November 12, 2008 Edition

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Competitive WR team
closes out season

Walnut Ridge's Rob Rainwater (right) clears a hole for Bennett Dudley during the Bobcats' season-ending 49-28 loss to Augusta on Friday night. The game was neck-and-neck the first half before Augusta pulled away for the win.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Second-half turnovers proved costly for Walnut Ridge, as the Bobcats' playoff hopes were dashed by a 49-28 loss at Augusta Friday night.

"This was an up and down season and it didn't end the way we would have liked, but we were a competitive ball club every week," said Bobcat head coach Larry Treadway.

The game started in promising fashion for the Bobcats. Jared Blackwell hit Bennett Dudley with a 22-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening drive. Tim Cummins PAT gave Walnut Ridge a 7-0 lead with 7:37 to play in the first quarter.

Augusta responded with a scoring drive on their opening possession. The successful two-point conversion put the Red Devils in front 8-7 with 4:31 to play in the period.

After intercepting a Bobcat pass, Augusta took a 14-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

Walnut Ridge tied the game on a two-yard run by Dudley and Cummins' PAT with 8:03 remaining in the quarter.

Augusta scored again with 4:53 to play, but the failed conversion left the Red Devils with a 20-14 lead.

Blackwell passed 13 yards to Logan Gaither for a touchdown. Cummin's extra point put the Bobcats back in front 21-20 with 3:13 to play before halftime.

The Bobcats' defense then forced Augusta into a fourth-and-long. The Red Devils connected on a screen pass that went for a 41-yard touchdown with just over a minute to play in the half.

The teams went to the locker room with Augusta holding a 28-21 lead.

Walnut Ridge's defense held Augusta on downs to open the second half. The Bobcat offense then drove into Augusta territory before losing the ball on a fumble. Augusta scored quickly after the fumble, connecting on a 49-yard pass play for a 34-21 lead with 7:41 to play in the third quarter.

Walnut Ridge fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which led to another quick Augusta touchdown as the Red Devils took a 42-21 lead into the fourth quarter.

Walnut Ridge's next offensive possession ended with an interception, which set up Augusta's final touchdown with 7:51 to play.

Blackwell tossed a one-yard scoring pass to Dudley with 1:41 to play in the game. Cummins' PAT provided the Bobcats' final point.

Blackwell completed 10-of-19 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns.

Dudley finished with eight receptions for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

Dudley also led the Cats in rushing, with 80 yards on 10 carries. Preston Matthews added 60 yards on 12 carries.

William Wilcoxson and Paul Rainwater led Walnut Ridge in tackles.

Walnut Ridge concludes the 2008 season with a 4-5 overall record and a 3-5 mark in 2A-3 conference play.

"We'll miss our seniors, but we look forward to who we have coming back," added Treadway. "Our kids realize how close we are to being a championship caliber team."

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