October 21, 2009 Edition

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Bobcats slash Hughes

Walnut Ridge's Bennett Dudley (#8) is joined by teammate Teague Phillips as he moves the ball down the field during the Bobcats' 49-8 victory at Hughes on Friday night.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Bobcats stepped out of 2A-3 conference play and defeated the Hughes Blue Devils 49-8 Friday night at Hughes.

Walnut Ridge's Logan Gaither intercepted a Hughes pass on the first play of the game to set up the Bobcats' first score. Gaither suffered a season-ending injury two plays later. Bennett Dudley capped the scoring drive with a one-yard run with 9:20 to play in the first quarter. The PAT was no good, leaving Walnut Ridge with a 6-0 lead.

Hughes scored their only points of the night with 9:03 to play in the quarter. The two-point conversion gave the Blue Devils a short-lived 8-6 advantage.

Teague Phillips scored on a five-yard run and Dudley ran in the conversion, as Walnut Ridge regained the lead at 14-8 with 4:05 to play in the opening quarter.

Walnut Ridge extended its lead when Preston Matthews ran 15 yards for a score. Dudley again ran in the conversion, as the Cats led 22-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bobcats defense came up big again, as Tristan Fernandez scooped up a Blue Devils fumble and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown with 8:20 to play in the second quarter. Walnut Ridge led 28-8 after the conversion attempt failed.

Dudley found the end zone again, this time from 10 yards out, in the closing seconds of the half. Dudley then added his third two-point conversion, as the Bobcats took a 36-8 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Matthews scored his second touchdown of the evening on a six-yard run with 2:42 to play in the third period. Greg Fender kicked the PAT and Walnut Ridge led 43-8 after three quarters.

It was the defense's turn again, as Derek Medlock picked off a Hughes option pitch and ran 43 yards for the Cats' final score with 5:20 to play in the game.

Dudley ended with 83 yards rushing on nine carries. Phillips had 78 yards on 15 attempts, and Matthews added 69 yards on eight carries.

Defensively, Brian Archibald led the Cats with five tackles, while Dudley had four.

"It was good to get the win, but we suffered a big loss in Gaither," said Walnut Ridge head coach Larry Treadway. "Now we have to focus on conference play and the playoffs."

Walnut Ridge improved to 5-2 overall with the win. The Bobcats host Rector on Friday at Sexton Field. Game time is 7 p.m.

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