By North Little Rock’s extremely high standards, it was a bit of a defensive letdown last Friday night against long-time rival Little Rock Central.
Going into the game, the defensive unit had allowed minus 9 yards rushing in each of the two previous wins. So against Central, they gave up minus 6 yards rushing to the Tigers, while also scoring two defensive touchdowns in a runaway, 35-6, win to open up 7A-Central conference play.
September 25th 2021
So, as a team, North Little Rock has allowed minus 24 yards rushing in the last three games, which, frankly, is bananas.
The stellar defensive effort plus the steady hand of junior quarterback Malachi Gober along with exceptional special teams effort has resulted in a North Little Rock team that is 4-0.
Gober was an efficient 13 of 24 for 161 yards and a touchdown in the win. The junior has now passed for 658 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Johnny Lewis was the team’s leading receiver with five catches for 101 yards and the touchdown.
It was Gober to Lewis for 18 yards and the score, to get the party started for North Little Rock midway through the first quarter to cap a 10-play, start of the game drive.
On the game’s next offensive play, North Little Rock’s Marcus Stovall crashed through the line to get a sack and cause a fumble that was Davian Vayson and turned into a scoop and score to put that ‘Cats up 14-0.
On Central’s next possession, it was Vayson who caused a fumble that was recovered by Marquis Roberts and on the final drive of the first quarter, North Little Rock recovered yet another Central fumble.
The offense stepped up in the second quarter when a trick play resulted in a touchdown thrown by Corey Henderson to Jiquori Stewart for seven yards. The play was after Stewart had returned a punt 32 yards and with 1:37 remaining in the half, Javonte Harris went in from four yards out to put North Little Rock up, 28-0.
North Little Rock’s last touchdown of the night came with 6:02 left in the third quarter as Omar Anderson intercepted a Central pass and returned it for the score.
Kicker Devin Jackson made the extra point and was five of five on the night.
North Little Rock forced four turnovers in the win and that effort will be needed as a 3-1 Conway team comes to town this Friday.
Conway’s one loss to Fayetteville, a team North Little Rock beat on the road earlier this season.
The Wampus Cats are coached by Keith Fimple, and the game is going to be a big one as RockTownSports.media has it has the 7A Game of the Week and so does Hootens.com as it is also their Game of the Week in 7A.
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Play of the game: Pick any North Little Rock defender. A defensive unit that allows minus six yards rushing is a group effort.
Player of the game: Omar Anderson’s interception for a touchdown and Davian Vayson’s fumble return for a touchdown were both defensive scores and big efforts.
September 27th 2021
What’s next: North Little Rock (4-0) hosts Conway (3-1) this Friday.
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
Friday, Oct. 1: Conway at North Little Rock
Friday, Oct. 8: North Little Rock at Little Rock Southwest
Friday, Oct. 15: Little Rock Catholic at North Little Rock
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 standingsSchool ... Conf. ... OverallCabot ... 1-0 ... 4-0North Little Rock ... 1-0 ... 4-0Bryant ... 1-0 ... 3-1Conway ... 1-0 ... 3-1Fort Smith Northside ... 0-1 ... 3-1Little Rock Catholic ... 0-1 ... 0-4Little Rock Central ... 0-1 ... 0-4Little Rock Southwest ... 0-1 ... 1-3**Win by forfeit
Carlos Gordon, Arkansas Tech
Tobias Enlow, Central Arkansas
Dwain Hunt, Central Arkansas
Jaden Salley, Central Arkansas
Dennis Carroll, Harding
Frederick O’Donald, Henderson State
Jordan Owens, Henderson State
Mason Carlan, Air Force
Slayten Clark, Dodge City Community College (Kansas)
Chris Jefferson, Dodge City Community College (Kansas)
Damon Ball, Jackson State University
Drew Martin, Memphis
Brandon Thomas, Memphis
Tony Collier, New Mexico
Oscar Addaway, North Texas State
David Chapple, North Texas State
Kareame Cotton, Northwestern State
Jaylon Glosson, Northwestern State
Erin Smith, SMU
K.J. Hill, L.A. Chargers
Martrell Spaight, Mass. Pirates (Indoor football league)
Have any additions to this list? Email us at Arkansas@substack.com
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