The Helena-West Helena Cougars showed no mercy on Little Rock Christian, defeating the Warriors 54-7 at Cad Polk Stadium Friday night.
The contest resulted in a 6-3, 5-1 5A Central season to date for the Cougars as the Warriors left the field defeated with a 2-7,1-5 season.
The Cougars lit up the scoreboard with 1:08 to go in the first quarter. In only three plays, the Cougars drove the ball down the field resulting in a 39-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Lewis, followed by Sager Patel's extra point, giving the home team a 7-0 lead.
It wasn't long before the Cougars led the Warriors 14-0 following a 6-play, 48-yard drive as Keith Hays entered the end zone after a 3-yard run. Patel put the pigskin back through the uprights for a second time with 10:49 left in the first half.
The Warriors made some major blunders Friday night. As Aswad Allen intercepted a pass, he returned it 50 yards with 9:59 left in the first half. The score, after Patel's third successful extra point of the night, was 21-0. With 5:29 left in the half, Brewer hit Malik Arnett with a 19-yard pass resulting in a 27-0 lead over the Warriors.
The Cougars were not yet done putting points on the board in the first half. Shrone Martin took advantage of a Warrior fumble, and with 3:20 remaining, Brewer connected with Lewis resulting in a Cougar TD.
With 1:51 remaining in the second quarter, the Cougar defense took possession of the ball with an interception by Defensive Back Markese Williams, who returned it to the 7-yard line, giving them a first and goal. Brewer connected with Sandy Wright on the following play resulting in a 40-0 lead over Little Rock Christian at halftime.
With the Mercy Rule in effect throughout the second half of the contest, the Cougars scored a 35-yard touchdown in a 5-play 50-yard drive with 4:52 remaining in the third followed by another interception resulting in a 65-yard return by Williams.
The Warriors finally scored, avoiding a shutout, as Toulo Amole ran 39-yards with 4:06 left in the contest.
Next week's game will determine if the Cougars will have second place by themselves. If they pull off a victory over Little Rock Mills, the Cougars will be guaranteed the home field advantage during the first round of the playoffs on Nov 15. However, if the Cougars lose Thursday night and Sylvan Hills wins, there would be a 3-way tie for second place.
When asked for his thoughts how the team's performance this year, radio commentator Andrew Bagley commented "The team has been getting steadily better each week. They have certainly exceeded the expectations of all the so-called experts this year." Bagley continued, "We were a pre-season pick to finish 6th in the conference and here we are today. We are winners of four in a row (five of our last six) and have a chance to finish in 2nd place in the conference.
Page 2 of 2 - "It has been a phenomenal coaching job that Coach Smith has done this year with this group, and they are steadily getting better. Those three losses come to a team that's ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, a team that's ranked No. 5 in Class 5A, and a team that's ranked No. 1 in Class 4A."
Friday night's halftime festivities included a surprise ceremony by Coach Russell Smith recognizing the Cougar Booster Club board members and other dedicated boosters for their hard work over the past few years.
The Booster Club recently funded the installation of a $15,000 multipurpose floor in the junior high gymnasium.
The Boosters will sponsor bus transportation to Thursday night's game at Little Rock Mills.