October 13, 2010 Edition

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Bobcats outlast Marked
Tree for 35-32 win

Bobcat Zach Carson pulls in a reception during Walnut Ridge's 35-32 victory over Marked Tree on Friday night.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Eric Wilcoxson's four-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal proved to be the difference, as the Walnut Ridge Bobcats outlasted Marked Tree 35-32 in an offensive shootout Friday night at Sexton Field.

Payton Poole put Walnut Ridge on the board first, with a 32-yard run in the first quarter. Richie Ward kicked the extra-point for a 7-0 Bobcat lead.

Marked Tree answered on their first possession, when Jagger McCrary passed 33 yards to Darius Ivy. Walnut Ridge stopped the two-point attempt to hang on to a 7-6 lead.

Teague Phillips extended the Bobcats' lead with a 16-yard scoring run with 2:05 to play in the opening period. Ward's PAT made the score 14-6.

The Indians' Thadious Moore broke free for a 65-yard touchdown scamper late in the period. McCrary then passed to Bryant Anderson for the conversion, tying the game 14-14 after one quarter of play.

Walnut Ridge wasted no time in answering, as Preston Matthews scored on a one-yard run on the first play of the second quarter and Ward added the extra point for a 21-14 lead.

After holding the Indians on downs, Walnut Ridge scored again when Poole found the end zone from four yards out. The PAT was no good, as the Cats moved out to a 27-14 advantage.

McCrary connected with Ivy again on Marked Tree's next possession. The 48-yard strike brought the Indians to within 27-20 at halftime.

Marked Tree's Moore added a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter on runs of 28 and 19 yards, as the Indians took a 32-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Bobcat defense regrouped and stopped Marked Tree on three consecutive possessions in the final period.

On Walnut Ridge's final possession, Wilcoxson broke free for a 50-yard run down to the 12-yard line. Four plays later, Wilcoxson carried in the game-winner from the four-yard line with 4:11 to play in the game. Poole ran in the two-point conversion to set the final score.

The Indians drove into Walnut Ridge territory before the Cats defense held on a fourth-and-20 play in the final seconds.

Walnut Ridge improved to 4-1 in 2A-3 conference play and 5-1 overall. The Bobcats host Westside for homecoming on Friday. Homecoming activities will begin at 6:30 p.m., with kickoff at 7.

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