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Bryant defeats Conway: Arkansas high school football game updates

Hornets (9-1) hand former coach Buck James and Wampus Cats (9-1) first loss of year in battle of Arkansas powers
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The much-awaited Arkansas high school football battle between No. 2 Bryant and No. 3 Conway lived up to the hype.

Bryant went on the road and raced past Conway for a 53-22 victory, earning the No. 1 seed for the upcoming state playoffs out of 7A-Central.

The matchup marked the first time Conway coach Buck James faced Bryant, the program he built into a juggernaut then stunningly left in May

The Wampus Cats entered the game 9-0 under James and both teams, Nos. 2 and 3 in the SBLive Arkansas Power 25, are vying for the AAA state title.

When James left, Bryant (8-1) was on a 53-game in-state win streak and has won the last five Arkansas Class 7A state titles. Bryant's win streak ended at 55 when it lost to No. 1 Parkview, 28-27, on Sept. 8.

Scroll down for a game thread with highlights and notable moments. 


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-- Bryant puts the exclamation point on this win, as James Martin breaks free for a 13-yard touchdown run. That's the second score of the game for the senior running back. (Bryant, 52-33 | 2:24)

-- Donovyn Omolo's pass is intercepted, and that should seal the victory for Bryant, as the Hornets lead by 12 points with three minutes left on the clock.

-- Jordan Walker has made play after play tonight, and he does it again. The quarterback lofts a deep ball to Mytorian Singleton in the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown. (Bryant, 45-33 | 4:05)

-- Conway's defense comes up with a stop, and the offense gets a much-needed score. Donovyn Omolo keeps it himself for a 10-yard touchdown run, his third of the night. (Bryant, 38-33 | 6:40)

-- Turnover on downs. On fourth and goal from the 3-yard line, Donovyn Omolo scrambles but can't find an open receiver, and his pass falls incomplete. Bryant takes over on offense near its own goal line.


-- After forcing a punt, Bryant reaches the end zone again in just two plays. James Martin breaks free for a 63-yard touchdown, his first score of the night. (Bryant, 38-26 | 0:32)

-- Conway's defense stands tall near the goal line to hold Bryant to a field goal. Jackson Cook drills the 25-yarder to put the Hornets up by five. (Bryant, 31-26 |2:24)

-- On the first play of the drive, Jordan Walker and Karter Ratliff connect for a 43-yard gain. The very next play, they connect again for a 14-yard gain to move the Hornets down to the 8-yard line.

-- Facing fourth down in enemy territory, Conway goes for it and hits the jackpot. Donovyn Omolo throws a deep ball to Cris Oneal, who fights for space and hauls in the pass for a 28-yard touchdown. The Wampus Cats miss on a two-point conversion that would have tied the game. (Bryant, 28-26 | 5:12)

-- The connection between Jordan Walker and Karter Ratliff has been strong tonight. The quarterback and receiver hook up for their third touchdown of the game, this one from 22 yards out. That makes it 21 unanswered points for the Hornets. (Bryant 28-20 | 7:29)

-- A short pass from Donovyn Omolo to Jackson Anderson is caught then immediately fumbled, and Bryant recovers. The Hornets take over on offense at Conway's 28-yard line.

-- Bryant scores on a three-yard keeper by Jordan Walker, and the extra-point by Jackson Cook gives the Hornets their first lead of the night. (Bryant, 21-20 |8:42)

-- Bryant receives the ball to start the second half, and a 40-yard run by James Martin sets up the Hornets' offense near the red zone. 


-- Bryant responds with a clutch scoring drive right before halftime. Jordan Walker fakes a handoff then finds a wide open Karter Ratliff in the end zone for a four-yard touchdown pass. (Conway, 20-14 | 0:04)

-- Following punts by both teams, Conway puts together a nice scoring drive capped off by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Donovyn Omolo to Desmond Davidson. The extra-point attempt is no good after bouncing off the upright. (Conway, 20-7 | 1:30)

-- Bryant gets on the scoreboard with an amazing pass and catch by Jordan Walker and Karter Ratliff for a 40-yard touchdown. Walker was crushed by a tackler right after he released the pass, and Ratliff made a leaping catch on the sideline then juked out a defender before running into the end zone. (Conway, 14-7 | 5:20)


-- Following an interception by Trey Hammond, Conway's offense comes back and out and finds the end zone again. And once again, Omolo scores on a long touchdown run, this time from 53 yards out. (Conway, 14-0 | 4:09)

-- Conway strikes first, as Donovyn Omolo goes 51 yards for a touchdown. Major Mahar hits the extra point to make it a 7-0 game early in the first. (Conway, 7-0 | 9:40)

-- Zach Shugan | @sbliveark

Lead photo by Jimmy Jones, SBLive Arkansas