November 28, 2012 Edition

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WR advances to 2A semifinals

Walnut Ridge's Cole Hicks picks up some yards on the ground for the Bobcats as he receives blocking assistance from teammate Rowdy Ditto. The Walnut Ridge offense rolled over the Murfreesboro Rattlers going into the fourth quarter up 50-6 and eventually winning the game 50-26.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Walnut Ridge's Zach Crisler and Tyler Clement each ran for three touchdowns as the Bobcats rolled to a 50-26 win over the Murfreesboro Rattlers in the quarterfinal round of the 2A State Football Playoffs Friday night at Murfreesboro.

The Bobcats will travel to top-ranked Junction City for a semifinal contest on Friday night. The Dragons defeated Salem 34-6 in the quarterfinals.

Clement put Walnut Ridge on the scoreboard with a six-yard run with 6:43 to play in the first quarter, and Crisler capped a 95-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback keeper with 35 seconds remaining to give the Bobcats a 12-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Crisler scored again on an 11-yard run with 6:11 to play in the first half. He then passed to Hunter Flippo for the conversion to extend the Bobcats' lead to 20-0.

Another long scoring drive by Walnut Ridge, this one for 89 yards, was capped by Clement's six-yard run. Crisler's conversion run pushed the score to 28-0 in the final minute of the half.

Murfreesboro scored on a 44-yard pass play with 30 seconds remaining to cut Walnut Ridge's halftime lead to 28-6.

The Bobcats' defense continued to excel in the postseason, allowing the Rattlers just 91 yards of offense in the first half. In contrast, Walnut Ridge's offense racked up 330 yards in the first two quarters.

Walnut Ridge put the game out of reach in the second half.

Crisler connected with Flippo for a 74-yard scoring pass, followed by Eric Wilcoxson's two-point conversion to make the score 36-6. Crisler scored on a four-yard run, and Clement added the conversion to stretch Walnut Ridge's lead to 44-6 and invoke the mercy rule.

The Bobcats' final points came on a two-yard run by Clement early in the final period.

The Rattlers scored the game's final 20 points while playing mainly against Bobcat reserves.

Crisler completed 17-of-23 passes, for 266 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball 15 times for 94 yards and three scores.

Clement finished with 65 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries.

Flippo had six receptions for 163 yards and a touchdown.

Wilcoxson led the Bobcats' defense, with eight tackles, including two for loss. Cole Hicks had seven tackles, including a sack, and had a pass break-up. Flippo had two interceptions and broke up a pass, while Darren Tribble and Drake Ditto each had an interception.

Friday's semifinal game at Junction City will be broadcast on radio station 95.9 The Wolf.

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