October 17, 2007 Edition

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Cats earn important win

Walnut Ridge's Derek Medlock runs for the Bobcats' winning touchdown against McCrory on Friday night. Medlock scored on an 80-yard double-pass play from quarterback Tyler Meadors and running back Jared Blackwell.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George
Debbie Richey
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Bobcats greatly enhanced their playoff chances with a thrilling 27-26 win over the McCrory Jaguars on Friday night at Sexton Field. The Bobcats now stand at 2-5 overall, but are 2-1 in 2A-3 conference play. McCrory, who is also battling for a playoff spot, fell to 1-6 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

"This win positions us for an excellent chance to get back in the playoffs. McCrory will have to win out against Marked Tree and Cross County to eliminate us," said Bobcat head coach Larry Treadway.

The Bobcats lit the scoreboard up first on Tyler Meadors' 21-yard touchdown pass to Bennett Dudley to give the Bobcats a 6-0 lead with 9:09 left in the first quarter.

After McCrory tied the game at 6-6, Meadors scored on a 35-yard run and also added the two-point conversion to put the Bobcats back on top 14-6 with 1:01 left in the opening quarter.

The Jaguars scored again, making the score 14-12 at halftime.

McCrory opened the scoring in the second half to take an 18-14 lead.

Walnut Ridge answered with Meadors' five-yard pass to Mitchell Thompson to give the Bobcats a 20-18 lead on the final play of the third period.

The Jaguars jumped ahead 26-20 with 9:29 left in the final quarter with a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

With 4:04 left to play, Bobcat Jared Blackwell received the ball from Meadors, who then threw downfield to Derek Medlock, who raced to the end zone to complete the 80-yard pass play. Blackwell kicked the extra-point to give Walnut Ridge a 27-26 lead.

"We call the play 'double bubble,' with Jared Blackwell throwing a double pass to Derek Medlock. Derek made a great catch and ran away from the defender," said Treadway.

The Jaguars did not lie down. With 1:30 left, they attempted a pass, which was intercepted by Meadors, securing the win for the Bobcats.

"The night belonged to Tyler Meadors who rushed 17 times for 173 yards, and passed 12-of-27 for 158 yards. He also intercepted a McCrory pass with less than two minutes to play in the game to close out the win," said Treadway.

"Tyler continues to challenge himself and his teammates to play hard on every play."

The Bobcats also had three receivers who accounted for over 200 yards in the passing game. Mitchell Thompson finished with seven catches for 83 Yards. Bennett Dudley had two catches for 36 yards, and Medlock also had two catches for 94 yards.

Treadway also praised the Bobcats offensive line George Bruton, Zach Mullen, Colton Adkinson, John Monkus, Ryan Bounds and Archie Roderick.

"The offensive line gave us better protection to throw the ball. These guys do not get much press, but they are obviously a big reason we can throw the ball," added Treadway.

"Defensively, William Wilcoxson, Ryan Bounds, Brandon Dawson and Tel Britton stepped up and made plays at crucial times in the game.

"Our defense had several third-down stops to force them into fourth-and-long, turning the ball back over to our offense," said Treadway. "We've lost five starters off the defense and a lot of young players are stepping up to replace those starters."

"Josh Vidal, Justin Cagle, Nick Dail, Caleb Dodd, Brian Archibald, Justin Tribble and Adam Morgan have all stepped up to replace our injured defensive starters," added Treadway.

Walnut Ridge travels to Augusta Friday night. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

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