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PREP FOOTBALL: North Little Rock to get good test vs. Conway

by Sam Lane | September 28, 2022 at 2:51 a.m.
Football on the Field / Getty Images

September's coming to an end, temperatures are finally starting to come down and conference play has just begun in Arkansas high school football.

Last Friday marked the first week with all classifications playing conference games, and it didn't disappoint.

There was a record-setting shootout in Hackett, a last-second win in Batesville and an overtime win in Beebe.

This week is sure to have no shortage of interesting matchups and results, one of those should take place in Conway when North Little Rock comes to town.

The No. 2 Wampus Cats (4-0, 1-0 7A-Central) opened their season with a win over then-No. 3 Bentonville and have rattled off three 30-plus point wins.

North Little Rock (2-2, 1-0) got off to a slow start, losing its first two games. But the Charging Wildcats are riding a two-game winning streak with an overtime victory over Little Rock Parkview and a 53-8 win over Little Rock Central.

Conway presents easily the best offense North Little Rock has faced yet, led by quarterback Donovyn Omolo.

The Wampus Cats are scoring 50 points per game this season, scoring 63 in their last game and it all starts with Omolo. The junior has passed for 931 yards and 10 touchdowns so far, mostly sitting the second half of games.

North Little Rock is 1-2 against Class 7A teams this season and Friday's matchup should be a good test against one of the classifications elite. Conway 35, North Little Rock 16.

Fayetteville (3-1, 1-0 7A-West) at Rogers (4-0, 1-0) The Mountaineers are the lone 7A-West team that stands undefeated, and they are one of three remaining in Class 7A. ... Rogers is averaging 46.3 points per game. ... Fayetteville presents one of the state's top passing attacks with quarterback Drake Lindsey and wide receivers Kaylon Morris, Lach McKinney and Jaison DeLamar. Fayetteville 38, Rogers 27.

Benton (2-2, 6A-East 2-1) at Marion (3-1, 3-0) These two opened the season with losses but are 5-1 since then. ... This is a rematch of the second round of the 2021 Class 6A playoffs where Marion upset the higher seed 59-37. ... Marion's defense (17.5 ppg) will look to contain a Benton offense (42.7 ppg) that has found plenty of success over its last three games. Benton 38, Marion 31.

West Memphis (4-0, 3-0 6A-East) at Little Rock Catholic (4-0, 3-0) This is the first meeting between these two since West Memphis won 33-27 in the first round of the 2004 Class 5A playoffs. ... They are allowing 16.3 and 14.3 per game respectively. ... Little Rock Catholic quarterback Sam Sanders has passed for six touchdowns and rushed for seven scores in four games. Little Rock Catholic 35, West Memphis 18.

Beebe (4-1, 2-1 5A-Central) at Pine Bluff (3-1, 2-1) 2017 was the last time either of these teams had a winning season (Pine Bluff went 11-2). ... The Zebras are holding opponents to 14.5 points per game, the Badgers are holding opponents to 17.4 ppg. ... The Pine Bluff wide receiver duo of Austyn Dendy and Courtney Crutchfield have combined for 744 yards and 11 touchdowns. Pine Bluff 28, Beebe 14.

Vilonia (1-3, 1-1 5A-Central) at Joe T. Robinson (3-1, 2-0) The Senators have been a top-three team in Class 5A all season, with their lone loss coming to Class 6A's Pulaski Academy. ... The Senators, led by running back Noah Freeman, are averaging 43 points per game -- the third-best mark in 5A. ... Vilonia quarterback Wesley McKissack is averaging 308 yards per game. Joe T. Robinson 49, Vilonia 31.

Southside Batesville (3-1, 1-0 5A-East) at Wynne (3-1, 1-0) The top defense in Class 5A is visiting the fourth-highest scoring offense in the classification. ... The Southerners have held opponents to 8.5 points per game with two shutout victories. ... The Yellowjackets are scoring 39.8 points. ... Wynne is playing its first home game since Aug. 26, a 21-10 win over Marion. Wynne 35, Southside Batesville 27.

Alma (4-0, 1-0 5A-West) at Farmington (2-2, 0-1) The Cardinals will be without quarterback Cam Vanzant for the majority of conference play as he had surgery last week. ... Alma has relied on a stout defense (13.5 ppg) and quarterback Joe Trusty to lead the Airedales to their first 4-0 start since 2004. Alma 24, Farmington 12.

Harding Academy (4-0, 1-0 4A-2) at Lonoke (3-1, 1-0) These are the two highest-scoring offenses in Class 4A. ... Lonoke's offense is averaging 47.5 points per game, and Harding Academy is averaging 45.3 ppg. ... Both teams are holding opponents under 20 points per game. ... Harding Academy quarterback Owen Miller has completed 93 of 112 passes for an 83% completion percentage. Harding Academy 51, Lonoke 42.

Pocahontas (3-1, 1-0 4A-3) at Gosnell (4-0, 1-0) Gosnell has won nine of the 16 matchups between these schools since they became conference foes in 2006. ... Pocahontas has won the last three meetings. ... Pocahontas quarterback Connor Baker totalled 111 passing yards, 278 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on offense in its win over Rivercrest last week. Pocahontas 28, Gosnell 24.

Lamar (4-0, 2-0 4A-4) at Benton Harmony Grove (5-0, 3-0) This is the first meeting between these teams this century. ... The Cardinals have already put together their most wins since 2018 with five. ... Lamar's defense is holding opponents to 11.8 points per game. ... Benton Harmony Grove's is allowing 13 points per game. Benton Harmony Grove 23, Lamar 17.

McGehee (2-1, 2-1 4A-8) at Star City (4-1, 2-1) Both teams are coming off their first losses of the year. ... This is the teams' first meeting since 2011. ... McGehee rushed for an average of 384 yards in its two wins, holding their opponents to 37 combined rushing yards in those two games. ... Star City's defense has held opponents to 19.4 points per game. Star City 34, McGehee 28.

West Fork (3-1, 0-1 3A-1) at Booneville (3-1, 1-0) This is the first meeting between these teams since 2019. ... Booneville has won the previous five matchups. ... Booneville is averaging 40 points per game. ... West Fork is allowing 9.5 per game. Booneville totalled 667 yards of offense in its 75-46 win over Hackett last week. Booneville 51, West Fork 24.

Melbourne (4-0, 0-0 3A-2) at Yellville-Summit (4-1, 0-1) Melbourne features a pair of 300-yard receivers in Carter Bray and Grant Wren. ... Grant's brother Trey is averaging 263 yards per game passing. ... Yellville-Summit averaged 46.3 points per game in nonconference, but was held to six points last week.. Melbourne 31, Yellville-Summit 12.

Episcopal Collegiate (3-1, 0-0 2A-4) at Carlisle (4-0, 1-0) Carlisle has the second-highest scoring offense (50 ppg) in the state and its defense leads the state with 1.5 points allowed per game. ... This one features two of Class 2A's premier running backs in Episcopal Collegiate's Kollin Robinson and Carlisle's Jason Sullivan. ... Robinson has rushed for 455 yards and six touchdowns. ... Sullivan has rushed for 690 yards and 14 touchdowns. Carlisle 42, Episcopal Collegiate 24.

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