The 2021 high school football season begins with a 2020 state quarterfinal rematch with the Palmyra Panthers welcoming the Hallsville Indians. Palmyra lost eight offensive and six defensive starters from last year’s 12-1 semifinal squad. The Panthers will also be without starting junior quarterback Collin Arch, and junior first team Clarence Cannon athlete, Hayes Miller. With only two returning offensive starters playing Friday, coach Kevin Miles is looking for Week 1 growth from his Panthers.
Meanwhile, Hallsville has a plethora of returners from last year’s team. Coach Justin Conyers says the Indians enter the year with a big chip on their shoulders.
Key players returning for Hallsville include Tyger Cobb and three All-Staters in wide receiver AJ Austene, offensive lineman Jayden Walters and linebacker Trenton Hobbs. Hobbs will also split time at running back with KRES All-Star Harrison Fowler, who exited the quarterfinal matchup on the second play of the game after fracturing his tibia and fibula. Conyers says he’s at about 95% heading into Week 1, which is vastly different from the beginning of summer.
The Indians are coming off a 7-5 season and their second straight district championship. Palmyra won the quarterfinal 44-30, and generated eight takeaways in a impromptu Week 3 tilt last year. Miles knows Hallsville will be hunting for them.
The two schools had never squared off on the gridiron prior to 2020.
You can hear Hallsville at Palmyra Friday on KRES and centralmoinfo.com with studio pregame starting around 6:25pm. Scott Lunte and Austin Ward will have the call.