North Little Rock: ‘Cats roll past Central, host Conway this Friday

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.

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 has it has the 7A Game of the Week and so does as it is also their Game of the Week in 7A.

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North Little Rock 35, Little Rock Central 6 | Game Sketch


  • 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 standings

School ... Conf. ... Overall
Cabot ... 1-0 ... 4-0
North Little Rock ... 1-0 ... 4-0
Bryant ... 1-0 ... 3-1
Conway ... 1-0 ... 3-1
Fort Smith Northside ... 0-1 ... 3-1
Little Rock Catholic ... 0-1 ... 0-4
Little Rock Central ... 0-1 ... 0-4
Little Rock Southwest ... 0-1 ... 1-3*
*Win by forfeit

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