Defending Class 7A state champion North Little Rock scored touchdowns on all seven first-half possessions in a 49-27 victory over Fort Smith Southside on Friday night at North Little Rock Stadium.
The Charging Wildcats (6-0, 3-0 7A-Central) stretched their regular-season winning streak to 32 games and conference winning streak to 23 before a large homecoming crowd that thinned considerably after North Little Rock built a 49-14 halftime lead.
North Little Rock amassed 463 total yards (282 rushing and 181 passing) on just 36 first-half plays, scoring on drives of 80, 82, 70, 25, 91, 67 and 58 yards.
"We're playing at a high level on offense," said North Little Rock Coach Jamie Mitchell, who began pulling offensive starters late in the first half. "They've got some playmakers and made some plays. But it was a good win, good to get it past us and get to 3-0 in the conference."
Senior fullback Tyler Day ran 9 times for 126 yards and 3 touchdowns (7, 4 and 43 yards). Junior tailback Brandon Thomas ran 7 times for 116 yards and 1 touchdown (25 yards). Senior tailback Oscar Adaway recovered fumble a fumble in the end zone for another touchdown.
Sophomore quarterback Kareame Cotton completed 7 of 10 passes for 181 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown to senior tight end Drew Martin with 7:28 left in the first half. Cotton ran 2 yards for another score.
Following Cotton's touchdown run with 21 seconds remaining in the first half, junior Ethan Lee kicked his seventh consecutive extra point for a 49-14 lead.
Southside (3-3, 1-2) was led by senior quarterback Taye Gatewood, who completed 14 of 31 passes for 235 yards and 4 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Tyrese Solomon had 6 receptions for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns (73 and 15 yards).
Southside trailed 14-6 after one quarter, but North Little Rock quickly pulled away after Day ran 4 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. The lead grew to 42-14 after Day ran 43 yards for a touchdown with 5:19 remaining in the first half.
"They're very explosive and physical," Mavericks Coach Jeff Williams said. "They've got a great football team. I thought we had some shots offensively in the first half. But when you play a team as good as North Little Rock, you've got to be able to connect on them and we didn't do it."
Sports on 10/06/2018
Print Headline: NLR starts fast, dumps Southside