September 23, 2009 Edition

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WR beats Cross County, 22-18

Walnut Ridge quarterback Luke Holloway prepares to pass the ball during the Bobcats' 22-18 victory over Cross County Friday night. Holloway was 13-of-20 passing for 127 yards and two touchdowns.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Bobcats moved to 2-0 in 2A-3 conference play with a 22-18 victory over the Cross County Thunderbirds Friday night at Sexton Field.

After a scoreless first quarter, Walnut Ridge opened the scoring on a seven-yard run by Logan Gaither. Quarterback Luke Holloway passed to Gaither for the two-point conversion to give the Bobcats an 8-0 lead with 6:01 to play in the second period.

The Thunderbirds cut the Cats' lead to 8-6 on a two-yard run by Blake Veasley with 1:36 to play in the half.

Walnut Ridge reached into its bag of tricks to come up with another score in closing seconds of the first half. Derek Medlock was on the receiving end of a 45-yard pass from Zach Carson on a double pass. The conversion attempt was no good, leaving the Bobcats with a 14-6 lead with 23 seconds to play before halftime.

The Bobcats' defense came up with a big play to preserve the lead, knocking Veasley out of bounds at the one-yard line on the final play of the half.

Following a Walnut Ridge punt, Veasley broke loose for a 60-yard touchdown run with 6:18 to play in the third quarter. The conversion was no good, as the Bobcats held on to a 14-12 lead.

Walnut Ridge responded with 3:33 to play in the period, when Holloway found Medlock on a 17-yard scoring pass. Holloway then passed to Gaither for the two-point conversion, giving the Cats a 22-12 advantage.

Cross County wouldn't go away, however, putting together an 89-yard drive, capped by Dylan Brewer's three-yard run with 5:47 to play in the game. The failed conversion attempt left Walnut Ridge with a 22-18 lead.

The Thunderbirds next offensive possession ended with a fourth-down stop by the Walnut Ridge defense. Later, Carson intercepted Cross County's final pass of the game.

"I am very proud of the way our team stepped up and made some plays in key situations," said Walnut Ridge head coach Larry Treadway. "There were some points during the game that things could have gone very wrong, but we overcame adversity to win the ballgame."

Holloway finished 13-of-20 passing, for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

Medlock had eight receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns.

Gaither led the Bobcats on defense with 16 tackles, two pass break-ups and a forced fumble. Brian Archibald had 15 tackles and recovered a fumble. Dylan Wills had 10 tackles.

Walnut Ridge improved to 2-1 on the season. The Bobcats take to the road this week to face the undefeated McCrory Jaguars. Game time is 7 p.m.

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