Little Rock Christian didn't slow down in its return to the home of the state championship games, using a near-flawless first-half offensive performance to beat Little Rock Parkview 56-28 in 5A-Central action Friday night at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Little Rock Christian (7-0, 4-0 5A-Central) was playing in War Memorial for the first time since beating conference rival Pulaski Academy 52-38 last December to claim the school's first state championship.
The return trip was much easier.
The Warriors needed 33 offensive plays to amass 414 total yards and lead 49-14 at halftime.
Senior quarterback Akeem Gilmore led the first-half barrage, completing 10 of 21 passes for 298 yards and 6 touchdowns, rushing 8 times for 74 yards and catching a 34-yard touchdown pass from senior wide receiver Jackson Woodard.
Standout senior wide receiver Chris Hightower caught 5 passes for 188 yards and 4 touchdowns (51, 24, 25 and 79 yards). Woodard caught 3 passes for 82 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown with 35 seconds remaining in the first half. Junior place-kicker Isaiah Hankins followed with his seventh consecutive extra point for the 49-14 lead. Gilmore also threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to senior tailback Kendel Givens.
The Warriors, who never trailed, scored touchdowns on their first six possessions (the first three were passes from Gilmore to Hightower) before the seventh stalled following a pass interference penalty. Gilmore capped the next possession with his sixth touchdown pass. The half ended with Gilmore taking a knee -- Little Rock Christian's only negative-yardage play in the first half.
"Akeem, hat's off to him, he did a great job," Warriors Coach Eric Cohu said after Little Rock Christian extended its winning streak to a school-record 16 games. "Chris Hightower and several of our receivers had some big plays. Offensive line protected well. That was huge. Kind of set the pace early. Offensively, we had one of our best first halves of the year."
Parkview (3-4, 1-3) was led by junior quarterback Landon Rogers, who completed 11 of 26 passes for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rogers also rushed 12 times for 63 yards and a 1-yard touchdown to make it 7-7 with 8:16 remaining in the first quarter.
But Gilmore followed with touchdown passes of 24 and 25 yards to Hightower and caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Woodard to give the Warriors a commanding 28-7 lead with 1:52 remaining in the first quarter.
"With them loading the box up, we have to kind of take what the other team is willing to give us," Cohu said. "With them doing that, we definitely had to come out and throw the ball."
Sports on 10/19/2019
Print Headline: Gilmore tosses six TDs; Warriors' streak now 16