GREENWOOD — The script worked so well for the Greenwood last week, the Bulldogs followed it again on Friday night.
Greenwood broke away from a tight game with four unanswered touchdowns in the second half for a 49-28 win against Conway to wrap up at least a share of the 7A/6A-Central title.
Greenwood (9-0, 6-0 7A/6A-Central) also bumped its winning streak to 33, matching Nashville for the 10th longest in Arkansas high school football history. The Bulldogs also won their 20th straight at home.
Conway piled up 219 yards in the first half behind bruiser and cruiser running back Jeff Anderson, who had 153 yards on 16 carries in the half, for a 28-21 halftime lead.
“I was just proud to come from behind, keep believing and keep hammering the rock,” Greenwood coach Jones said. “They’re so big and physical and well-coached. Our kids fought and hung in there.”
The Wampus Cats (7-1, 4-2) pounced on Drew Morgan’s fumble at Greenwood’s 30 on the opening kickoff of the second half. Anderson ran three straight times to the 5 before Morgan stripped the ball away on second and goal, the first of four costly turnovers by the Cats.
“That was a big play,” Jones said. “We would have left them in their comfort zone right then, and that’s what you don’t want a team like that to do. They would have handed it off the rest of the night and ran the clock on us. We were able to keep them out of that mode. That was unbelievable. That was a huge, huge play.”
Greenwood mounted a 16-play, 96-yard game-tying drive that took 4:48 off the clock. Greenwood methodically ground out seven first downs in the drive and converted its only two third downs before Jabe Burgess rolled right and zipped a 7-yard touchdown pass to Austin Harris with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
Two plays later, Anderson just simply dropped a handoff and Keegan Heller jumped on it to set up the Bulldogs again.
“We’ve got a chance to tie it up, and turn it over again,” Conway head coach Clint Ashcraft said. “I can’t explain it. We’ve taken good care of the ball all year. Then to come out in the second half and have those turnovers. They’re such a good team, you just can’t give them those breaks. They’re too good.”
It took just one play for Greenwood to score the go-ahead touchdown when Morgan took a reverse around the right side 40 yards with 4:29 left for a 35-28 lead.
Later, Greenwood mounted another long, time-consuming drive. The Bulldogs milked 4:20 off the clock, taking 11 plays to score on Burgess’ swing pass to Houston Kennedy, who was lined up a blocking back. Kennedy took the pass 16 yards for the score and picked up a touchdown-springing block from Jansen Stein for a 42-28 cushion.
Greenwood salted the game away with a 51-yard scamper up the middle by Morgan with 2:03 left.
Morgan finished with 16 carries for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Burgess completed 21-of-31 passes for 222 yards and four touchdowns, including two each to Harris and Kennedy.
Conway pounded Greenwood in the first half behind Anderson and had 219 yards, taking advantage of a Greenwood fumble on a punt to take a quick 7-0 lead. Brandon Cox caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in double coverage to increase Conway’s lead to 14-0 with 5:11 left in the first half.
Greenwood tied the game with touchdowns on consecutive possessions. First on Morgan’s 1-yard touchdown run and then Harris’ 23-yard pass across the middle from Burgess with 10:01 left in the first half.
Conway made the Bulldogs pay for an onside kick attempt that went just 7 yards before bouncing backwards.
Anderson reeled off a 40-yard run to the 2, and scored two plays later on a 1-yard run.
Again, Greenwood answered with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Burgess to Kennedy out of the backfield.
After sky-kicking to 30, Anderson darted 70 yards after being stopped at the line of scrimmage and bouncing outside and down the left sideline for a 28-21 lead.
The Cats, likely a No. 2 seed from in the 7A playoffs, will close the season Thursday against Little Rock Catholic at home.