Area teams went 2-1 in Friday playoff action as Conway and Greenbrier move on while Quitman’s season came to an end.
Looking to return to the Class 7A State Semifinals for the second straight year, the Conway Wampus Cats left little doubt as Conway advanced with a 49-0 win over the Mounties.
Rogers came out with an onside kick, which it recovered, but the drive ended with a Conway fumble recovery.
The turnover led to a 44-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Donovyn Omolo to wide receiver Manny Smith to take a 7-0 lead with 10:27 left in the first quarter.
Conway added its second touchdown of the game on an 18-yard rushing touchdown by Jayllen Chambers before Omolo made it a 21-point game with a 1-yard quarterback keeper before the end of the first quarter.
A 7-yard rushing touchdown by Jamarion “Boogie” Carr made the score 28-0 with 9:28 left to play in the first half.
Then, after a sack pinned Rogers at its 1 on fourth down, a short punt set Conway up for a 6-yard passing touchdown from Omolo to Smith to go up 35 points and the potential to enact the sportsmanship rule in the second half, which is what happened.
The Conway starters got a break in the second half as second stringers came in and added a pair of touchdowns.
Quarterback Samuel Gregg connected with wide receiver Crissten Oneal on a screen pass in which Oneal took 54 yards to the house, giving Conway a 42-0 lead with 8:12 left in the third quarter.
Conway added the finishing touches on the scoreboard with a 14-yard rushing touchdown by running back Bakari Fisher.
Conway will travel to Fayetteville next Friday after the Bulldogs scored 28 unanswered to beat Cabot 35-28 Friday.
Fayetteville beat the Wampus Cats in the first game of the season 41-24. Both teams stand in each other’s way for a chance at the state championship game.
The Greenbrier Panthers advanced in a defensive struggle of a game that saw Greenbrier win 14-0 over Wynne.
Both defenses were stout throughout the game, however, an injury to Panthers quarterback Cooper Wilcox kept the senior out for the final three quarters of the game.
With both teams scoreless in the first quarter, Wilcox connected with wide receiver Jacob Mathis on a 5-yard touchdown pass on the first play in the second quarter, but was hit as he threw it and went down.
That was the last snap he took for the rest of the game.
Then both teams’ defenses shined, while the offenses of both teams continually stalled out.
The usual high-scoring Panthers didn’t put a second score on the board until 20 seconds were left in the game.
Needing a score with time dwindling, Wynne attempted to lateral a couple times on a punt return that was received at the Yellowjackets’ 5-yard line, the ball eventually ended up in the arms of a Panther defender in the end zone to give Greenbrier its second touchdown and seal the win.
The Panthers are returning to the semifinals in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
They will take on perennial state contender Pulaski Academy, which beat Magnolia 56-25 on the road.
The Bruins remain on the road as they travel to Greenbrier.
Wanting to avenge last season’s loss that ended their playoff run a year ago, the Quitman Bulldogs once again took on East Poinsett County.
And, unfortunately for Quitman, the Bulldogs saw a similar result, falling 28-20 on the road.
It was a battle throughout as neither team gave much of an edge.
EPC took a 12-7 lead into halftime, and extended that lead to 20-7 with 11 minutes to go in the third.
However, Quitman stormed back, scoring on a 38-yard pass from Keylan Like to Greyson Ealy to pull within six.
Will Litton rushed for a 9-yard score for the Bulldogs, which made it 20-20 with 10 minutes to go in the game.
After about five minutes was shed off the clock, EPC added the final score of the game on a 10-yard touchdown pass and then a 2-point conversion.
A Quitman fumble that was recovered by EPC sealed the Bulldogs’ fate.