Benton first roadblock for Wolves en route to 6A West throne Friday night

Lake Hamilton plays top-ranked Greenwood for the 6A state championship Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Head coach Tommy Gilleran says the team with the fewest mistakes will probably win.


BENTON, Ark. – Second chances are rare, but that’s exactly what Lake Hamilton will be getting Friday night when the Wolves invade Benton.

A year ago Lake Hamilton was 8-0 with Benton and Greenwood being its final two regular season opponents. One of the big keys to the Wolves’ success was junior quarterback Layne Warrick, who missed those two games with a broken ankle. Lake Hamilton lost both games.

Now it’s 2020 and the Wolves are 7-0, needing wins over Benton and Greenwood to win the 6A West championship. Unfortunately for Lake Hamilton, Warrick has been sidelined all season with an injured shoulder. Head coach Tommy Gilleran is hoping Warrick will be able to play Friday night.

“We’re excited about the possibility of getting Layne back soon,” said Gilleran. “He makes our offense a lot better. Every week somebody is looking out there to see if he’s warming up, but we’re taking our time with him.”


Benton doesn’t intimidate Wolves

Backup signal-caller Grant Bearden has been playing well for the Wolves. There’s been no need to throw a lot because of running backs Owen Miller, Tevin Woodley and Kendrick Martin. Both Miller and Woodley have already surpassed 1,000 yards this season.

“One thing about Benton; we have always played them well,” said Gilleran. “Our kids are not intimidated by them at all. If we come out and play like we know we can, we’ll have an opportunity to win a conference title against Greenwood the last week.”

Benton (5-3) won the 6A West crown in 2019. The Panthers have an explosive offense this season with all-state quarterback Garrett Brown and running back Casey Johnson back.

If Warrick makes his return Friday night, Lake Hamilton just might continue its success against the Panthers. Going out on a limb and picking the Wolves, 24-21.

In other regional Arkansas games:

Genoa Central at Centerpoint – canceled after Genoa Central reported health issues because of Covid-19.

TEXARKANA ARKANSAS HIGH (4-0) at Hope (1-6) – Razorbacks in the 5A South driver’s seat, and cruise past Hope, 45-13.

Bauxite (3-5) at ARKADELPHIA (5-0) – The Badgers still perfect and unchallenged. They’ll dominate Bauxite, 38-10.

Ashdown (6-2) at JOE T. ROBINSON (5-3) – Records can be deceiving. The loser could be a fourth seed. Going with the home team, 35-14.

Bismarck (2-6) at FOUKE (1-4) – Two good quarterbacks shooting it out. Fouke wins, 34-28.

Cutter Morning Star (0-8) at Magnet Cove (3-4) – Magnet Cove takes out its frustrations this week on the Eagles, 48-6.

MAGNOLIA (4-2) at De Queen (0-7) – Two teams headed in opposite directions. The Panthers roll, 56-0.

DIERKS (6-1) at Mineral Springs (3-5) – The Outlaws beat their former coach, 28-19.

Harmony Grove Haskell (0-8) at FOUNTAIN LAKE (3-3) – After surprising Malvern last week the Cobras must avoid a letdown. Fountain Lake wins, 21-14.

Mount Ida (4-5) at GURDON (6-1) – Gurdon just might be in the running for the 2A state championship. The Go-Devils romp, 35-7.

Jessieville (5-3) at PRESCOTT (6-0) – The Curley Wolves better not be looking ahead. Prescott prevails, 44-13.

Malvern (4-4) at NASHVILLE (5-2) – Malvern beat Ashdown, and Ashdown beat Nashville, so Malvern should win. No! The Scrappers win, 35-21.

Read Louie Avery’s blogs on Caddo Country Radio and Fox Sports Texarkana. Both can be found on the Freed AM Sports app. Coaches are urged to report information on their games to Mr. Avery at: or text to (903) 826-3179.