The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Ramblers, Bulldogs renew rivalry

  • Rose Bud and Quitman resume their rivalry on Friday night at Rambler Stadium. Separated by just over 10 miles, the two teams are set to meet for the sixth time with the Ramblers leading the series, 3-2.
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  • Rose Bud and Quitman resume their rivalry on Friday night at Rambler Stadium. Separated by just over 10 miles, the two teams are set to meet for the sixth time with the Ramblers leading the series, 3-2.
    They didn’t play last year for the first time since Quitman first fielded a varsity team in 2008. The Ramblers played in the Hootens.com Kickoff Classic, while the Bulldogs opened with Augusta.
    Rose Bud Coach Kevin Coleman said he expects a lot of excitement from both sides. “Two communities that are pretty close, just a lot of energy. With just the proximity of it and opening night … A lot of excitement and expectations so I expect a lot of people to come out and for it to be a good atmosphere.”
    When Quitman and Rose Bud scrimmaged last Monday at Heber Springs, the crowd had dwindled to only a small gathering, leaving Bulldog Coach Brett Shrable wondering about the ferocity of the rivalry.
    Shrable was an all-state player at Hoxie, which has one of fiercest small school rivalries in the state with neighboring Walnut Ridge.
    “I thought it was kinda a rivalry like Walnut Ridge and Hoxie but the other night I couldn’t believe the crowd. If Walnut Ridge and Hoxie played it doesn’t matter if it’s 7-on-7 or a scrimmage game it was going to be packed. It wasn’t like that so from what I’ve seen it’s not that much of a rivalry.”
    Coleman said the game will come down to which team can control the line of scrimmage and make tackles in space. “We’ve got to make sure we can tackle them in the open field. Their quarterback (Trey McGhee) and their skill people have a little speed about them out there so we just need to be able get our defense off the field.
    “We are going to have to get some three and outs. They do a pretty good job of spreading you out. It’s a game that both of us could win. I think that whoever tackles the best and has the fewest turnovers is probably going to win the football game,” added Coleman.
    Rose Bud uses its Dead-T offense to grind out first downs behind senior fullback Caleb Ferren, who racked up 1,490 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns last fall. Ferren scored the only touchdown in the scrimmage versus Quitman on a 20-yard jaunt. He also ran for a 70-yard touchdown against Heber Springs.
    In long yardage situations, junior quarterback Jake Cantey has the arm to make plays as he did in the preseason scrimmage, connecting with junior wideout Ky Graham for a first down on third and long. Cantey and senior halfback Turner Moon also showed the ability to run out of the Dead-T.
    Page 2 of 2 - Quitman, which changes its offensive schemes depending on the situation, leans on sophomore quarterback Trey McGhee, who keeps opposing defenses guessing with his speed and strong arm.
    Senior slot player Royce Katzer, who showed versatility with big plays both running and receiving in the scrimmage, and classmate Trevor Williams are two of McGhee’s favorite targets, while halfback Chris Milam has the power to move the ball between the tackles.
    The Bulldogs have been working on shoring up their offensive line to open holes for an explosive group of skill players.
    “I think upfront will be [key],” said Shrable. “If our offensive line can come together and do a better job than we did the other night I think our offense will click. If we can block I think our skill guys are as good as anybody. But if we don’t block, nobody is going to know that. And if our defensive line can penetrate and do some things they did the other night [in the scrimmage] we should be pretty successful on defense.”
    Special teams could also play a major factor.
    “Upfront and special teams will be the tale of the game,” said Shrable. “We didn’t do that the other night. That could be an advantage or disadvantage for either team. We don’t know how they are going to line up and they don’t know how we are going to line up. It should be fun.”
    Hootens.com picks the Ramblers by 8. Opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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