Hornets, Dogs set for rematch

Bryant senior receiver high-steps in for a touchdown in a win against Conway in the final regular-season game of the year. Murray leads Saline County in yards, TDs and yards per catch. RICK NATION/Special to The Saline Courier

Round 2 of the 7A State Playoffs matches up two of Arkansas’ best — again.
Having battled to a 1-point overtime finish in Week 2, Bryant and Fayetteville will square off once again tonight, though under much more pressure.
Bryant outlasted the defending state champion Purple Dogs on the road in Week 2, winning 38-37, and will host tonight under the lights of Hornet Stadium.
Fayetteville advanced to Round 2 after demolishing Fort Smith Southside 64-34 a week ago. Bryant, however, enjoyed a much-needed bye week after earning the No. 2 seed with a comeback win over Conway to end the regular season.
“It was a good week off and it helped us give some guys with some bumps and bruises a chance to heal,” said Head Coach Buck James. “It gave Ren (Hefley) another week to heal. We are as healthy as we were, basically, when we played them in Week 2.
“We were more spirited this week in practice and I think it helped us get back and reflect a little bit and get our mind back on football. We had a good week of practice.”
Hefley, who has been out since breaking his collarbone in Week 6 at Little Rock Central, is available to start tonight, but James and his staff have yet to make a final decision.
“He will be available,” James said. “The staff is going to meet this afternoon and go over what we think and finalize our game plan on that. He is capable of starting, but we still might stick with what we are doing. We haven’t really ironed it out, to be honest.”
Sophomore Jake Meaders took over for Hefley and has excelled for the Hornets. On the year, Meadors has completed 78 of 133 pass attempts for 1,030 yards and seven TDs to only one interception (vs. Conway).