September 15, 2010 Edition

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Walnut Ridge's Teague Phillips (center) runs the ball after taking a handoff from Payton Poole (left), as teammate Eric Wilcoxson (#2) blocks a Cedar Ridge defender during the Bobcats' 18-0 victory over Cedar Ridge. Friday night was Walnut Ridge's first conference game of the year.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George

Bobcats blank Cedar Ridge

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Bobcats opened 2A-3 conference play with an 18-0 victory over the Cedar Ridge Timberwolves Friday night at Sexton Field. The shutout was the second consecutive to start the season for the Bobcat defense.

Walnut Ridge's Eric Wilcoxson scored on a 70-yard run on the Cats' second possession of the game. The two-point attempt was unsuccessful. The score proved to be the only points of the first half, as Walnut Ridge took a 6-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Bobcat offense struck again early in the second half when quarterback Payton Poole hit Wilcoxson with a 59-yard touchdown pass. The conversion attempt failed, leaving the Cats with a 12-0 lead with 10:30 to play in the third quarter.

Walnut Ridge added the game's final points on their next possession when Wilcoxson found the end zone from six-yards out.

The Bobcat defense made sure the lead held up, with second-half interceptions by Hunter Yates and Jake Smith, who picked off a middle screen pass from the nose guard position.

Wilcoxson finished with 138 yards on nine carries. Preston Matthews added 107 yards on 12 attempts.

Poole completed three-of-nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.

Dylan Wills led the Cats' defense with 16 tackles. Alex Williams recorded 11 tackles. Dallin Ginn, Rowdy Ditto and Austin Davis each had a quarterback sack. Eric Huff had an interception, and Shawn Seagraves broke up two passes.

Walnut Ridge improved to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. The Bobcats travel to Lepanto on Friday to face East Poinsett County. Game time is 7 p.m.

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