November 2, 2011 Edition

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WR posts win, qualifies for state

Walnut Ridge quarterback Zach Crisler looks downfield during Friday night's game at Cross County. Crisler passed for 158 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Bobcats to a 36-14 victory over the Thunderbirds. The win assured the Bobcats a berth in the upcoming 2A State Playoffs.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Walnut Ridge built a 22-0 halftime lead and went on to defeat the Cross County Thunderbirds 36-14 in senior football Friday night at Cherry Valley. With the win, Walnut Ridge clinched a spot in the 2A State Playoffs.

Eric Wilcoxson gave the Bobcats a 6-0 lead with an eight-yard run with 5:23 to play in the first quarter.

Zach Crisler passed seven yards to Zach Carson with 11:13 to play in the second quarter. Crisler passed to Cole Hicks to give Walnut Ridge a 14-0 lead. Crisler connected with Carson again later in the period from six yards out to extend the Bobcats' lead to 22-0. Crisler found Kyle Johnson for the conversion for the final points of the half.

Cross County cut the Cats' lead to 22-8 on Dylan Hudson's 19-yard run and two-point conversion with 7:09 to play in the third quarter.

Walnut Ridge answered on their ensuing possession when Crisler hit Eric Huff with a nine-yard touchdown pass to put the Bobcats into a 28-8 lead. Later in the third, Crisler tossed his fourth scoring pass of the game, and third to Carson, from 26 yards out. The two-point conversion gave Walnut Ridge their final points and a 36-8 lead after three quarters.

The Thunderbirds added a touchdown in the fourth quarter to set the final score.

Crisler completed 12-of-18 passes, for 158 yards and four touchdowns. Carson caught six passes for 104 yards and three scores. Wilcoxson and Hunter Flippo each had two receptions for 21 yards. Huff had one reception for nine yards, and Johnson caught one pass for three yards.

Tyler Clement led the Bobcats in rushing, with 83 yards on seven carries. Wilcoxson finished with 76 yards on nine carries. Crisler ran nine times for 25 yards. Hicks had three rushes for 20 yards. Teague Phillips carried eight times for 13 yards.

Wilcoxson led the Bobcats' defensive effort with 14 tackles. Rowdy Ditto recorded 12 tackles. Hicks had 10 tackles, including three for loss. Johnson and Flippo each had an interception.

The Bobcats improved to 3-3 in 2A-3 conference play and 4-4 overall. Walnut Ridge will host Augusta in the regular season finale Thursday night.

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