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September 13, 2013TweetFollow @LukeMatheson Follow @arkansasvarsity
The North Little Rock Charging Wildcats have been constantly building a powerhouse program under head coach Brad Bolding, and they could take the next step towards becoming a potential national powerhouse tonight as they take on RivalsHigh.com Top 100 number 37th ranked South Panola, MS.
North Little Rock is Arkansas' top ranked team, and is ranked number 77 in the RivalsHigh.com Top 100. Not only will the Charging Wildcats be facing a Top 40 nationally ranked team tonight, they will be facing a former high school national champion.
Rivals High analyst Dallas Jackson gave ArkansasVarsity.com his thoughts on tonight's game.
"I think this is a major game for both programs as well as the reputation of the states that they represent," said Jackson. "South Panola had built a reputation on dominating in Mississippi but didn't earn national respect - or it's RivalsHigh100 National Championship in 2010 - until it started playing out of state opponents."
"Under Lance Pogue [South Panola] has gone out of the Magnolia State more but it has limped back home a number of times so it needs this win to re-establish itself nationally," Jackson continued. "For North Little Rock, it has been talented in the past and as recently as last season was considered a challenger to win a state title. It went out of state and lost to Longview in Texas which put another stain on the reputation of Arkansas in out of state games."
Jackson also gave his prediction for the game.
"With both teams being nationally ranked and having high expectations the hope has to be that this is a good showing for both to help keep pushing the identity of its respective states forward," he said. "As for a winner, I like South Panola in a close game probably in 37-31 range, but North Little Rock winning would not be a shock either."
South Panola enters the game undefeated this year with three wins on the season, while being ranked number one overall in the state of Mississippi. They have defeated White Station, TN., West Point, MS., and Meridian, MS. They have outscored their opponents 131-74 thus far this season.
North Little Rock has only played one game this season, and defeated Class 6A power Lake Hamilton 55-14 last week.
As Jackson mentioned, North Little Rock has a lot of talent that will be on display tonight. If they are to win tonight's game, they will have to have production in all facets of the game from not only their star players, but from the role players as well.
Senior running back Juan Day will lead the charge for the Charging Wildcats. He is currently committed to the Arkansas Razorbacks, while senior defensive back Kavin Alexander has world class speed. Junior wide receiver K.J. Hill holds offers from Arkansas and Auburn.
South Panola has their fair share of talent athletes as well.
In the past few season's North Little Rock has had a lot of talent on their sidelines, but hasn't been able to get over the hump in big games. They are looking to do just that tonight and show that they can win the big games on their schedule.
Tonight's game is one that is not exactly a "must win" game, but it is a game that would send a message if they were to win it. The state of Arkansas has their eye on this game tonight for that very reason. Does North Little Rock have what it takes to win a big game, especially in a year where many feel they will compete for a Class 7A state championship?
ArkansasVarsity.com believes they can win that big game in addition to having North Little Rock picked as our favorite to play for the Class 7A state title this year.
While Dallas Jackson of RivalsHigh.com has picked South Panola, we are going with North Little Rock to win this one at home by a score of 31-21.
The game will be live streamed on ARHSSN.TV. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.
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