Saturday, October 08, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot gets whumped by Conway

Leader sports editor

When a 5-0 team faces a 0-5 team, blowouts are expected, just not from the team with no wins. But that’s just what happened Friday at Panther Stadium. The Conway Wampus Cats fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter, but utterly dominated from that point, scoring 37 unanswered points and pummeling the Panthers 37-14 in a 7A-Central Conference game.

Cabot quarterback and Razorback verbal commitment Jarrod Barnes was hurt early in the second half. That didn’t help matters much, but the Wampus Cats began their domination before halftime.

Cabot scored the first 14 points of the game, but in the second quarter, the offense stalled with Conway picking up the momentum.

Conway got the ball first and the Cabot defense shut it down. After Conway went three and out, Cabot put together a patented CHS drive. The Panthers 12-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in quarterback Jarrod Barnes squeezing in from 1-yard out o fourth and goal with 4:48 left in the first quarter.

Halfbacks Austin Morse and Adam Flores picked 32 of the first 36 yards of the drive, and Barnes kept for 20 yards on the option to set up first and goal an the score.

Conway again went three and out, and a subsequent 8-yard punt set Cabot up at the Wampus Cat 30-yard line.

On the second play of the ensuing drive, Conway failed to cover Cabot tight end John Wiens on his single-receiver route on Cabot’s first pass attempt. Barnes hit Wiens for an easy 30-yard touchdown pass. Mason Martin’s extra point put Cabot ahead 14-0 with 3:07 left in the first quarter.

Everything changed in the second quarter.

The Wampus Cats answered Cabot’s second touchdown drive with their own 60-yard scoring drive on seven plays.

Cabot then thwarted its own drive when Barnes dropped a shotgun snap and threw the ball away on third down.

Conway got it back on its own 37 early in the second quarter, and needed 11 plays to go 63 yards, including two third-down conversions. Tight end Jack Pillow bulled his way into the end zone on first and goal from the 10 after catching a short pass at the 3 and breaking several tackles. The extra point tied the game with 5:03 left in the half.

Cabot’s fourth drive went nowhere, and Conway had another chance to score before halftime. But a 45-yard field-goal attempt was no good, leaving the score tied at the break.

Barnes was injured returning the opening kickoff of the second half and missed the first two offensive series. Both sets of downs went three and out, and Conway scored after one of them.

Barnes returned to the field with Cabot trailing 21-14, and fumbled the shotgun snap on his first play. Conway covered it at the Cabot 17-yard line, and scored on the very next play when McCall Dail barreled straight up the middle for 17 yards.

The PAT gave Conway a 28-14 lead with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.

The Panthers finally got some offense going on their fourth drive, but it ended in disaster as well. Four plays gained 31 yards, but Barnes was picked off on the fifth play by Conway’s Logan Camp, giving the Wampus Cats the ball at their own 49.

Running back Michael George gained 20 yards straight up the middle on third and 4 to the Cabot 14. An illegal block made it first and 25 from the 29, but Conway made it all up on the next play. Quarterback Jovoni Johnson hit receiver Kylon Gary for a 29-yard touchdown play, and the extra point made it 35-14 with eight minutes left in the game.

Conway added a safety after two high Cabot snaps lost 31 yards and set the final margin.

Cabot managed just 136 yards of offense, and just 13 in the second half. Conway finished with 308 total yards.