Top 5 Countdown: Quarterbacks Making A Difference In 2019

To help you count down the days until football season arrives, the 5NEWS Sports crew has put together 11 different countdowns looking at players, coaches and games to be looking forward to this fall.

We wrap up our top five countdowns with the ones who sit at the forefront of the team. No squad is complete without the one calling the signals, and our area has plenty of studs slinging the pigskin, so on Sunday - we introduce you to the top quarterbacks in the area.

#5: Hank Gibbs & Quinn McClain, Fayetteville

Fayetteville has a good problem to have with two dominant forces competing for the QB1 spot. Hank Gibbs saw playing time last year, and after starting just three games, he had a 57 percent completion rate for more than 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns. He'll go up against Quinn McClain who's transferring to the 7A from Elkins. The back-to-back all-state QB went 177 of 297 for more than 2,500 yards and 25 touchdowns. It's not just his arm thats impressive, it's his feet too. McClain ran 129 times for 887 yards and 15 touchdowns. Clear to see Casey Dick has quite the decision to make as who will start game one.

#4: Eli Reece, Shiloh Christian

Eli Reece had plenty of playing time last year and will likely be the main one taking the snaps this year. He had a 64 percent completion rate a season ago for more than 2,600 yards and 32 touchdowns. His most impressive games came against Prairie Grove where he threw four first half touchdowns, and in the playoffs against Star City where he threw five TDs in the first half. No doubt that Reece is comfortable under pressure.

#3: Gary Phillips, Van Buren

Gary Phillips fills the shoes of all-conference QB Christian Morrow at Van Buren. After being thrown in at QB against Fayetteville, Phillips filled in seamlessly with two touchdowns against the Purple Dogs. He continued the trend Week 7 against Heritage, where he had his most impressive game - throwing 126 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 189 yards and another pair of TDs. Against Springdale, he tacked on another touchdown and 75 rushing yards - so the Pointers have a good one taking the snaps this season.

#2: Ethan Stovall, Mansfield

Mansfield may be a small school, but Ethan Stovall plays big. The all-state QB finished last season with a 60 percent completion rate for more than 2,300 yards and 26 touchdowns. Almost more impressive - he had just seven interceptions on the season. Stovall had five touchdowns against both Greenland and Paris, and added 579 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. A dual-threat sure to make noise in the 3A for his senior campaign.

#1: Hunter Loyd, Rogers

The #1 QB1 goes out to one of the best in Arkansas - Hunter Loyd out of Rogers. In his two years as a starter, Loyd provided the ultimate dual-threat with more than 4,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards - all combining for nearly 50 touchdowns. He's also is juggling six D1 offers with more bound to come throughout his senior season. All part of a performance worthy of our top quarterback entering the new season.

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