FOREMAN, Ark.—The road to Little Rock begins Friday for Foreman and Mount Ida.
HS Lakeside at Hope
De Queen at Camden Fairview
Nashville at Ashdown
Fouke at Smackover
Genoa Central at Prescott
Horatio at Bismarck
Dierks at Lafayette County
Gurdon at Spring Hill
Mineral Springs at Murfreesboro
Mount Ida at Foreman
All kickoffs at 7 p.m.
The Gators (6-0, 3-0) host the Lions (6-0, 3-0) for a rematch of the Class 2A state championship game in 2017.
"It's always exciting to have an opportunity to play in games like this," Foreman head coach Mark King said. "There's nobody we respect more than Mount Ida. Coach White has done an excellent job with those guys over there. Their kids look forward to playing us and our kids look forward to playing them.
"There's a ton of respect between both teams. It's just a fun week, and that's why you get into coaching."
Mount Ida leads the series with Foreman, 10-2.
Seniors Cade Jackson and Jonathan LaGrange lead the Lions offensive attack.
Jackson has totaled 634 yards on 61 carries and eight touchdowns, while LaGrange has 98 totes for 623 yards with 10 scores.
Foreman senior Kyren Batey will lead the charge offensively for the Gators.
Batey has 691 yards on 55 carries and 18 touchdowns.
"I'm sure the familiarity between both teams will play a part in the game," King said. "They're a typical Mount Ida team; they play smash-mouth football. They're going to line up and use that big offensive line that they have. They'll run right at you.
"I think they're a little more diverse this year in their offense. Looking at them on film, the quarterback is running the ball a little more. Of course, you have to stop LaGrange. They're also throwing it a little bit more this year."
A combined 88 points have been scored in the past two meetings between Mount Ida and Foreman—a regular season game and the state championship.
"Their defense is outstanding and they're never out of place," King said. "Hopefully, we can do the same. Our defense has been on fire the past five weeks. We're looking for a good, old fashioned hard-nosed football game."
The winner of this contest will likely take the Conference 7-2A crown.
"I believe we'll be up for the challenge," King said. "We've had a good week of practice. Our guys have been getting better every week. They know the magnitude of this game and they also know how good Mount Ida is offensively.
"We've played against LaGrange the past two years, and the kids know what it takes to slow him down. You have to be physical with Mount Ida up front and I think our guys match up well with them."