Dating back to last season, close games seemed to be a theme for Conway High.
On Friday, the Wampus Cats made sure they wouldn’t play a close game against Jonesboro in a 49-18 win over the Hurricanesat John McConnell Stadium.
It didn’t take long for Conway to put points on the board, scoring on a 1-yard run by senior running back Michael George.The touchdown capped a 74-yard drive, including a 30-yard run by George and a 35-yard pass from senior quarterback Andrew Hreha to junior wide receiver Nick Richmond.
Jonesboro answered quickly on three plays, scoring on a 39-yard touchdown pass by senior quarterback Tyson Williams to junior wide receiver Tate Lutes.
However, Conway blocked the extra point, which seemed to turn the tide.
“I was real proud of how we answered after they scored,” Conway coach Clint Ashcraft said. “They answered us, and then we answered right back and kind of set the tone for the rest of the half. Our offense really did a great job. We had six possessions and six touchdowns.”
The Wampus Cats returned the favor when George ran for a 37-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter, bringing the score to 14-6.The Hurricanes drove into Conway territory, but junior running back Daniel Johnson fumbled, leading to a Conway recovery with good field position.
The Wampus Cats continued to pour on the points on long runs and passes.
Conway scored on every possession of the first half, going six for six, and increasing its lead to 42-6 by halftime.
The deficit lead to a continually running clock in the second half by Arkansas Activities Association’s mercy rule.
In the second half, Jonesboro scored on its first two possessions, but it was too little too late.
Because of the blocked extra point and two failed two-point conversions, the Hurricanes left five points on the board.
Throughout the game, Conway’s offensive line opened holes for the running game, which helped George run for three touchdowns. The linemen also gave Hreha, who threw three touchdown passes, time in the pocket.
“Our offensive line played phenomenally,” Ashcraft said. “I think they were a little disappointed in themselves after last week, and came out tonight to prove they can do a better job of what they did last week. [Jonesboro] is very athletic and they’ve guys got some good looking guys up front, but I thought our offensive line played really well.”
Conway also played a relatively clean football game, minimizing penalties and turning the ball over once.
The Wampus Cats will focus their attention to Bentonville, where Conway will play Sept. 14.
“They are a good football team,” Ashcraft said about the Tigers. “They will present different problems. We just have to get in and study them this week, and come up with a good game plan. We need to go up to northwest Arkansas and play a good football game.”