November 14, 2012 Edition

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Walnut Ridge's Zach Crisler (#12) picks up yardage as teammate Tyler Clement looks for someone to block during the Bobcats' 62-40 victory over Rison in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday night.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George

Cats rack up points in playoff victory

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Bobcats put on an offensive show in a 62-40 victory over Rison in the first round of the 2A State Football Playoffs Friday night at Rison.

Walnut Ridge will host Strong in a second-round matchup on Friday at Sexton Field. The Bulldogs defeated Hazen 35-0 on Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Bobcats went over, through and around the Wildcats' defense on their way to compiling 688 yards of total offense, including 437 yards on the ground. Three Walnut Ridge backs ran for over 100 yards, led by Eric Wilcoxson's 170 yards on nine carries. Tyler Clement had 146 yards on 15 carries, and quarterback Zach Crisler added 107 yards on 15 attempts.

Walnut Ridge wasted no time putting points on the board, jumping out to a 24-0 lead in just over seven minutes of action.

Crisler scored on a 20-yard run two minutes into the contest, then passed to Hunter Flippo for the conversion and an 8-0 Bobcat lead. Cole Hicks hauled in an 86-yard scoring pass with 6:07 to play in the first quarter. Crisler ran for the conversion to give Walnut Ridge a 16-0 advantage.

Tyler Clement scored on a 10-yard run with 4:48 remaining, and Crisler again ran for the conversion to push the Cats lead to 24-0.

Rison tried to claw their way back into the game, scoring a pair of touchdowns. Nathan Wilson scored on a two-yard quarterback keeper on the final play of the opening period to cut the Bobcats' lead to 24-6.

Jokenzie Broughton added a two-yard touchdown run with 3:36 to play in the half. Jarvis Broughton ran for the conversion to bring the Wildcats to within 24-14.

Walnut Ridge responded before the intermission, when Clement scored on a two-yard run. Crisler's conversion extended the Bobcats' lead to 32-14.

Walnut Ridge's defense stopped Rison on downs at midfield with six seconds to play in the half. Wilcoxson broke loose for a 49-yard run, but was tackled short of the goal line as the half ended.

The second half began much the same way the first half ended, with Wilcoxson running through the Wildcats' defense, this time for a 33-yard score. Crisler added another conversion to stretch Walnut Ridge's lead to 40-14.

The teams then traded scores the rest of the way. Rison scored on Wilson's eight-yard pass to Garrett Dedman.

Walnut Ridge scored when Flippo caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Crisler, which was followed by Broughton's four-yard touchdown run for Rison to make the score 46-28.

The Bobcats extended the lead to 54-28 when Crisler scored on a two-yard run and Wilcoxson added the conversion with 48 seconds remaining in the period.

Clement scored his third touchdown of the game on a three-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Crisler added his fifth two-point conversion of the contest for a 62-28 lead.

Rison added a pair of late touchdowns on runs by Devonta Jones, including an 89-yarder on the game's final play, to set the final score.

Crisler finished with nine completions on 13 pass attempts, for 251 yards and two touchdowns.

Rowdy Ditto led the Bobcats' defense, with 12 tackles, including two for loss. Wilcoxson recorded nine tackles, with three for loss. Hicks had seven tackles, while Levi Lewis and Drake Ditto each had a sack.

Walnut Ridge's record is now 8-2 for the season.

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