BRYANT -- Bryant locked up the No. 2 seed from the 7A-Central Conference by locking down Conway on Friday night.
The Hornets' defense kept the Wampus Cats bottled up for most of the night while the offense generated more than 500 yards in coasting to a 40-10 victory in the regular-season finale at Hornet Stadium.
Latavion Scott rushed 21 times for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns for Bryant (8-2, 6-1), which led just 12-3 at halftime but used a 21-point outburst at the start of the second half to bust the game open. Ahmad Adams added 113 yards rushing on 9 carries and scored twice. Quarterback Austin Ledbetter came on in relief of starter Ren Hefley in the second quarter and went 5-of-13 passing for 105 yards.
The victory also gave Bryant a first-round bye when the Class 7A state playoffs begin next week. Conway is the league's No. 3 seed and will host Rogers in the first round.
"I thought we played a little flat in the first quarter but really picked it up as we went along," Bryant Coach Buck James said. "I felt like our offensive line really took over in the second half, and we ran the ball well. But our defense played great the whole ballgame."
Conway (8-2, 5-2) came in averaging nearly 40 points per game over its past four contests but never got into any kind of offensive groove against a Bryant defense that attacked from the start. The Hornets pressured Wampus Cats quarterback Jovoni Johnson almost every time he dropped back to pass and eventually sacked him five times. The senior ended the game 10 of 23 for 88 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception and ran 21 times for 47 yards.
Bryant also held Conway's leading rusher, Cary McClain, to just 34 yards on 10 carries. The Wampus Cats finished with 300 yards of offense, but more than half of that yardage was generated after the game was put out of reach.
Scott scored on a 24-yard touchdown run on Bryant's opening possession and added an 18-yard score with 1:12 left in the second quarter to help the Hornets build their 9-point halftime lead. But Bryant scored three touchdowns over an 8-minute stretch in the third quarter to take over.
Scott started the surge with a 1-yard score with 9:56 left in the period before linebacker Jakob Neel picked off a Johnson pass on Conway's following series and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. After Conway turned the ball over on downs on its next trip, Adams finished off a quick 3-play, 53-yard march with a 29-yard score to put the Hornets up 33-3.
Johnson tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Nick Richmond to get Conway within 33-10, but Adams closed the door on any thoughts of a Wampus Cats' rally with a 49-yard score with 11:14 remaining in the game.
Bryant running back Ahmad Adams (35) breaks away from Conway defensive back Malik Benton (2) and into the open field during Friday night’s game at Bryant.
Sports on 11/03/2018
Print Headline: Bryant ties up Conway, coasts to victory in finale