Sandwiched by key games for Conway against Fort Smith Southside and Greenwood, little-regarded Little Rock Parkview threw a mild scare into Conway on Friday night.
At Little Rock’s Quigley Stadium, the Patriots pulled within 17-10 at halftime before the Wampus Cats (7-1, 5-0) refocused and pulled away to a 45-10 victory, setting up a showdown for the 7A/6A Central title next week.
"We came out with more intensity and focus the second half," said Conway coach Clint Ashcraft, whose defense totally shut down the Patriots the second half.
The Cats began the second half with a 75-yard drive capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Breylin Smith to Brock Mitchell.
Later, Smith and D.J. Johnson connected on their second touchdown pass of the evening and Kevin Chamorro added his second touchdown run. Demontrez Franklin scored the final touchdown for Conway.
Matt Cummins booted a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter.
The Cats host unbeaten Greenwood next week. The Bulldogs survived a challenge by Southside, winning 45-42 Friday night.
The night was as successful for the four other county teams.
HARDING ACADEMY 45 MAYFLOWER 21
At Mayflower, the defending state 3A champion Wildcats (8-0, 5-0) won their 36th straight conference game in impressive fashion, pretty much knocking the Eagles (5-3, 3-2) from the conference title chase.
Sophomore quarterback Alex Francis threw two touchdown passes in the final three minutes of the first half to spark the Wildcats to a 21-7 halftime lead.
Francis then began the second half with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Carter Burks and a 56-yard pass to Kohl Blickenstaff as the Wildcats pulled away. Francis passed for more than 450 yards ad Blickenstaff caught three touchdown passes.
Adam Dycus passed 70 yards to Josh Woodham and 26 to Justin Bailey for Mayflower touchdowns.
ALMA 40, VILONIA 7
At Alma, the Airedales remained undefeated atop 5A-West with the 40-7 victory that turned sour quick for the Eagles, who fell to 2-6, 2-3.
Kent Madden’s 5-yard scoring run gave Vilonia an early 7-0 lead. After Alma scored, it turned an interception into a touchdown, then expanded the lead to 20-7 at the half. The Airedales dominated the second half taking the 40-7 lead in the third quarter.
CUTTER MORNING STAR 25, CCS 14
At Mission Field, Cutter Morning Star scored 19 straight points and went to 3-1 in 5-2A with the 25-14 victory over Conway Christian, which fell to 4-4 and into the middle of the pack in the conference race.
Cutter Morning Star limited CCS to 125 yards passing and intercepted the Eagles three times, one that was returned 37 yards for a touchdown that clinched the victory in the fourth quarter.
Jakob Henry passed 25 yards to Casey Roark and 30 yards to Chandler Ferrand for first-half touchdowns for the Eagles, who were shut out the second half.
Ferrand rushed 19 times for 109 yards. Cutter Morning Star rushed for 210 yards and had 299 yards of offense.
SHILOH CHRISTIAN 42 GREENBRIER 25
At Springdale, Shiloh Christian knocked Greenbrier to the middle of the pack in the 5A West race with a 42-25 victory.
The Panthers, the defending conference champions, fell to 3-5 and 2-3 in conference.