Conway shows balance in rout

CONWAY -- No Michael George, no problem for Conway.

Junior quarterback Andrew Hreha completed 12 of 25 passes for 236 yards and 4 touchdowns in Conway's 41-14 victory over Rogers in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs Friday night at John McConnell Stadium.

Conway (8-3) is at Bentonville West in a quarterfinal game next Thursday night.

Conway, which never trailed, led 31-6 at halftime and finished with 506 total yards -- almost evenly split between rushing (248) and passing (258).

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In the absence of George, a senior who had rushed for 1,781 yards this fall before suffering an ankle injury last week against Bryant, junior Cary McClain (89) and senior Brennan Clark (84) combined for 173 yards against Rogers.

"Just next man up," Wampus Cats Coach Clint Ashcraft said, adding he isn't sure if George will play against Bentonville West. "That's got to be our mentality. I thought Brennan and Cary both did a good job. Then a couple of our young running backs did good there late."

Rogers (5-6) was led by sophomore quarterback Hunter Loyd, who completed 17 of 37 passes for 167 yards and 5-yard second-quarter touchdown. Loyd also ran for a 1-yard touchdown.

Hreha completed touchdown passes of 59 yards to junior wide receiver Nick Richmond, 22 and 19 yards to senior tight end Kris Anderson and 24 yards to junior utility back JoVoni Johnson, who started at quarterback as a sophomore

Johnson also threw a 22-yard first-quarter touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Will Kennedy, and senior Jordan Wicks added field goals of 32 and 40 yards.

Wicks' 32-yard field goal with 4:42 remaining in the second quarter gave Conway its 31-6 halftime lead.

Conway outgained Rogers 347-112 in total yardage in the first half, with Hreha completing 10 of 22 passes for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The Wampus Cats, 7A-Central's No. 3 playoff seed, scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions to lead 28-0 after one quarter.

The flurry was punctuated by Johnson catching a pass in the left flat and running 24 yards into the end zone with 1:40 remaining in the first quarter.

Conway's first touchdown came on a 59-yard strike from Hreha to Richmond with 7:48 remaining in the first quarter.

Conway also eliminated Rogers in a first-round playoff game last fall (35-20).

"Just stay alive, man," Ashcraft said.

The Mounties, 7A-West's No. 6 seed, finished with 220 total yards.

Sports on 11/11/2017

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