Football: North on North action as 'Cats host Fort Smith Northside this Friday

As expected, North Little Rock took care of business and beat winless Little Rock Catholic, 42-7, last Friday, but the competition gets better this week as Fort Smith Northside rolls into town for a key 7A-Central matchup.

Northside enters the game 6-2 overall but 2-2 in conference play while North Little Rock is a notch ahead in the conference standings with a 3-1 mark there and 6-1 overall with three games remaining in the regular season.

But, and a big but, North Little Rock’s final two games are on the road and at Bryant and Cabot.

North Little Rock is guaranteed a playoff spot this year with the top six teams in the eight team league getting in and it is worth nothing that the bottom three teams in the league are all currently winless. So what’s important about this coming week’s game is the winner will likely be the league’s No. 4 seed, while the loser goes to No. 5.

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 Catholic it was North Little Rock’s big three of Malachi Gober, Torrance Moore and Jiquori Stewart who delivered the ‘Cats a win.

Gober, North Little Rock’s quarterback, passed for 213 yards and three touchdowns on a 17 for 35 night and his primary target was Stewart, who had two of those touchdowns receiving with 121 yards on six catches. Gober's final touchdown was a one-yard pass to Johnny Lewis. Moore, a running back, rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Javonte Harris didn't score a touchdown but did rush for 117 yards on just nine carries and Felix Wade added the final rushing touchdown.

The defense again delivered a big night as Josh Thower returned an interception for a touchdown as the 'Cats allowed just 12 yards rushing by the ignition-less Rockets ground game.

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North Little Rock 42, Southwest 7 | Game Sketch

  • Play of the game: North Little Rock’s Josh Thower dazzled on defense with a 27-yard interception return for a pick-six in the third quarter that put Little Rock Catholic away.

  • Player of the game: Quarterback Malachi Gober passed for 213 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Gober also passed the 1,000 yard passing mark in the game and now has 1,122 yards this season.

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

  • What’s next: North Little Rock (6-1) hosts Fort Smith Northside (6-2) 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: Fort Smith Northside at North Little Rock

  • 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 ... 4-0 ... 6-1
Conway ... 4-0 ... 6-1
Cabot ... 3-1 ... 6-1
North Little Rock ... 3-1 ... 6-1
Fort Smith Northside ... 2-2 ... 6-2
Little Rock Catholic ... 0-4 ... 0-7
Little Rock Central ... 0-4 ... 0-7
Little Rock Southwest ... 0-4 ... 0-7

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