The Conway Wampus Cats made the Central Tigers look like cubs in Conway’s 45-3 win Friday at John McConnell Stadium.
The Wampus Cats (6-2, 4-1 7A Central) did most of their damage on the ground throughout the game, scoring its first three touchdowns on the night.
The first came on the opening drive of the night from 5 yards out by running back Michael George.George added a second rushing touchdown from 20 yards out with 4:36 left in the first quarter, making the score 14-0.George finished the first quarter with 135 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. He ended the night with 170 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought we ran the ball well early and that opened up some things on the play-action,” coach Clint Ashcraft said. “We used play action quite a bit in the second quarter. Those things feed off of each other and that really helped us.”
After stopping Conway’s next drive, Central (2-6, 1-4 7A Central) looked to reverse its fortunes by scoring a touchdown, driving within 10 yards of a touchdown.However, the Wampus Cat defense stopped the Tigers at Conway’s 4.This set up a 21-yard field goal by Keeling Baker with 8:31 left in the second quarter. This would be the only points Central would score all night.
Conway would not be denied a third scoring opportunity when it faced a fourth-and-one at its 47.Running back Brennan Clark broke for a 53-yard touchdown, making the score 21-3.
After another defensive stop, the Wampus Cats were faced with a short field, so they threw the ball for just the third time in the game.Quarterback Andrew Hreha ended the three-play drive with a 30-yard wheel route to George, making the score 28-3 with 1:59 left in the half.
Again, the Conway defense showed up on the opening drive of the second half when safety Jackson Freeman picked off quarterback Donald Robinson at the 27 for a pick-6.
The Wampus Cats once again forced a turnover on the Tigers’ next drive, causing Robinson to fumble, which Conway safety Matt Lloyd recovered. Getting into the backfield seemed like a theme for the Wampus Cats, which forced Central quarterback Jacob Howard from the game.
“We were able to make the quarterback to move around a bit, which is always good for your secondary,” Ashcraft said of the Conway defense. “Their quarterback ended up getting hurt, which in turn, hurt them. I thought our guys played really physical.”
Conway then drove down to the 4, where Jordan Wicks made a 21-yard field goal, putting the game under a running clock with 7:31 left in the third quarter.
Ashcraft sent in the second stringers, who added another touchdown on a 2-yard run by running back Giovanni King.
With two games left in the regular season, the Wampus Cats will travel to Catholic before facing Bryant at home, which will hold playoff seeding implications.