After struggling with the deep passing game, Little Rock Catholic used intermediate passes to rally past Fort Smith Northside 24-21 in a 7A-Central Conference game Friday night.
And one of the shortest throws of the evening turned out to be the Rockets' biggest play. A screen pass from Jordan Edington to Brian Alsbrook turned into a 56-yard, game-winning touchdown for the Rockets (4-2, 2-1 7A-Central) with three minutes left.
"We came out a little flat, and Northside had a lot to do with that,'' Catholic Coach John Fogleman said. "They had their backs to the wall a little bit, and they played like a hungry team. We were flat, but I sure was proud of the way the boys played in the second half.
"This was a big win. Now we're 2-1, whereas they could have been 2-1. It was a two-game swing."
Alternating between quarterbacks Dreyden Norwood and Matthew Hollenbeck, Northside (2-4, 1-2) hit big plays that scored or set up scoring plays. Junior Tyheen Prosise capped the first Grizzlies' possession with a 4-yard score. Norwood ran for 19 yards on the drive, and Hollenbeck hit J.T. Thorne for a pair of passes for 21 yards.
After the teams exchanged turnovers -- Northside's Glenn Brewer recovered a fumble at the Catholic 45, but on the next play Jacob Pruss made an interception on the 12. From there, the Rockets -- aided by a pair of personal foul calls against the Grizzlies -- tied the game on a 21-yard run by Alsbrook with 3:48 left. Paul Owens kicked the tying extra point.
Norwood hit Preston Baugh on a 46-yard scoring pass with 7:21 left in the half. After a 35-yard pass to James Clayton, Norwood ran in from the 13, and with 1:08 left in the half Northside led 21-7.
The Rockets' offense came to life on the next drive. Edington used short passes to reach the Northside 8, but time expired without a score.
In the second half, Owens hit a 22-yard field goal with 5:40 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 21-10, and Edington hit Robert Bavon with a 22-yard touchdown pass with 1:21 left in the third.
The winning drive started at the 24 with 4:50 left. On its final possession, Northside managed a pair of first downs before an interception sealed its fate.
"We came out in the second half and made a stand,'' Fogelman said. "They had some big plays in the first half, but other than that the defense played well, and on offense we moved the ball but kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We kinda cleaned that up a little, and then momentum got on our sides and we kept going."
Sports on 10/12/2019
Print Headline: Rockets rally by Grizzlies