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story.lead_photo.caption Little Rock Catholic’s Lance Hockersmith (center) and Kirk Coleman break up a pass intended for Little Rock Central’s T.J. Pennington (right) during Thursday night’s game at Quigley-Cox Stadium in Little Rock. - Photo by Mitchell PE Masilun

LR CATHOLIC 48,

LR CENTRAL 21

Senior tailback Samy Johnson ran 24 times for 212 yards and 3 touchdowns as Little Rock Catholic kept its playoff hopes alive with a 48-21 victory over Little Rock Central in the regular-season finale Thursday night at Quigley Stadium in Little Rock.

Catholic (5-5, 2-5 7A-Central) led 20-0 early in the second quarter and finished with 428 total yards on 59 plays. Behind Johnson, who surpassed 4,000 career rushing yards earlier in the season, the Rockets ran 53 times for 395 yards.

"Run it until they stop it," Catholic Coach John Fogleman said. "We don't know about the playoffs. We're not guaranteed a spot. It could very well have been Samy's last game, so that was part of the plan."

Johnson ran 72 yards for a touchdown on Catholic's second play from scrimmage and added scoring runs of 17 and 5 yards in the second half. Johnson's 5-yard touchdown gave Catholic a 48-14 lead with 10:21 remaining in the game.

Junior tailback Brian Alsbrook ran 12 times for 75 yards and 2 first-half touchdowns (7 and 10 yards).

[HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Click here for more scores, recaps and photos]

Senior quarterback Cooper Monroe ran 6 times for 57 yards and completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Nathan Johnson with 7 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give the Rockets a 27-7 halftime lead. Junior quarterback Jordan Eddington ran five times for 46 yards.

Central sophomore quarterback Lawson Gunn completed 17 of 22 passes for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns (4, 70 and 23 yards). He was intercepted twice. The Tigers (1-8, 0-7) were limited to 61 rushing yards.

After starting 4-0 for the first time since 1990, the Rockets snapped a five-game losing streak. Catholic opened conference play with a 15-13 weather-delayed victory Sept. 22 at Cabot.

"We got into the meat grinder called the 7A-Central," Fogleman said. "We hit the toughest teams and had injuries at the same time. That doesn't help. Not that that made a difference, but the conference is really good right now. This is one of the better teams we've had in the last couple of years."

Catholic, Cabot (2-4) and Fort Smith Northside (2-4) are vying for the 7A-Central's final two playoff spots.

Photo by Mitchell PE Masilun
Little Rock Catholic defensive tackle James Owens (top) wraps up Little Rock Central running back Sam Franklin during Thursday night’s game Quigley-Cox Stadium in Little Rock.

Sports on 11/02/2018

Print Headline: Catholic's playoff hopes remain with Central win

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