November 8, 2017 Edition

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Hoxie's Chandler Spradlin battles for yards as he is wrapped up by Bobcat defenders Kolton Oglesby (from foreground), Cody Binkley and Drew Brewer. Also in on the play were (from left) Mustangs Brock Jones and Waylon Irvin and Walnut Ridge's Cole Manning. Hoxie won the game, 52-28.
TD Photos ~ Ashley George

Hoxie claims win in
cross-town game

The Walnut Ridge and Hoxie mascots arrived to Thursday night's game together thanks to a helicopter ride from Survival Flight.

A combined performance of the Hoxie and Walnut Ridge marching bands delighted the crowd on Thursday night. Among those performing were (from left): Gavin Davis, Jackson Forrester, Kelsey Moody, Trevor Smith and Destiny Adams. The bands, dance teams and cheerleaders from both schools joined together for the song "Land of 1000 Dances."

Outstanding offensive efforts were the theme of the night as the Hoxie Mustangs defeated the Walnut Ridge Bobcats 52-28 Thursday night in the regular-season finale of the senior high football season.

Hoxie had already clinched the 3A-3 Conference's third playoff seed and will host Haskell Harmony Grove in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday night. Walnut Ridge concluded its season with a 3-7 overall record and was 1-6 in conference play.

The game's standout performers included Hoxie's Diamani Davis, who rushed for 260 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Mustangs quarterback Chandler Spradlin completed 9/12 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Spradlin also had three rushing touchdowns.

For Walnut Ridge, freshman Cole Manning ran for 106 yards on 11 carries and contributed to all four of the Bobcats' touchdowns. Andrew Brewer was 15/24 passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

The Mustangs rolled up 578 yards of total offense, while Walnut Ridge totaled 344 yards.

Hoxie jumped out to an 18-0 lead, with three first-quarter scores. Davis got things started with a three-yard run at the 9:51 mark. A few minutes later, Gavin Waldrupe latched onto a 35-yard pass from Spradlin for the Mustangs' second score with 5:38 remaining. Before the period ended, Spradlin scored on a 13-yard run.

Walnut Ridge broke into the scoring column on Manning's 30-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Nick Foster added the extra point to trim the Mustangs' lead to 18-7.

Davis broke loose for a 55-yard touchdown, and Carson Spargo added the PAT to stretch Hoxie's lead to 25-7. The Mustangs began to pull away when Hayden Riggs scored on a 20-yard run, and Spargo kicked the extra point to push Hoxie's advantage to 32-7.

The Bobcats tried to claw their way back into it when Manning caught a pass from Andrew Brewer and raced 31 yard to the end zone. Foster's kick brought Walnut Ridge to within 32-14 with 6:35 to play in the half.

Still in the second quarter, Spradlin scored on a one-yard keeper, to raise Hoxie's lead to 39-14, following Spargo's PAT.

Andrew Brewer capped Walnut Ridge's next drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Manning. Foster's kick made the score 39-21.

Hoxie closed out the scoring in the period when Spradlin found Lucky Fallis open for a 37-yard touchdown pass, giving Hoxie a 45-21 advantage heading into halftime.

Each team added a touchdown in the second half. Spradlin scored on a two-yard run, and Mackenzie Foresha kicked the PAT to extend Hoxie's lead to 52-21 at the 3:13 mark of the third quarter.

Manning ran for a 31-yard touchdown with 6:44 to play in the game. The PAT set the final score at 52-28.

In addition to Davis' exploits, Spradlin added 56 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Riggs finished with 56 yards and a touchdown on five carries. Braden Brand added 33 yards on nine attempts. Kiefer Wilson carried twice for 29 yards, and Spargo carried four times for six yards.

Fallis had two catches for 69 yards and a touchdown, and Waldrupe had a 35-yard touchdown reception. Chase Moore had four catches for 26 yards, and Chance Moore had 26 yards on two receptions.

Chase Moore and Wilson each had five tackles to lead Hoxie. River Brewer, Chance Moore and Davis each had four tackles, and Riggs added three tackles. Caleb Littlejohn, Cameron Johnson, Drake Mounts, Harley Cullins and John T. Washburn each had two tackles. Billy Hart and Kaleb Mercado each made one tackle. Davis and Mounts each had a tackle for loss.

For Walnut Ridge, Colin Phillips added 74 yards rushing on 11 attempts, and Andrew Brewer had nine carries for 32 yards.

Slade Dalton led the Bobcat receivers with seven receptions for 55 yards. Manning caught three passes for 36 yards. Phillips had two catches for 21 yards, while Nash Gill had two receptions for nine yards.

Gill led the Walnut Ridge defense with 14 tackles, and Logan Morris added 11 stops. Drew Brewer recorded seven tackles. Manning added six tackles, and Phillips had five.

The Harmony Grove Cardinals, located at Benton, are the third-place team from the 3A-5 Conference. They have a 7-3 overall record, with the losses coming against the two teams that finished ahead of them in the conference, Glen Rose and Prescott, as well as 4A member Fountain Lake.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Friday at Crider Field. Admission is $6, as set by the Arkansas Athletic Association.

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