Football: North Little Rock travels to Bryant this Friday after big win against Fort Smith Northside

The dust is beginning to settle in the 7A-Central Conference race.

There’s two teams tied for first in Bryant and Conway, followed by North Little Rock, then Cabot at fourth in the standings with two games remaining in the regular season.

Conveniently, all four play each other the next two weeks with North Little Rock traveling to Bryant this Friday and then that’s followed by a trip to Cabot for Week 10.

If the ‘Cats win both, the best they could do is finish second in the conference and get a first-round bye for the playoffs. A split gets them third, while losing the pair would have them at fourth.

In 7A, the top six teams from the conference make the playoffs and after beating Fort Smith Northside, 28-21, last week, that moved the ‘Cats into the top 4, with the Grizzlies at fifth. The bottom three teams in the league are Catholic, at one win, and the winless duo of Central and Southwest.

There’s some intrigue there as well. Catholic beat Southwest last week and Central gets the Gryphons this Friday. Then the Rockets and Tigers face each other in the regular season finale. The winner of that game will be the sixth seed and by making the playoffs, that would keep Catholic in 7A next season, while a loss would essentially relegate them to 6A. That assumes Central beats Southwest but that’s not guaranteed with the hapless Tigers.

The playoffs begin on Nov. 12 with the No. 4 seed playing at home, while the fifth seed will travel and, if that team won that game, they’d get a rematch with the 7A-Central conference champ.

To view the bracket, click here.

Against Northside, it was, again, Malachi Gober and Torrance Moore that keyed the ‘Cats to the win.

Gober, a junior quarterback, passed for 158 yards and two touchdowns while Moore rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Gober’s top target was Johnny Lewis, who had four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown, while the other receiving touchdown was a 61-yard bomb to Felix Wade that gave North Little Rock the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

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North Little Rock 28, Fort Smith Northside 21 | Game Sketch

  • Play of the game: North Little Rock’s Malachi Gober hit Felix Wade in stride for a 61-yard touchdown that gave the ‘Cats the lead and the eventual win.

  • Player of the gameGober passed for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the win and now has 1,280 yards this season.

  • Kicker shoutout: Kicker Devin Jackson was four of four on extra point attempts in the game.

  • What’s next: North Little Rock (7-1) travels to Bryant (7-1) this Friday.

Schedule

  • Aug. 27: North Little Rock 38, El Dorado 28 (Scrimmage)

  • Sept. 3: North Little Rock 58, Springdale Har-Ber 28

  • Sept. 10: North Little Rock 14, Fayetteville 7

  • Sept. 17: North Little Rock 41, West Memphis 0

  • Sept. 24: North Little Rock 35, Little Rock Central 6

  • Oct. 1: Conway 38, North Little Rock 10

  • Oct. 8: North Little Rock 62, Little Rock Southwest 14

  • Friday, Oct. 15: North Little Rock 42, Little Rock Catholic 7

  • Friday, Oct. 22: North Little Rock 28, Fort Smith Northside 21

  • Friday, Oct. 29: North Little Rock at Bryant

  • Friday, Nov. 5: North Little Rock at Cabot

    All games kickoff at 7 p.m. unless noted

7A-Central standings

School ... Conf. ... Overall
Bryant ... 5-0 ... 7-1
Conway ... 5-0 ... 7-1
North Little Rock ... 4-1 ... 7-1
Cabot ... 3-2 ... 6-2
Fort Smith Northside ... 2-3 ... 6-3
Little Rock Catholic ... 1-4 ... 1-7
Little Rock Central ... 0-5 ... 0-8
Little Rock Southwest ... 0-5 ... 0-8

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