Lady Lions Pounce Mountain Pine

A one-two punch from Mount Ida juniors Madison Smith and Julie Burke proved to be too much for Mountain Pine to overcome as the Lady Lions defeated the Lady Red Devils, 51-26, in Mountain Pine Wednesday night. The Lady Lions (1-2) burst out of the gate in the first quarter, dismantling Mountain Pine's defense early with Smith and Burke adding nine and six points, respectively. Thanks in part to six first-quarter points from senior Summer Godwin, the Lady Red Devils (3-7, 1-2 Class 7-2A West) battled back within one point, 13-12, but the Lady Lions re-focused their offense on the hot-handed Smith and extended the lead to 34-20 at halftime. In the second half, Mount Ida outscored Mountain Pine

Red Devils Burn Mount Ida, Move to 12-1

A 21-0 run start sparked a dominant 75-21 victory for Mountain Pine Wednesday night, defeating Mount Ida and extending the team's winning streak to eight games. "What I wanted to do from the jump was come out, apply defensive pressure and establish our dominance from the gate," Mountain Pine head coach LaMont Page said. "Our goal is to hold every team we play under double figures every quarter. If we can execute a press like that every night, we'll be fine." Red Devils senior Dafavioun Haywood's first bucket opened the floodgates for Mountain Pine, who saw six different players score in the first quarter, including eight points from junior Josh Walpole, en route to a 21-0 lead. Midway throug

Godwin Dominates in Mountain Pine Win

Mountain Pine snapped a four-game losing streak in a big way Friday, utilizing a 21-point performance from senior Summer Godwin to down Magnet Cove, 50-33. Despite some early foul trouble, the Lady Red Devils (3-6, 1-2 Class 7-2A) started strong, utilizing aggressive defense and taking advantage of Magnet Cove turnovers to build an 11-9 first-quarter lead and outscored the Lady Panthers, 17-5, in the second quarter, to take a 28-14 lead into halftime. Out of the break, the Lady Red Devils kept their foot on the gas, with Godwin scoring nine of Mountain Pine's 11 third-quarter points. "Summer is the heart and soul of this team," head coach Todd Willis said. "The girls know that. When she bust

Reed Leads Red Devils past Magnet Cove

Behind a hot start from senior Lashawn Reed, Mountain Pine extended its winning streak to six games Friday, cruising past Magnet Cove, 67-36. "All year long, we've been working to mark teams off of our list [that beat us last year]," Reed said. "Magnet Cove mercy-ruled us last year and we owed them a loss for that." Out of the gate, Reed ignited the Red Devils (10-1, 3-0 Class 7-2A) early, amassing seven first quarter points, including four from the free throw line, en route to a 19-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Taking advantage of multiple turnovers and missed shots from the Panthers (2-6, 1-3 Class 7-2A), Mountain Pine outscored Magnet Cove 18-9 in the second quarter, leading 37

Kevin Payne Player of the Year Award Honors Small-Town Athletes

A new award honoring Arkansas' finest athletes from its smallest classification now has a face to represent it--former Junction City standout and Chicago Bears safety Kevin Payne. Formerly the 42 Sports Award, the Kevin Payne Player of the Year Award recognizes the most valuable player from the state's smallest high school football classification--Class 2A. "I'm excited to help out any way that I can," Payne said. "Coming from small-town Arkansas at Junction City, it feels really good to give the small-town players some notoriety and come out and bring value in any way possible." "It's a tremendous honor to have Kevin Payne give out my award every year," 42 Sports owner Allen Russell said. "

Strong Defense Fuels Lady Eagles

Strong first and fourth quarter efforts from Cutter Morning Star propelled the Lady Eagles to victory over Mountain Pine Friday, 36-29. From the opening tip-off, Cutter Morning Star (7-4, 2-0 Class 7-2A West) utilized strong press defense to keep Mountain Pine (2-6, 0-2 Class 7-2A West) off the scoreboard while amassing a 7-0 run. With 2:40 remaining in the first quarter, XZero Sports' Featured Lady Red Devils Player of the Game, Summer Godwin, finally penetrated the Lady Eagles defense with the first points of the night for Mountain Pine, sparking an offensive turnaround for the team. Behind eight second-quarter points from Godwin, Mountain Pine outscored the Lady Eagles, 16-14 to cut the d

Red Devils Scorch Eagles

After failing to defeat cross-town rival Cutter Morning Star in three meetings last season, Mountain Pine turned up the heat Tuesday, delivering a convincing win on the road, 68-41 over the Eagles. Led by a 19-point effort from senior Tyler Zander, the Red Devils (9-1, 2-0 Class 7-2A West) utilized aggressive defense and quick offensive transitions to out-speed and overpower the Eagles early. Seniors Dafavioun Haywood and Josh Walpole each scored 14 points in the win. Sophomore Ryan Brown led Cutter Morning Star in scoring with 15 points, with senior Mason Treat adding 11 points and junior Rhett Barrett adding eight points. With the win, Mountain Pine extends its winning streak to five games

Gators Force Rematch in Little Rock

After a week-long delay of the Class 2A playoffs, the Foreman Gators went back to work Friday, defeating the Salem Greyhounds, 41-14, to advance to the Class 2A state championship. "The kids did a great job of staying focused after everything that happened last week," Foreman head coach Mark King said. "We came out and started fast. Our defense got a stop and our offense scored on four of our six first half possessions." Despite being eliminated by Earle on Nov. 24, Salem advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in school history after Earle self-reported an ineligible player that resulted in the Bulldogs forfeiting their playoff wins. Given a rare second chance, Salem appeared ou

UCA names Brown Next Head Coach

Less than 72 hours after Steve Campbell announced his departure from the University of Central Arkansas, the Bears have found their next head football coach--and they didn't have to look far to find him. Russellville native Nathan Brown, 31, served as the Bears' starting quarterback from 2005-2008, passing for a state-record 10,558 yards and 100 touchdowns. Brown was introduced as the Bears' next head coach at halftime of Saturday night's basketball game between the Bears and Little Rock Trojans at the Farris Center in Conway. Brown takes over for recently-departed head coach Steve Campbell, who led the Bears to a 33-15 record, including a 24-3 Southland Conference record, over the past thre

Late TD Lifts Badgers to Class 4A Title

Arkadelphia senior wide receiver Alec Lewis made the catch of a lifetime as the Badgers downed the reigning Class 4A state champion Warren Lumberjacks , 28-27, to win the Class 4A championship Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. In what would prove to be a back-and-forth battle, Warren struck first, taking advantage of an Arkadelphia turnover on downs and marched downfield on two plays for a touchdown run from junior Treylon Burks. Following Warren's score, the Badgers quickly took control of the first half, responding with 21 consecutive points--touchdown runs from junior running back Zion Hatley, sophomore quarterback Cannon Turner and senior fullback Josh Burnham. Shortly bef

Rivercrest Rolls to Class 3A Title

In dominating fashion, Rivercrest defeated Junction City in the Class 3A championship game, 48-14, Friday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Fueled by the return of junior running back and linebacker Kentavious Robinson, who broke his arm in Week 10 versus Osceola, the Colts (13-2) held the Dragons to just 153 yards, offensively, en route to the team's first state title since 2010 and the second under head coach Kelly Chandler. Junior quarterback Demilon Brown commanded the Colts with two touchdown passes to senior fullback Jamyka Franks and added 62 yards rushing in the win. Robinson rushed 22 times for 126 yards, scoring Rivercrest's final touchdown with 2:13 remaining in the game. "R

Lagrange, Lions 'Grind' to 2A Title Game

Utilizing its strong ground game and excellent clock management, Mount Ida advanced to the Class 2A state championship game for the second consecutive season Friday, defeating Camden Harmony Grove, 27-14. Junior running back and 42 Sports Award recipient Jonathan Lagrange (pictured right) paced the Lions with 37 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Mount Ida senior running back Cade Helms and junior running back Cade Jackson turned 19 carries each into 104 and 112 yards, respectively. Senior back Luke Forga added two carries for 54 yards and a score. The Lions took the opening drive downfield for a Lagrange touchdown run, chewing up the majority of the first quarter along t

XZero Sports Partners with 42 Sports

In a continued effort to bring our viewers and listeners more content on the teams and sports organizations they enjoy, XZero Sports is proud to announce its partnership with 42 Sports! Created in 2016 by Allen Russell, 42 Sports is comprised of a group of individuals who are committed to bringing the media spotlight to smaller-classification athletics programs in Arkansas. Hailing from Northeast Arkansas, 42 Sports records local sporting events for playback via YouTube and has become known for its weekly rankings and its annual Heisman Award. Through the partnership, both 42 Sports and XZero Sports plan to combine forces to provide additional live-streamed sporting events, feature articles

Greenwood Captures Class 6A Crown

After two years of championship heartbreak, Greenwood is back on top of Class 6A. The Bulldogs capped an impressive undefeated season Friday, defeating the Pine Bluff Zebras, 52-14, to win the Class 6A Championship at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Despite allowing a 43-yard touchdown pass from Pine Bluff on the Zebras' opening drive, Greenwood answered quickly with a 73-yard touchdown run by senior running back Kenny Wood. After forcing a punt on the next Zebras possession, Bulldogs kicker Grant Ennis kicked a 30-yard field goal to give Greenwood a lead they would never relinquish. Leading 31-14 at the half, Greenwood burst from the locker room, boasting three third-quarter touchdowns

Earle Vacates Wins due to Ineligible Player

Earle High School notified the Arkansas Activities Association on Thursday that it was forfeiting all of its varsity football games including playoff games in which an ineligible player participated during the 2017 football season. “We are grateful to Earle High School for its integrity and honesty while dealing with a sensitive issue,” AAA Executive Director Lance Taylor said. The district self-reported what is considered a violation of AAA rules and took immediate action. Due to self-reporting the use of an ineligible player, Earle High School has been removed from the 2017 Class 2A football play-offs. Salem High School, who was defeated by Earle in last week’s quarter-final game, will adv

History! Harding Advances to Semifinals

A last-second field goal has sent the Harding University Bisons to a a place they've never been before--the NCAA Division II National Semifinals. Senior kicker Tristan Parsley's 20-yard field goal as time expired sealed a 16-14 victory for Harding as the Bisons downed Ferris State in Big Rapids, Michigan Saturday. Parsley, who had missed a 39-yard field goal attempt earlier in the game, stayed true to propel his team to new heights. Parsley converted field goals of 22, 37 and 20 yards in the win. As part of a 303-yard rushing attack, freshman running back Cole Chancey paced the Bisons with 26 carries for 86 yards in the win. After dropping its first three games of the season, the Bisons have

Late Fumble Seals Title for Bruins

A crucial fumble recovery in the final minute of the Class 5A championship game sealed Pulaski Academy's fourth-consecutive Class 5A title Saturday, 37-36, over Little Rock McClellan. Bruins quarterback Layne Hatcher's 19-yard touchdown run with 6:03 remaining in the fourth quarter gave Pulaski Academy its first lead in the ballgame. The score proved to be the icing on the team's perfect 14-0 season. Down by one point in the final minute, Little Rock McClellan fumbled to fall just short of its first title since 1971. The win, the Bruins' fifth title in seven years, marks the seventh-overall state championship for Pulaski Academy and is the first time that a school has won four-consecutive st

North Little Rock Charges to State Title

North Little Rock completed the perfect season on Saturday, defeating Bentonville, 44-37, to win the Class 7A state championship. It was redemption for the Charging Wildcats, who reached the title game a year ago, but fell to Fayetteville. Trailing by one point heading into the fourth quarter, the Charging Wildcats exploded for three scores in the final act, including a 68-yard touchdown pass from David Chapple to Aaron Griffin, to put North Little Rock on top, 37-30, with 5:34 remaining. Within the final minute, the Charging Wildcats' defense held off a late Bentonville drive to capture the team's first state title since 1970. Sophomore running back Brandon Thomas led North Little Rock wit

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