November 04, 2009 Edition

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Bobcats beat EPC, 20-8

Walnut Ridge's Brian Archibald (left) and Dylan Wills wrap up an East Poinsett County player during the Bobcats' 20-8 victory over EPC.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Walnut Ridge's Bennett Dudley ran for two fourth-quarter scores to lift the Bobcats to a 20-8 victory over East Poinsett County Friday night at Lepanto. EPC held an 8-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Walnut Ridge took an early 6-0 lead on Preston Matthews' five-yard run with 5:44 to play in the first quarter.

Byron Ford tied the game on a 17-yard run on the Warriors ensuing possession. A successful two-point conversion gave EPC an 8-6 lead with 3:09 remaining in the opening period.

EPC had a chance to extend their lead late in first half. The Warriors drove inside the Walnut Ridge five-yard line, but were denied when Zach Carson intercepted an EPC pass in the end zone to end the threat.

The teams battled to a scoreless third quarter, as the Warriors carried their two-point advantage into the final period.

Dudley put Walnut Ridge in front for good with a four-yard run with 9:44 to play in the game. Dudley then passed to Derek Medlock for the two-point conversion to give the Cats a 14-8 lead.

Walnut Ridge drove to the EPC five-yard line and appeared to be heading in for another score. However, the Warriors intercepted a Bobcat pass in the end zone and returned it to the Walnut Ridge 30-yard line.

The Bobcat defense stood strong again, stopping the Warriors on downs to get the ball back.

Walnut Ridge then drove for the clinching score, capped by Dudley's one-yard run with 1:26 to play in the game.

"It was a hard-fought win for us," said Walnut Ridge head coach Larry Treadway. "EPC wouldn't quit. We showed character to overcome some adversity and win the game."

Dudley finished with 117 rushing yards on 21 carries, while Matthews added 77 yards on eight carries.

Brian Archibald led the Bobcats defense with 12 tackles. Dylan Wills and Dudley each had 10 tackles. Carson had two interceptions, and Dudley had one.

Walnut Ridge improved to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in 2A-3 conference play. The Bobcats will host Augusta for Senior Night on Friday. The winner of the game will clinch the conference's #2 playoff seed and a home playoff game. Game time is 7 p.m., with Senior Night activities starting at 6:30.

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