SPRINGDALE — On Thursday night two of the best ninth-grade teams in the state played, but it was an eighth-grade quarterback, Greenwood’s Kane Archer, who helped the Bulldogs win 29-12.
Archer, 6-0, 170, is a Class of 2026 prospect who already holds offers from Michigan and Missouri. Against the Saints, Archer was 9 of 11 passing for 174 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing nine times for 84 yards. Following the game, Archer talked about how the Bulldogs played.
“I feel like we played really good,” Archer said. “The turnovers killed us. We had some momentum when we were up 14-0. I think if we, they did score, but if we could have scored before half and then got it back again I think it would have been over. Overall, we played pretty well.”
Archer plays up for the ninth-grade team on Thursday night then quarterbacks his eighth-grade team on Tuesday nights. Few football athletes age 13 already own two Power 5 offers and almost certainly in line for many more in coming weeks, months and even years. Archer talked about what he feels has helped him be successful.
“Most of these kids don’t just play video games, but I make my priorities,” Archer said. “I try to take weight lifting, I try to take football, I try to training. I try to take everything first then I worry about video games and girls, all that is second and third. That stuff is out of my league. I focus on football training over that.”
Archer has been at Greenwood since the first grade. A program that either wins a state championship or competes for it at the high school level has a system in place that makes their success not a fluke.
“In the third grade they teach us the basic, the 70, 80, all of that leading up to it,” Archer said. “It helps a lot because everyone is on the same page. It’s the same offense every year.”
Archer proved Thursday night he can cause a defense issues with his legs as well as arm. He had runs of 17, 14 and 11 yards among others.
“My rushing, I try to get seven, get down and get out of bounds,” Archer said. “I try to not take the hits because I need it later in the game.”
And it’s not just at the high school level Greenwood experiences success. The ninth-grade team last season was 10-0. At Greenwood, the coaches and athletes expect success. That is something Archer is pleased to be a part of.
“You’ve got to live up, you can’t let the program down,” Archer said. “You’ve got to step up, be a leader and lead the team to win.”
As far as recruiting, Archer talked about what an offer from the Razorbacks would mean to him.
“It would mean a lot,” Archer said. “I’ve watched the Hogs since i was little on TV every Saturday. Greenwood players play there. The Morgan’s & Hanna’s. It would be an honor.”
Archer mentioned such players as Drew Morgan, Grant Morgan, Tyler Wilson, Jordan Hanna and Morgan Hanna. The Hanna brothers were at the game last night along with good friend and teammate Taurean Carter. They have a younger brother, Gage, on the Greenwood team.
Archer camped at both Arkansas and Oklahoma this past summer.
“Those were the only two camps this year,” Archer said. “I plan going to Michigan, Missouri and all those schools showing interest next year.”
Archer explained the offer to Missouri didn’t come through Rick Jones, a very successful former head coach at Greenwood who is now at Missouri.
“Missouri was from a coach up in Kansas City,” Archer said. “They started talking and everything and it all came together one day. It was very surprising. Then Michigan was leading up to it. We knew it was coming.”
Since he is a 2026 prospect Archer talked about things he has to continue to do to make sure he’s as successful as he can be.
“I have got to keep watching film,” Archer said. “I have to keep working on my foot work and reading defenses and stuff. My deep passing is elite. My roll-out is elite and my seven yards and get of bounds is elite. I just have to watch the defense and see what they are doing.”