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North Little Rock gets ‘deja vu’ victory

by Mickey Doyle | November 5, 2011 at 5:01 a.m.

— North Little Rock Coach Brad Bolding thought Friday’s regular-season finale had an air of familiarity to it.

The Charging Wildcats scored six consecutive touchdowns after falling behind midway through the second quarter en route to a 48-13 rout of the Pointers.

It was similar to North Little Rock’s previous trip to Blakemore Field in 2009 when the Charging Wildcats’ broke open a tight game in the second quarter on the way to a 48-13 victory.

“I had the biggest case of deja vu from two years ago,”Bolding said.

North Little Rock (8-2, 6-1 7A/6A-Central) recovered from deficits of 10-0 and 13-7 Friday on the strength of its defense.

The Pointers (3-7, 1-6) had five turnovers the rest of the way, including three that led to touchdowns.

“The defense from the second quarter on, I thought they played very well,” Bolding said. “We had those [interceptions] - one for a touchdown - and get a fumble or two. And we were able to convert [60] percent of them for points.”

After the Pointers drove 66 yards on their first possession to take a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard run by Jacob Jenkins, Van Buren got inside the 10 twice but had to settle for 33-yard field goals by Houston Ray, the second with 5:19 left in the first half for a 13-7 lead.

“It’s been a struggle for us all year scoring touchdowns when we get inside the 20,” Van Buren Coach Brooks Coatney said. “Our kids battled at times and I’m proud of them, but to keep playing in the playoffs we’ve got to figure out how to get touchdowns and not field goals.”

An 80-yard kickoff return by Johnathon Parks sparked the Charging Wildcats’ rally. Kendall Williams ran 14 yards on the first play and a yard on the second for the touchdown for a 14-13 lead with 4:37 left in the first half.

The Pointers failed to cover a short kickoff and Deion Tidwell fell on the ball at the Van Buren 29. Rodney Bryson caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Kaylon Cooper on fourth down for a 20-13 lead with 3:14 left.

Larry Wilbourn returned an interception 23 yards to the Van Buren 17 to set up an 8-yard run by Cooper for a 27-13 lead with 1:06 left in the half.

The Charging Wildcats had a chance to add to the lead before halftime when Jenkins fumbled at the 33 but Cooper threw incomplete on four consecutive plays.

“North Little Rock played a good ballgame but we gave them some points too,” Coatney said. “When you do that against a good team you’re going to pay the price and get beat.”

After the Charging Wildcats took over on downs at Van Buren’s 34 midway through the third quarter, Cooper passed 10 yards to Tidwell for a touchdown to extend the lead to 34-13.

John Gosser returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown with 10:17 remaining for a 41-13 lead.

Sports, Pages 26 on 11/05/2011

Print Headline: North Little Rock gets ‘deja vu’ victory


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