November 13, 2013 Edition

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Walnut Ridge's Drake Smith (#55) and Tyler Andrews take down a Cedar Ridge ball carrier during the Bobcats' 56-42 win on Thursday night. Senior Night was celebrated prior to the game.
TD Photo ~ Ashley George

Cats to host playoff game

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

In an offensive shootout Thursday night at Sexton Field, the Walnut Ridge Bobcats proved to have a few more bullets than their visitors from Cedar Ridge, coming away with a 56-42 victory in the regular season finale.

The win gave Walnut Ridge a 5-2 record in 2A-3 Conference play and earned the Bobcats a home game in the first round of the state playoffs. Walnut Ridge will host Conway Christian on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Eagles finished fourth in 2A-5 with a 4-3 conference record and a 5-5 overall mark.

The Bobcats appeared to be heading for an easy victory after building a 28-6 lead in the second quarter.

Cole Hicks gave Walnut Ridge a 6-0 lead with an 11-yard run in the first period. Hicks scored again later in the quarter, on a six-yard run, and Martin Crisler added the two-point conversion for a 14-0 Bobcat lead.

A Cedar Ridge touchdown cut the lead to 14-6 early in the second quarter, but the Bobcats responded quickly when freshman Luke Harper scored from four yards out with 10:30 remaining in the period to make the score 20-6.

Quarterback Tyler Andrews scored on a one-yard keeper later in the second period, as the Bobcats moved out to a 28-6 advantage.

The Timberwolves began their rally with back-to-back touchdowns, which cut Walnut Ridge's lead to 28-20.

Hicks scored his third touchdown of the game on a seven-yard run shortly before halftime. Crisler's conversion gave the Bobcats a 36-20 edge at the break.

Cedar Ridge continued their comeback with a pair of touchdowns and two-point conversions to tie the contest at 36-36.

Walnut Ridge took the lead for good when Andrews broke free for a 44-yard scoring run to put the Bobcats ahead 42-36 with 3:57 to play in the third quarter.

Harper scored on a 27-yard run and Crisler again added the two-point conversion to push Walnut Ridge's lead to 50-36 with 1:15 remaining in the period.

The Timberwolves refused to go away, cutting the lead to 50-42 midway through the fourth quarter, but Walnut Ridge scored the game's final points when Harper found the end zone for the third time on a nine-yard run with 4:42 to play, setting the final score.

Crisler led the Bobcats in rushing, with 123 yards on 14 carries, while Hicks finished with 101 yards on 14 attempts.

Andrews was four-of-seven passing, for 75 yards.

Cody Reithemeyer led Walnut Ridge's defense with 12 tackles. Hicks recorded 10 tackles, and Darren Medlock had an interception.

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