The first few weeks of the high school football season are interesting every year. For the Fayetteville Bulldogs that will be especially true this week. The Bulldogs will be taking on former coach Bill Blankenship on the road in Owasso this week. Both Owasso and Fayetteville were impressive last Friday in picking up victories.
Coach Casey Dick was successful in his first game as Fayetteville coach last week. The Bulldogs rolled against Saint Louis Vianney 64-0. Quarterbacks Hank Gibbs and Quinn McClain were both impressive against a Vianney team that won a state championship last season. Gibbs threw for four touchdowns and 134 yards. Meanwhile, McClain was just as efficient passing for two touchdowns and rushing for another one. Fayetteville will be looking to keep the offensive efficiency going against a strong Owasso team Friday.
The Owasso Rams were impressive last Friday night as well. The Rams picked up an impressive victory against the Bentonville West Wolverines. Quarterback Cole Dugger passed 376 yards and three touchdowns against the Wolverines and is looking to be just as productive against Fayetteville on Friday. Rams' running back Isaiah Jacobs rushed for over 200 yards last week and will need to carry his load of the offense to keep the Bulldogs' defense off balance.
Whichever defense can get a stop on Friday is going to win this game. Both the Fayetteville and Owasso offenses are strong and can light up the scoreboards. Look for Fayetteville to get the victory, but this will be a close game. Fayetteville pulls away and wins it 40-37. The Fayetteville-Owasso game has the potential to be the best game of the night on Friday.
The Fayetteville Purple Dogs have been one of the most impressive programs in the state of Arkansas over the past ten years. However, challenges await Fayetteville and their new head coach Casey Dick, who will make the trip up Interstate-49 from Van Buren. Dick replaces Billy Dawson who stepped aside in April following a 9-3 season in 2018.
Fayetteville High School never seems to suffer from a shortage of talent, and this season will be no different. On the offensive side of the ball, the Purple Dogs have a dangerous quarterback/wide receiver combination. Quarterback Hank Gibbs and wide receiver Connor Flannigan make up one of the state's most dangerous pass/catch duos. Flannigan caught over 100 passes last season and scored 20 touchdowns. Gibbs had an outstanding game against the Rogers Mounties where he threw for over 400 yards and six touchdowns.
The Fayetteville passing game has been dynamic over the past five years and the 2019 squad has the potential to be a dangerous team, particularly if the running game can be a force. Two names to keep an eye on in the backfield will be Jacob Sharits and junior running back Kameron Ingram. Ingram had an impressive spring and should be a force at the position this fall. Sharits is a powerful running back and is difficult to bring down. The duo of Ingram and Sharits gives the ground game for the Purple Dogs a good one-two punch for this upcoming season.
The offensive line for the Purple Dogs should provide stability and help ensure the offense is a solid unit. Fayetteville will need Cody Hix to lock down the center position, but this should be an area of strength for the Purple Dogs.
At times last year, the Fayetteville defense kept them in games until the offense could find its rhythm. The defense is anchored by 300-pound Jalon Oliver at the defensive tackle position. Clogging up the running lanes; allows Purple Dog linebacker Quade Mosier to create havoc all over the field. Mosier has several schools recruiting him including Oklahoma, Central Florida, Air Force, and Army. In the secondary, Purple Dog fans should look for safety Sebastian Rodriguez to build upon last season. Rodriquez had 25 tackles last season and the 2019 season has the potential to be an even bigger one for the junior safety.
Fayetteville resides in the most competitive conference in Arkansas and breaking in a new football coach will create a challenging and interesting season for the Purple Dogs. The Purple Dogs have playmakers in Mosier and Flanigan on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, respectively. Fayetteville fans should look for a playoff run, but how deep the Purple Dogs advance will depend upon the match ups come November.