the Rogers Mounties. Rogers did make a playoff appearance but getting defensive stops at critical times could have put them in a better position to make a playoff run. The 2019 Mounties are a team that has the potential to make some noise in the 7-A West. However, getting stops on the defensive side of the ball will be key this season to a deeper playoff run.
The offensive side of the ball will continue to be an explosive and dynamic weapon for the Mounties this season. Quarterback Hunter Loyd has been under the radar for the past couple of seasons, but college scouts have taken notice of him in recent months. Loyd has picked up offers from Tennessee-Martin, Louisiana-Monroe, and Arkansas State during the offseason. Loyd has the size and arm strength to really cause problems for opposing defenses this season.
Most of the 7-A West is currently running a variation of the spread offense and the Rogers Mounties are no different. The Rogers running game will be a consistent facet of the team this season as well. Mounties running back Sammy Zamarron is returning for his senior season, after rushing for over 800 yards last season. Having a strong running game will help relieve the pressure Loyd opposing defenses another layer of complexity to worry about.
The Mounties have talent in the receiving corps as well, and they have plenty of weapons for Loyd. Rogers' fans should look for Mason Ross to get plenty of targets this season. Ross is the perfect fit for the slot receiver position and will get a look from plenty of Division 1 programs before national signing day. Another wide out that should see plenty of targets is Aron Rendon. Strides made over the summer should make Rendon even more dangerous from the receiving position.
The defensive side of the ball is where the Mounties need help. Mounties' fans should look for Christian Bruce to be a disruptive influence along the defensive line at both the tackle and end positions. Bruce is a strong player and will create problems for opposing offensive lines. The defensive line should be a solid unit for the Mounties, if they can spend time in the offensive backfield and are able to consistently force 3 and outs.
Rogers has some undersized, but solid, linebackers coming into the 2019 season. Mounties' fans should look for outside linebacker Grayson Daniels to continue making plays. The 7-A West will also likely get a look at Marion Slater this season after he led the junior high in tackles last season. The linebacking corps is young but they are a talented group with the potential to quickly learn on the job.
The Rogers' secondary has been picked apart by opposing 7-A West quarterbacks over the past few years. However, the Mounties have found a steady contributor in the secondary in the form of cornerback Jordan McKibbon. McKibbon has the instincts and the speed to prevent the big play in the passing game. Mounties' fans should look for an improved secondary and improved overall defensive play.
The 7-A West is a powerful conference and will not be easy for the Mounties to contend with this season. Fans should expect Rogers to make the playoffs but how far they go depends greatly upon the match ups. An upset or two in conference play would help make for an easier November for the Mounties.