By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE — Two very successful high school football programs, Fayetteville and Greenwood, meet tonight in a preseason game.

The two schools will play the ninth-grade game at 5:30 p.m. and then follow with senior high at 7 p.m. at Harmon Field in Fayetteville. Both Fayetteville and Greenwood finished as the state runner-up in their classification in 2021. Fayetteville finished 10-3 and fell to Bryant 42-38 in the Class 7A state championship game. Greenwood was 9-4 and was beaten by El Dorado 27-17 in the Class 6A state title game.

Both schools have some talent the colleges are watching for this year and in the future. Both have strong underclassmen the colleges are already taking a long look at. For instance, Greenwood Class of 2026 quarterback Kane Archer has 10 scholarship offers including one from the Razorbacks. Archer, 6-0 1/2, 192, helped lead the Bulldog ninth-grade team to an undefeated season last year while in the eighth grade.

Some other Class of 2026 talent at Greenwood includes offensive lineman Cody Taylor, 6-3, 278, and safety Jacob Cruz, 6-0, 180. Arkansas and others are looking at Taylor while Louisville has extended an offer to Cruz.

Greenwood has other talent as well. Class of 2023 quarterback Hunter Houston, 6-1, 200, returns after completing 235 of 346 passes for 3,080 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Houston also ran for 334 yards and six touchdowns on 95 attempts.

Houston and Archer have a very deep and talented group of receivers to choose from when they put the ball in the air. The group is led by Aiden Kennon, 6-0, 220. In 2021, Kennon caught 67 passes for 1,191 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Bulldogs also have some talent on defense led by linebacker Evan Williams, 6-0, 200, who had152 tackles and six sacks in 2021. Another talented linebacker is Cash Archer, 6-1, 208, who is the older brother of Kane. Cash is Class of 2025.

Fayetteville has an interesting Class of 2026 two-way end in Julian Walker, 6-4, 230, who is the son of Jamil Walker, Arkansas’ strength and conditioning coach. He will play tight end and defensive end and is definitely one to get to know.

Class of 2024 quarterback Drake Lindsey, 6-4, 210, is another from the legendary family. His grandfather is obviously Jim Lindsey, former Arkansas and NFL great. Lindsey is already drawing attention from several schools.

Senior linebacker Brooks Yurachek, 6-0, 215, is the son of Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek. He has received a preferred walk-on offer from the Hogs. He had 58 tackles last season.

Both schools figure to compete for a championship this season, but be even much better in future years given the amount of talented underclassmen for both.