If there were any doubt that Conway couldn’t reach the second round of the 7A State Playoffs, that notion was quickly squashed Friday.
Hosting the three-win Mountaineers in Conway, like last year, the matchup was all about the Wampus Cats in a 49-7 win.
Conway marched into the game with its head held high and got started quickly.
The party started when junior running back Luke Bailey received the kickoff at the Wampus Cats 5 and then returned it to the Rogers 39.
After an 8-yard pass from senior quarterback Jovoni Johnson to sophomore wide receiver Bryce Bohannon and a holding penalty, senior running back Cary McClain ran through the Mountaineers defense for a 38-yard rushing touchdown.
While keeping pace may have been the plan for Rogers, Conway was having none of that when senior cornerback Randy Thomas stepped in front of a pass by Mountaineers junior quarterback Hunter Lloyd.
Thomas returned the interception to the Rogers 18, which quickly turned into another touchdown when Johnson scored from three yards out on the drive with 9:20 left on the clock in the first.
Both teams traded possessions, where the Mountaineers looked like they were lining up for an 87-yard field goal but it was how Rogers punted.
After a Conway punt, the Mountaineers threatened to score for the first time when it drove from their 17 down to the Wampus Cats 13.
Instead of kicking a field goal, Rogers attempted to convert a 4th-and-goal situation, which it failed, turning the ball over on downs.
This turned into Conway’s third touchdown of the first quarter when McClain ran for a 75-yard touchdown run with 1:15 left in the first quarter.
The Wampus Cats picked off another Lloyd pass, again by Thomas, who returned the ball to the Mountaineers 1.
Johnson scored on a rushing touchdown one play later, giving Conway a 28-0 lead with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
Rogers couldn’t muster anything on its next drive, giving the Wampus Cats the ball back at their 29.
About two minutes later, Conway scored when McClain got his third rushing touchdown of the game, this time from four yards out, leading to a 35-0 lead with 6:10 left in the first half.
Already locking up a running clock for the second half should the Mountaineers not score again, the Wampus Cats defense had to play strong.
Instead, the offense wasn’t finished scoring, pushing another rushing touchdown through on a 6-yard run by senior offensive lineman Lance Rogers, giving Conway a 42-0 lead with 3:01 left in the first half.
The Wampus Cats put its finishing touches on the game when senior running back Deonta Bennett scored on a rushing touchdown.
The Mountaineers scored a touchdown toward the end of the game on a long passing touchdown with 2:14 left in the game, leading to a 49-7 win for Conway.
With the win, the Wampus Cats travel next Friday to Bentonville West for the second round of the 7A State Playoffs.