It will be a familiar opponent this Friday for North Little Rock as the Cats will host Fort Smith Northside in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs.
North Little Rock had last week off in a bye, while Northside defeated Springdale Har-Ber, 21-9.
The Cats beat Northside 49-23 in Week 8 but the game did have some downsides as star running backs Oscar Adaway and Tyler Day were both injured. Adaway missed the next two games to Bryant and Cabot, while Day played sparingly. Both are expected to play this Friday.
Northside is ready for North Little Rock after beating preseason No. 1 Har-Ber last week.
This is the third time in the past four season that the Grizzlies will have made the quarterfinals and “It’s two weeks in a row that they’ve played really good,” Northside coach Mike Falleur told the Times Record. “Defensively, I think we only gave up one big play on the pass (which was Har-Ber’s only touchdown) and we had one turnover. … But overall, I thought offensively and defensively, we played really good. The defense got after them.
“It’s a great win, it’s two weeks in a row we’ve actually shown that we can be a decent football team.”
Northside (4-7) had 201 yards in the second half while picking up 12 first downs.
Quarterback Deuce Wise was 10-of-17 passing for 112 yards and two touchdowns, both going to receiver Jordan Dilworth, who ended up with seven catches for 71 yards. Wise intercepted a pass on defense as well.
Also, Wise and tailback Eli Bolton combined to rush for 102 of the Grizzlies’ 124 yards in the second half, with sophomore tailback Jackson King having a rushing TD in that span.
The Grizzlies’ defense held Har-Ber to 68 yards of offense in the second half. They also came up with six sacks, including two apiece from linebackers Anthony Travis and Locke Stubblefield. Defensive end Raytel Rone and linebacker Cole Eddins had the other sacks.
Travis also finished the game with 20 total tackles, 11 of those solo. He currently leads the team in tackles on the season with 119, and is also the team’s leader in sacks with seven.
Special teams was another big factor in the win. Har-Ber missed two first-half field goals, and also tried a fake punt in the second half, which was stopped by Travis and teammate Aaron Fields well short of the first down.
North Little Rock is 10-0 on the season and kickoff is set for 7 p.m.