By WALTER WOODIE
Special to the Log Cabin
VAN BUREN — The Conway Wampus Cats rebounded from their lone 7A/6A-Central Conference loss with a 47-20 thumping of Van Buren on Friday night at Blakemore Field.
The Cats, still stinging from a last-second loss to Bryant, blew out to a 33-0 halftime lead and cruised to the east win and improve to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
"I didn’t have our team ready to play and that comes back on me," Van Buren coach Brooks Coatney said. "We lost the game in the first quarter. Conway is a good football team but the bottom line is that we didn’t have them ready to play."
Quarterback Tyler Langley was an efficient 18-of-26 passing for 312 yards and two scores for the Wampus Cats (6-2, 4-1).
"Early in the game, we noticed that we had single coverage on the edge and Tyler was able to make some plays," Conway coach Clint Ashcraft said. "Right now (receiver Brandon) Cox and Tyler have a good thing going. They work well together and hopefully we can keep that going."
Also, running back Cordarius Irby scored three touchdowns and Brandon Cox had 166 receiving yards and returned a punt for a touchdown.
"They have a lot of weapons and give them credit because they get the ball to them," Coatney said. "They were making plays to convert on third down. When they are throwing and catching the ball like they did tonight, they will be a hard team to beat."
Despite the early Wampus Cat onslaught, the Pointers (3-5, 1-4) fought back to get to within 33-20 one play into the fourth quarter. But Conway answered with a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped by a Langley 13-yard pass to Rashad Shepherd with 8:48 to regain control of the game at 40-20.
"We struggle to play for four full quarters," Ashcraft said. "We played three good quarters. Give Van Buren credit for fighting back, but mentally, we were not in it (in the third quarter)."
Trailing 33-0, the Pointers got to within 33-20 on Jacob Eason’s 11-yard toss to Jacob Jenkins to start the final period.
In the third period, Van Buren got an Eason pass to William Walton for an 18-yard touchdown and a 1-yard run from Marshall Newby to get back into the game.
Eason finished with 99 yards rushing and passed for 162 yards and two scores.
"If you saw how we played in the second half, we executed better and I was proud of that," Coatney added.
In the first half, Langley torched the Pointer secondary. After an interception on his first pass of the game, Langley then connected on 10 of his next 12 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown.
After pointer kicker Houston Ray was wide left on a 36-yard field goal, Conway took the lead on an 80-yard, four-play drive, capped by Irby’s 2-yard run for a 6-0 lead. Irby scored on a 38-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead with two minutes left in the opening quarter.
Conway began to blow the game open in the early seconds of the second period when Brandon Cox returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown at 11:37 for a 20-0 lead.