FAYETTEVILLE -- Darius Bowers threw five touchdown passes and Connor Flannigan set school receiving records, but special teams came up with the play of the game during Fayetteville's 45-17 victory against Little Rock Catholic at Harmon Field on Friday.
After the Bulldogs (9-2) raced out to a 24-7 lead behind three touchdown passes by Bowers , an onside kick surprised the Rockets (5-6) and was recovered by sophomore Sebastian Rodriquez at the Catholic 43.
FAYETTEVILLE 45, LITTLE ROCK CATHOLIC 17
LR Catholic 0 10 7 0 – 17
Fayetteville 21 17 7 0 – 45
Fay – Flannigan 36 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 11:13
Fay – Stuckey 53 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 7:55
Fay – Flannigan 4 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 3:36
LRC – Cobb 13 pass from Monroe (Schneider kick), 11:52
Fay – Richardson 35 FG, 8:46
Fay – Stuckey 38 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 7:54
LRC – Schneider 35 FG, 2:38
Fay – Flannigan 13 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 1:44
Fay – Bowers 2 run (Richardson kick), 9:08
LRC – Bavon 57 pass from Monroe (Schneider kick), 6:13
Three plays later, Bowers hit Beau Stuckey with a 38-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 31-7 with 7:54 remaining in the first half.
"That was a big, big play," Little Rock Catholic Coach John Fogleman said. "We had finally held them for the first time -- to a field goal anyway, if you can call that a hold -- and that play gave them even more momentum."
Fayetteville Coach Billy Dawson and his staff noticed a tendency they exploited with their first onside kick attempt this season.
"It was good for momentum and just separation," Dawson said. "They're not a big-play team, so getting that three-score lead was big."
In the first half, Bowers connected on touchdown passes of 36, 4 and 13 yards to Flannigan, who now owns single-season school records for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Bowers' other two touchdowns went for 53 and 38 yards to Stuckey.
Dawson called the receiving duo "dynamite players." Fogleman agreed.
"They're not big, but they are fast," Fogleman said. "They run great routes and are very precise, and their quarterback is really good with his timing."
Fayetteville's defense did its part thanks to pressure at the point of attack from players such as Carson Johnson, Colman Johnson, Quade Mosier, Trindyn Meadows and Keondre Conley. The secondary chipped in with seven pass deflections and an interception by Harrington Taylor.
"We were getting our hands on them, and we caught one finally," Dawson said. "We're getting better, especially in our secondary, and defensively we've been playing a lot better these past three weeks."
Little Rock Catholic's only touchdown drive of the first half covered 38 yards in 10 plays after a long kickoff return by Samy Johnson energized the Rockets. The Rockets converted three third downs on the drive, including a conversion on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cooper Monroe to Nick Cobb to begin the second quarter.
Johnson later left the game with a leg injury and was taken for X-rays.
"I think he'll be OK. He's got a great future ahead of him," Fogleman said of Johnson.
Little Rock Catholic's other score came when Jacob Schneider connected on a 35-yard field goal to cut Fayetteville's lead to 38-10 with 2:38 remaining in the first half.
The Rockets added another score when Monroe connected with Robert Bavon for a 57-yard touchdown pass that created the final margin.
"Those kids aren't going to quit," Fogleman said. "That's the great thing about coaching at Catholic. Quality kids and quality people and a lot of great support as you can see by how many made the trip."
Sports on 11/10/2018
Print Headline: Fayetteville handles LR Catholic