A strong rushing performance and solid defense Friday night helped Conway survive penalty problems in the Wampus Cats’ 38-13 win over Rogers Heritage at Centennial Bank Field at John McConnell Stadium.The Cats (2-1) were penalized 11 times for 92 yards over the course of the game en route to their second straight win. However, Conway gained 302 yards on the ground, led by Corven Alexander’s 123-yard performance.“It was just silly how many penalties we had,” Cats coach Clint Ashcraft said. “We can fix those, but we’ve got to stay focused.”Alexander and Cordarius Irby — who rushed 17 times for 88 yards — appeared to be focused, as they scored two touchdowns each. Alexander, who had just nine carries, was more of the big-play back, scoring on runs of 61 and eight yards.“He’s definitely a change of pace guy,” Ashcraft said. “He’s got a couple of steps on other guys.”Leading 7-0 after the first quarter, Alexander helped increase Conway’s lead with his long run at the 6:29 mark in the second. That started a string of 21 unanswered points, and the War Eagles (1-2) were never able to recover.“They execute real well and have a lot of speed,” Heritage coach Perry Escalante said of the Cats. “I think at times, our youth showed. We were outmanned at some positions. (Conway’s) team speed impressed me.”Still, Ashcraft said the Cats’ success started up front.“Our offensive line did a great job of opening up holes,” Ashcraft said. “They’re continuing to get better. With the defense (the War Eagles) were playing, we felt like we could get things going through the run game.”The Cats limited Heritage to minus five yards on the ground, as 12 of the War Eagles’ runs went for negative yardage. The defense also picked off three of Joshua Qualls’ passes, as the Heritage quarterback finished 12-of-22 passing for 167 passing and threw for two touchdowns.“Defensively, we played well,” Ashcraft said. “They’ve got playmakers on offense, We knew we had to keep (Qualls) in the pocket, and we did a good job of doing that.”While the War Eagles had just 162 yards of offense, Conway amassed 536 yards. Tyler Langley was 13-for-24 passing for 234 yards and threw an interception. He also hooked up with Rashard Shepherd for a 49-yard touchdown pass late in the first half, helping the Cats take a 28-0 advantage into halftime.Conway held the advantage in momentum most of the way. The defensive performance aided in that process.“They played good man on us, and we couldn’t get free,” Escalante said. “They’re a good physical team.”The War Eagles were held scoreless until Qualls hooked up with Luke Oldham for a 4-yard touchdown pass at the 1:19 mark in the third. That was set up by a 60-yard pass from Qualls to Brandon Gates one play earlier.Irby answered on the ensuing drive for his second of his pair of 1-yard touchdown runs. Ivan Pelayo capped the Cats’ scoring with a 28-yard field goal with 4:11 left.Heritage’s last score came on a 6-yard pass from Qualls to Christian Wages with 2:25 remaining.Fresh off a six-catch performance last week, Brandon Cox led the Cats in receiving with seven catches for 126 yards. Gates led the War Eagles with four receptions for 91 yards.As the Cats move toward 7A-Central Conference play, Ashcraft knows there are things to work on, despite seeing a good amount of positives.“Our execution was better on both sides of the ball,” Ashcraft said. “We’ve got to eliminate penalties and silly mistakes.”Conway opens conference play next week at Cabot.