Amir Cooper scores an 11-yard touchdown for Magnolia against Pulaski Academy during the first round of the 2019 Arkansas Class 5A football playoffs.

Magnolia High School has announced a fall 2020 football schedule that makes significant departures from past seasons.

There will be only four home games in 2020.

The Panthers’ first three games will be on the road. And including an open date, there will be a month-long stretch in the October-November period that will not feature a home date.

Even more than that, Magnolia is trading away early season games traditionally played against Class 3A or 4A teams for two Class 5A powerhouses – Harrison and Little Rock Christian. In 2019, Harrison was a quarter-finalist and Little Rock Christian lost in the state Class 5A championship.

Magnolia is classified as a Class 4A school in all sports except football, where it plays a Class 5A schedule against six 5A-South conference foes – Camden Fairview, De Queen, Hope, Hot Springs, Hot Springs Lakeside and Texarkana (Arkansas High).

First-year head coach Mark King led Magnolia to a 5-2 conference mark and a 7-4 record overall in 2019, which included a first-round 63-34 playoff loss to eventual state champion Pulaski Academy.

After Pulaski Academy beat Magnolia, it went on to eliminate Harrison (11-1) before eventually downing Little Rock Christian (13-1) 63-21 in the Class 5A championship.

Magnolia will open the season against Harrison in a Week 0 game that will be played at the Little Rock Christian field. After a trip to Crossett, the Panthers will travel back to the state capital for their game against Little Rock Christian.

Magnolia will host Class 6A El Dorado before diving into the conference schedule – starting with a September 25 Homecoming game against Texarkana’s Arkansas High.

Here is the 2020 Magnolia schedule. All games start at 7 p.m.:

Non-conference games

August 28. Harrison (at Little Rock Christian).

September 4. At Crossett.

September 11. At Little Rock Christian.

September 18. El Dorado.

Conference games

September 25. Texarkana (Homecoming).

October 2. At Hot Springs Lakeside.

October 9. Camden Fairview.

October 16. At Hot Springs.

October 23. Open date.

October 30. At De Queen.

November 6. Hope.

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