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Bryant 49,

Little Rock Catholic 17

BRYANT — The Bryant Hornets weren’t as sharp early on as Coach Buck James wanted them to be on Friday night against Little Rock Catholic, but he didn’t have much room to argue afterward.

The second-ranked Hornets racked up 581 yards held the Rockets in check for most of the second half to cruise to a victory in 7A-Central Conference play. “We’re on task for what we want to do,” James said. “I’d like for us to play better, but you can’t argue with the results. [Catholic] is a good football team. They’ve played everybody well so you’ve gotta give them their due. But we got going there a little bit on offense and played well on defense, and it was enough to get us this victory.”

Junior quarterback Ren Hefley completed 21 of 35 passes for 317 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception while junior running back Latavion Scott carried 20 times for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Hornets (5-0, 2-0 7A-Central), who’ve beaten the Rockets in eight of their past nine meetings.

Junior running back Samy Johnson ran 14 times for 134 yards and 1 touchdown for Catholic (2-3, 0-2), which finished with 250 yards of offense but had just 96 in the second half.

Catholic had chances to put Bryant in a hole early.

The Rockets went three-and-out on the game’s first possession but recovered a fumbled punt at the Hornets’ 26. Four plays later, senior quarterback Jake James found junior wide receiver William Plafcan for a 10-yard touchdown to give Catholic a 7-0 lead.

Bryant gained 6 yards total on its first two drives, and the Hornets were fortunate it didn’t turn out worse as Catholic dropped two surefire interceptions.

The Hornets needed three plays to move 71 yards on their third drive, getting a 39-yard touchdown pass from Hefley to senior wide receiver Brandon Murray with 3:21 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7.

The Hornets scored two touchdowns in a one-minute span to take the lead. Hefley threw his second touchdown pass with 8:19 remaining in the second quarter when he found junior wide receiver Randy Thomas for an 18-yard touchdown to cap a seven-play, 61-yard drive.

Bryant caught a break on the Rockets’ next offensive snap when junior defensive lineman Joshua Salgueiro recovered a fumble by Catholic senior running back Luke Schildknecht. The turnover led to Scott’s 1-yard score to put the Hornets up 21-7.

Catholic responded behind Johnson, who took a pitch from James and raced 78 yards for a touchdown.

But Bryant answered right back by marching 80 yards in 12 plays, with senior wide receiver Ja’kalon Pittman getting a 10-yard touchdown run to give the Hornets a 28-14 lead.

Catholic made it 28-17 at halftime when senior Christopher Elser kicked a 54-yard field goal with 1:25 to go in the period.

“We had some opportunities early, and you’ve got to be able to cash them in, especially against a team as good as Bryant,” Catholic Coach John Fogleman said. “Every time it seemed like we had them in a third-and-long situation, they made a big play. We battled and battled, but they did a good job of mixing things up.”

Bryant pushed its lead to 18 on Scott’s 9-yard score with 9:13 left in the third quarter.

Catholic moved deep into Hornets’ territory on the following possession, but Salgueiro intercepted a James’ pass at the 13 to end the threat.

That was a close as the Rockets would come to scoring for the remainder of the game.

Murray added an 89-yard touchdown catch, where he pulled it in with one hand, and sophomore running back Ahmad Adams had a 15-yard scoring run with 2:15 left in the game.

Pulaski Robinson 21,

Arkadelphia 17

Joe T. Robinson didn’t need offensive trickery in its 7-4A showdown with fellow unbeaten Arkadelphia – until the end.

Junior wide receiver Traveon James’ 49-yard touchdown reception off a fourth-down double pass lifted Robinson to a comeback victory Friday night at Charlie George Stadium in Little Rock. Robinson finished with a 341-95 advantage in total yardage, the bulk from senior utility back Ceazar Warren, who ran 25 times for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns (57 and 59 yards).

“He’s a special athlete,” Robinson Coach Todd Eskola said.

But five turnovers, including lost fumbles on three consecutive second-half possessions, offset Robinson’s whopping yardage advantage. The Senators needed to drive 96 yards in 12 plays in the closing minutes to survive.

“I’ve never been in a game with five turnovers and won,” Eskola said. “It was the strangest game I’ve ever been in.” Trailing 17-14, Robinson (5-0, 2-0 7-4A) faced fourth and 12 from the Arkadelphia 49 when junior Greyson Tackett, who started at quarterback, threw from the Shotgun to junior utility back Zaytron Waits in the right flat.

Waits then threw to James, who was behind the secondary and made the reception in stride near the 17.

Arkadelphia’s last hope ended with a lost fumble at the Robinson 37 with 1:12 remaining.

Tied 7-7 at halftime, the Badgers (4-1, 1-1) led 17-14 after three quarters, despite generating only 33 total yards. Arkadelphia’s three scoring drives – all after turnovers – covered 1, 7 and 2 yards.

“We weren’t able to sustain drives,” Arkadelphia Coach J.R. Eldridge said. “Our defense, all night, gave us the opportunity to score.”

A 34-yard interception return to the 1 by sophomore linebacker Kyren Harrison was followed by sophomore quarterback Cannon Turner’s touchdown run to give the Badgers a 7-0 with 10:15 remaining in the first half.

The 5-11, 210-pound Warren — as a Wildcat quarterback — ran 57 yards for a touchdown on a power sweep with 2:10 remaining in the first half.

Robinson took a 14-7 lead when Warren, again out of the Wildcat, ran 59 yards for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage in the second half. After recovering a Robinson fumble, Turner ended another one-play drive on a 7-yard run with 4:46 remaining in the third quarter.

Robinson’s next possession ended with a lost fumble at its 10, leading to junior Gabe Goodman’s 25-yard field goal and a 17-14 Arkadelphia lead with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter.

Robinson’s next series ended with a lost fumble in the end zone for a touch-back with 10:37 remaining to play.

“Murphy’s Law,” Eskola said.

Robinson’s game-winning drive began after junior cornerback Courtney Snelling ended a scoring threat with an interception at 8:18 of the fourth quarter. “Our defense played great,” Eskola said. “Our defense is solid.”

Russellville 28,

Sheridan 14

RUSSELLVILLE — Josiah Woodard returned an interception for one touchdown and rushed for another to help lift the Cyclones over the Yellowjackets in a 6A-West Conference game.

Ryan Talley added two touchdown passes for the Cyclones (2-3, 1-1).

Woodward, a senior who plays cornerback on defense, stepped in front of a Yellowjackets pass and returned it for the score with 7:36 left in the first quarter.

Sheridan (0-5, 0-2) tied the game with 10:35 left in the half when Justin Pruitt scored on a 1-yard run.

Woodward, this time setting up as a Cyclone running back, responded with a 2-yard touchdown run with 6:12 left to give Russellville the lead for good, 14-7. Talley, a senor, then got to work. He threw a 10-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver Greg Thomas with 47 seconds left in the half and 41-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Aaron Williams with 1:30 left in the third quarter. Talley completed 13 of 25 passes for 170 yards. He also kicked four extra points.

Pruitt, who finished with 129 yards on 28 carries, added a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:05 left in the game.

North Little Rock 24,

Conway 14

North Little Rock went to the air late in the first half Friday night to take down the Conway Wampus Cats.

Senior quarterback David Chapple’s 48-yard touchdown pass to classmate Deontae Montgomery with 1:39 before halftime helped North Little Rock defeat Conway on Friday night in a 7A-Central Conference game at Charging Wildcat Stadium in North Little Rock.

Chapple’s touchdown pass to Montgomery along the left sideline extended North Little Rock’s lead to 21-7.

“The score before half was just huge,” North Little Rock Coach Jamie Mitchell said. “It was a nail in the coffin, even at that point. It took a lot of pressure off of us.”

Conway Coach Clint Ashcraft believed the play was the difference in the game. “That hurt us,” Ashcraft said. “We were a little misaligned there. We gave up inside leverage. They were able to take advantage of it. That’s something we’ve got to learn and correct.”

Senior Savana Melton’s 31-yard field goal made it 24-7 North Little Rock (5-0, 2-0 7A-Central) with 4:39 left in the third quarter. Melton also made three point-after attempts for the Charging Wildcats.

Conway pulled within 24-14 with 2:59 left on senior quarterback Andrew Hreha’s 38-yard touchdown pass to junior Will McKenna. But North Little Rock recovered Conway’s onside kick attempt, and Chapple’s 11-yard completion to senior Erion Cooney on fourth and six with 1:30 remaining sealed the victory.

Chapple was 9-of-14 passing for 142 yards and 1 touchdown and rushed for another score. Montgomery caught 4 passes for 88 yards and 1 touchdown. Sophomore running back Brandon Thomas rushed for 130 yards on 25 carries for North Little Rock, which outgained Conway 312-284.

“Brandon is doing a phenomenal job,” Mitchell said. “But it starts up front with our offensive line. It is second rate to nobody. They’re super, super good up there.”

One week after compiling 354 yards and 4 touchdowns against Fort Smith Southside, Wampus Cats senior Brandon George rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.

Hreha completed 7 of 19 passes for 108 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Conway (3-2, 1-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead on George’s 19-yard touchdown run with 9:05 left in the first quarter. North Little Rock’s defense responded on Conway’s next possession, with junior cornerback Sedrick Cain intercepting Hreha at the Charging Wildcats

  1. Cain returned the interception 47 yards to the Conway 20. Three plays later, junior Tyler Day scored from 3 yards out to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:16 remaining in the first quarter.

After getting the ball back on downs at its own 35, North Little Rock drove 65 yards in 11 plays to take its first lead. Thomas’ 19-yard run set up Chapple’s 1-yard touchdown run two plays later for a 14-7 lead with 6:09 to play in the first half.

North Little Rock heads to Fort Smith Southside on Friday as it looks to continue its 9-0 run in the 7A-Central dating to September 2016, when it joined the league.

“We’re going to enjoy this one,” Mitchell said. “This was a huge ballgame for us. We think it could be a pivotal game going forward. Hopefully we’ll look back at it in a couple of weeks and see how big this was.

“I’m tickled to death to be 2-0 in the conference.”

Print Headline: High school football roundup

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