Arcola AO 24 8.30.19.JPG

Arcola's Ben Crane (20) and Ivan Franco (2) celebrate after Franco scores in the first quarter against Aregenta-Oreana More photos at www.herald-review.com

ARGENTA — Arcola started fast and never slowed down, beating Argenta-Oreana 43-6 to open the season on Friday. Though the game wasn't officially a Lincoln Prairie Conference matchup — LPC games begin in Week 3 — it could end up being the game that decides the conference because of tiebreaker rules.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

1. Austin Hopkins starts out fast

Arcola senior running back Austin Hopkins looks like "the guy" offensively. He led the team with 20 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

Hopkins also was all over on defense and had a big 66-yard interception that out the Purple Riders at the 8-yard line, leading to a late field goal before halftime.

2. Arcola's offensive line is a force

The Purple Riders' offensive line, led by 6-foot-2, 280-pound senior Hugo Garza, paved the way for the Riders' strong running attack. Hopkins found a lot of his yardage by running behind Garza.

3. Argenta-Oreana has weapons, needs to jell

The Bombers still have big-play ability, even if it was tough to come across against a strong Arcola defense. Quarterback Josh Williams connected on a 39-yard pass to Makail Stanley in the first half and followed that with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Ulrey. Penalties, though, put the Bombers in bad positions, slowing the offense. Argenta's offense is better than it showed, thanks in large part to a stellar Arcola defense.

PHOTOS: Arcola beats Argenta to open season

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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25


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