The 7A Central, arguably the top conference in all of Arkansas, has lived up to expectations at the midway point of the season one week into conference play: 3-time defending state champion Bryant, Cabot, Conway, North Little Rock, and sneaky Fort Smith Northside have combined for an overall record of 17-3.
This Friday night will be our Game of the Week featuring the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats and the Conway Wampus Cats at Charging Wildcat Stadium. North Little Rock (4-0, 1-0) has outscored it’s opponents 148-41 and has been the top defensive unit in the state allowing 7 points or less in 3 out of 4 games holding opponents to just 178 total yards per game. In a 35-6 victory over Little Rock Central last week, the Charging Wildcats forced 5 turnovers–two of those returned for touchdowns–and sacked the quarterback 9 times limiting the Tigers to just 9 total yards. They have forced 11 total turnovers on the season.
The Charging Wildcats are up against a Conway offense putting up 46 points per game. The Wampus Cats (3-1, 1-0) had to replace one of the better quarterback-wide receiver tandems in the state from last season in Ben Weese and Bryce Bohanon, but sophomore Donovyn Omolo has filled that role nicely taking over at QB with talented players such as UCA commit Manny Smith, Jamarion “Boogie” Carr, and West Boudreaux to work with. On the season, Omolo has completed 60 of his 110 passes for 903 yards and boasts a fantastic 9 to 1 TD/INT ratio. He was honored as one of our Rock Town Central Arkansas Players of the Week back in Week 2.
Conway did not have an easy start to the season having to play the two top teams out of the 7A West, defeating Bentonville 55-41 in a Week 1 thriller and falling to Fayetteville 41-24 whom North Little Rock defeated two weeks later in a 14-7 defensive battle. Junior defensive back Quadrell Wilson has been a key playmaker on defense for the Wampus Cats with three interceptions so far this year, including a pick-6 from 50 yards out against Bentonville. Ashton Waller, who had 5 interceptions as a junior last season, returned a game-sealing fumble 49 yards to secure the win against Bentonville.
All four playoff semifinalists in Class 7A last season hailed from the Central conference and I do not believe many would be surprised if that happens again this year. The premier match-ups are upon us in the back-half of the season and with FS Northside in the mix along with the previously mentioned four teams at the beginning, it’s time to buckle up and get ready for a wild ride that begins Friday night in North Little Rock.
Article published by Kyle Sutherland, @k_sutherlandHTP on Twitter