North Little Rock Coach J.R. Eldridge has wanted his team to get off to a fast start all season long.
In the Charging Wildcats' sixth game of 2020, they heeded their coach's wish.
North Little Rock scored 28 first-quarter points on its way to a 49-10 rout of Little Rock Catholic in 7A-Central action Friday night at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
"I felt like our offense was extremely prepared," said Eldridge, whose team was playing its first game since Oct. 2 after having its Oct. 9 game against Little Rock Southwest canceled because of Southwest's covid-19 issues. "Our defense was extremely prepared. Our special teams executed.
"I felt like our players did what we asked them to do during the bye week to prepare mentally and physically for this game."
Little Rock Catholic John Fogleman said the Rockets had no answers for the Charging Wildcats' physicality.
"They're a really good football team," Fogleman said. "Bottom line, you cannot spot somebody in this conference 28 points."
Senior quarterback Kareame Cotton led North Little Rock (6-0, 3-0), completing 12 of 18 passes for 274 yards with 3 touchdowns. He also rushed for 49 yards and a score on three carries.
Wide receiver Chris Jefferson, a senior, had 6 receptions for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Charging Wildcats. Sophomore running back Torrance Moore accounted for three touchdowns, including two on the ground.
The Charging Wildcats, who outgained the Rockets 426-212, scored on their first four possessions to take a 28-0 lead by the 1:01 mark of the first quarter.
North Little Rock took a 7-0 lead with 10:36 left in the first quarter on Cotton's 30-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson.
With 7:24 left in the first quarter, North Little Rock made it 14-0 on senior running back Aaron Sims' 2-yard touchdown run.
The defense also got involved for North Little Rock in the first quarter.
Senior defensive back Ricky Reed intercepted Catholic senior quarterback Will Bowman at midfield to give the Charging Wildcats the ball back.
Then, with 3:39 remaining in the first quarter, Moore scored from 8 yards out to push NLR's lead to 21-0 Reed's second interception of Bowman in the quarter set up Cotton's 50-yard touchdown pass to Moore to make it 28-0 at 1:01 mark of the first quarter.
The Rockets got on the board with senior Paul Owens' 28-yard field goal that pulled them within 28-3 with 11:11 left in the second quarter. It was set up by senior John Henry Duce's 94-yard kickoff return.
North Little Rock continued to roll in the second half.
Cotton threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson and he had a 51-yard touchdown run to stretch the Charging Wildcats' lead to 42-3 with 6:46 left in the third quarter.
For the Rockets (2-5, 0-4), Bowman finished 15-of-22 passing for 104 yards and 2 interceptions.
Senior running back Brandon Bisceglia had a 3-yard rushing touchdown.
Despite the victory, North Little Rock was penalized 15 times for 130 yards. That's an area that Eldridge wants to see cleaned up before the Charging Wildcats travel to Fort Smith Northside on Friday.
"There's so many things that we'll see on film that we'll have to correct," Eldridge said. "We've got to correct those things, so we'll get better."