North Little Rock quarterback David Chapple had already began to assert himself prior to Friday’s game with Fort Smith Southside.
But if there was any doubt, he ended any suspense very early.
The North Little Rock quarterback hit Aaron Griffin with a 60-yard touchdown pass on the Charging Wildcats’ first play of the game, and North Little Rock built a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back en route to beating Southside, 49-7, at Rowland Stadium.
North Little Rock is now 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in the 7A-Central. They host Little Rock Catholic this Friday with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Both North Little Rock backs Brandon Thomas and Oscar Adaway finished with over 100 yards rushing. Adaway finished with 180 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Thomas had 113 yards rushing and one touchdown.
“Other than some stupid penalties, I thought we operated at a very high rate of efficiency,” North Lit-tle Rock coach Jamie Mitchell said. “We’ve got weapons, and Chapple’s throwing the ball really, really well now.”
Chapple hit Southside with his arm, and his legs.
Chapple passed for 165 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for a pair of touchdowns as well, including a nifty 15-yard TD run on a spin move with less than a minute to play in the first half.
“He give us a whole new avenue,” Mitchell said. “He’s a big reason why we’re clicking pretty well right now.”
“I don’t think we played real well, especially on the offensive side of the ball like we’ve been playing — we just had an off night,” Southside coach Jeff Williams said. “Those things are going to happen. We played so well early on (in the season). But I saw some guys play through some toughness tonight, but it just wasn’t our night, and you have to give North Little Rock a lot of credit.”
Quarterback Taye Gatewood, who had been blazing hot, misfired on his first seven pass attempts and finished with just 96 yards passing.
The Mavericks (1-5, 0-3) managed 177 yards of total offense — 68 of which came on Gatewood’s 21-yard run, a 27-yard jaunt by Ricardo Savoy, and a 20-yard strike to Dylan Wyatt.
“I didn’t think we threw the ball and caught it very well, and I thought [North Little Rock] controlled the line of scrimmage,” Williams said.
The Charging Wildcats led 21-0 after a quarter and were driving for more when they fumbled deep in-side Southside territory. On North Little Rock’s next possession, two holding penalties eventually led to a second-and-31 and an eventual punt.
Down 35-0 at the half, Southside opened the third quarter with its lone scoring drive, capped by Gatewood’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Brenden Ulrich.
Kevin Taylor writes for Fort Smith’s Times Record