Rockets find way, rip Bears

Posted: September 1, 2018 at 2:52 a.m.

Little Rock Catholic wide receiver Nathan Johnson (9) makes a catch against Sylvan Hills defensive back Khalil Muhammad during the Rockets’ 20-2 victory over the Bears on Friday. For more high school football photos, visit arkansasonline.com/galleries.

Little Rock Catholic wide receiver Nathan Johnson (9) makes a catch against Sylvan Hills defensive back Khalil Muhammad during the Rockets’ 20-2 victory over the Bears on Friday. For more high school football photos, visit arkansasonline.com/galleries.

LR CATHOLIC 20, SYLVAN HILLS 2

On a night when a normally potent Little Rock Catholic running game was slowed by Sylvan Hills' swarming defense, the Rockets found other opportunities, scoring on a safety, a field goal and a pass to take a 20-2 victory over the Bears on Friday night in Sherwood.

"They are a good ball club. We knew they were going to be excited after a big win last week," Catholic Coach John Fogleman said. "We were fortunate in that we had two big pass plays on one series."

Catholic senior Sami Johnson carried the ball 34 times for 94 yards, but Fogleman said things could have been better.

"He got a lot of the yards on his own, but we will work on our bl0cking," he said. "We have some young guys and they will get better."

Catholic were driving early on runs of 9 and 16 yards by Johnson, but a bad snap to quarterback Cooper Malone put the ball in the Bears' hands.

Sylvan Hills began moving the ball, picking up yards on runs by quarterback Nathaniel Floyd and running back Chris Adams.

The Bears had a first down at the 18 before the drive stalled. A field-goal attempt by Tito Mendoza was wide left.

The Rockets stalled on their next drive and gave up a fourth-down safety on another bad snap with 1:46 left in the first quarter. But Catholic forced a punt on the Bears' next possession, giving the Rockets a first down to start the second quarter at their 34.

On third and 10, Monroe passed deep down the right side to Nathan Johnson for 32 yards and a first down at the Sylvan Hills 34.

Runs by Johnson and Malone gained little. On fourth-and-8, Malone passed to Robert Bavon for a touchdown with 9:46 remaining in the half.

After a Sylvan Hills possession stalled on an incomplete pass in the end zone, Catholic moved methodically down the field thanks to 8 runs by Johnson for 16 yards and the passing and running of Malone. The Rockets took a 10-2 lead on a 24-yard field goal by Zac Taylor as the half ended.

The only scoring in the third quarter was a 25-yard field goal by Catholic's Jacob Schneider with 3:30 to play in the quarter and a 13-2 lead.

Catholic put the ball in Johnson's hands in the fourth quarter and he responded with a 2-yard scoring run after carrying eight times on a 10-play drive. The big play on the drive was a 27-yard scramble by Malone. Johnson scored with 8:46 remaining, pushing the margin to 20-2.

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Sports on 09/01/2018