Booneville, Osceola meet for 3A title
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK No. 2 Osceola vs. No. 1 Booneville
This is the first meeting since a 2008 second-round playoff game when 4-3A champion Osceola booted Booneville 34-21.
Osceola advanced to that year's semifinals before losing at eventual Class 4A state champion Shiloh Christian.
Osceola makes its first state final appearance since losing the 1998 Class AAAA final to Alma 14-12.
The Seminoles won the 1997 Class AA title (2827 over McGehee) and the 1995 Class AAA (27-0 against Watson Chapel).
Outright 3-3A champion Osceola, which scores 44.4 points per game, ripped Rison 37-28 a week ago, dealing the Wildcats their first loss.
Dynamic sophomore quarterback Kam Turner (1,550 yards passing and 22 touchdowns, 922 rushing yards and 16 scores) racked up 401 yards and six scores against Rison.
Turner has rushed for 108 yards or more four of Osceola's past five outings.
Junior running back J.D. Winda (639 rushing yards and seven touchdowns) averages more than nine yards per carry.
Junior receiver Greg Hooks leads Osceola in receptions (42), yards (812) and touchdowns (10).
The Osceola offensive line is anchored by Jason Ugalde and Jalin Alexander.
Defensive whiz Jariq Scales (118 tackles, 18 for losses) sparks the Osceola defense, which allows just 18 points per game.
Booneville plays for its first state title since beating Warren 14-12 for the 2013 Class 4A championship.
The 14-0 Bearcats have been ranked No. 1 in Class 3A since Hooten's Arkansas Football came out in June.
Booneville's stellar defense (allows 13 points per game) forced the game's only turnover in last week's 34-31 semifinal win over Prescott when linebacker Cam Brasher intercepted a pass inside his 3-yard line.
The Prescott game featured seven lead changes. Booneville senior fullback Carson Ray, who has rushed for more than 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns this year, rambled for 130 yards and four scores against Prescott.
Junior running back Andrew Robertson added 147 yards, bouncing outside for long gains.
Junior quarterback Evan Schlinker's 14 touchdown passes this year is a single-season school record.
Senior receiver Ethan Dobbs tests defenses vertically. Senior center Sammy Haynes showcases top technique.
Juniors Cort Mizell and Ethan Pirraglia blast open holes in the running game.
Senior end Noah Reyes has recorded more than 30 tackles for loss this fall, with 10 sacks.
Senior Marcus Nichols logged 19 tackles for loss at tackle and end. Ray and Brasher flock to the ball at linebacker.
Hootens.com correctly predicted both winners (100 percent) of games involving Class 3A schools.
Hootens.com has correctly picked 261 of 304 winners (86 percent) of games involving Class 3A schools for the season.
Week 15 prediction
Osceola vs. BOONEVILLE (2): See Hootens.com Game of the Week.