September 20, 2017 Edition

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Bobcats beat Harrisburg, 44-34

Bobcat defender Michael Blair wraps up a Harrisburg ball carrier during Walnut Ridge's 44-34 victory on Friday night.
TD Photo ~ Ashley George

Cade Burris and Tyler Hall each ran for over 100 yards and two touchdowns as the Walnut Ridge Bobcats defeated the Harrisburg Hornets 44-34 in senior high football action Friday night at Sexton Field.

Walnut Ridge raced out to a 24-0 lead in the first half before the Hornets scored a touchdown and two-point conversion late in the second period to cut the Bobcats' lead to 24-8 at the intermission.

Tristan Hoffman started the scoring with a 10-yard run with 9:13 to play in the first quarter. Hoffman passed to Andrew Brewer for the conversion to give Walnut Ridge an early 8-0 advantage.

Walnut Ridge extended their lead early in the second period on Burris' seven-yard run. Hoffman passed to Hall for the conversion, putting the Bobcats ahead 16-0 with 10:32 to play before halftime.

Hall dashed 10 yards for a touchdown on the Cats' next possession, and Hoffman added the conversion on a keeper to give Walnut Ridge a commanding 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Harrisburg got on the scoreboard via a five-yard run and successful conversion to make the halftime score 24-8.

The Hornets continued their comeback effort with another touchdown with 8:24 left in the third quarter, cutting the Bobcats' lead to 24-14.

Burris capped Walnut Ridge's next drive with a touchdown from a yard out. The try for two was unsuccessful, leaving the score at 30-14 at the 4:42 mark of the third quarter.

Harrisburg responded with a quick touchdown, but the Bobcat defense stopped the conversion attempt to preserve a 30-20 advantage with three minutes to play in the third.

Hall broke loose for a 23-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to stretch Walnut Ridge's lead to 36-20. Hoffman passed to Burris for the conversion, increasing the lead to 38-20.

The Hornets again answered quickly with a touchdown and conversion to close to within 38-28 with 9:47 to play in the game.

Walnut Ridge's final touchdown came on a 5-yard run by Colin Phillips at the 6:20 mark and stretched the lead to 44-28. A final touchdown by Harrisburg at the 5:01 mark set the final score.

Burris finished with 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 attempts, while Hall added 112 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Hoffman carried 11 times for 72 yards. Phillips had 71 yards on 14 attempts, and Andrew Brewer had eight carries for 54 yards.

Hoffman completed 9-of-11 passes for 159 yards.

Burris also led the Cats in receiving, with five catches for 98 yards. Andrew Brewer and Slade Dalton each had two receptions, for 31 and 30 yards, respectively.

Hall led Walnut Ridge on defense with nine tackles. Burris added eight tackles, and Phillips recorded five stops. Hoffman, Nick Foster, Kolton Oglesby, Andrew Brewer, Logan Morris and Drew Brewer each had four tackles. Hoffman also had a sack.

Walnut Ridge improved to 2-1 on the season. The Bobcats open 3A-3 Conference play Friday night with a road game against the Manila Lions. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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