Conway Christian capitalizes on Cross County's turnovers for victory


CONWAY -- It was a game for a while, then turnovers turned it into a mercy-rule blowout.

The Conway Christian Eagles took full advantage of each mistake by the Cross County Thunderbirds and followed junior quarterback Jacob Wood's 4 touchdown passes and 2 touchdown runs to a 53-14 victory in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs Friday night at Mission Field.

Cross County led 8-6 at the end of the first quarter but, in the second quarter, it had two lost fumbles and was intercepted twice. Christian (10-1) scored, in order, on a 1-yard run by Wood, a 33-yard pass from Wood to junior Nick Scherrey, a 45-yard pass to senior running back Luke Gates, and a 32-yard run by Wood to lead 33-8 at halftime.

"We're doing a lot of things well," Christian Coach Justin Kramer said.

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This is Kramer's first season at Christian. He was DeQueen's head football coach from 2013 through 2016. Before that, he led Little Rock Christian's football program.

"We came out fired up, but we made a lot of mistakes," Cross County Coach Tommy Wells said. "We fumbled the ball and that kills drives. We'd give them the ball on the short end of the field and they scored. They're a good football team, and we just didn't do enough to take care of business tonight."

Wood completed 9 of 13 passes for 228 yards and rushed for 82 yards on 11 carries. He said Cross County's first-quarter success demanded an adjustment.

"They were doing a good job of clogging the inside and stopping the run," Wood said. "I think they wanted us to throw the ball. We analyzed what they were doing and tried to take advantage of it."

Cross County (4-7) was led by senior running back and linebacker Kaylob Boykin, who carried 14 times for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. Boykin also scored on the two-point conversion that gave Cross County an 8-0 lead with 7:12 left in the first quarter.

Boykin's 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter put Cross County within 40-14, but a 71-yard return of the subsequent kickoff by sophomore Lawrence Wyatt led to an 11-yard touchdown pass from Wood to junior receiver Brandon Shaw.

Wood's 22-yard touchdown pass to Scherrey completed the scoring late in the third quarter.

"We're riding high right now," Wood said. "We've really come along learning Coach Kramer's offense, and I feel really good about what we have going on right now."

"It was tough for me at first this season, but we started out really slow," Kramer said. "We've added a lot to the receivers and the quarterback as far as decisions they make, and we're really pleased with the progress we've made."

Sports on 11/11/2017

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