Walnut Ridge won the annual battle of the Bobcats, defeating 3A-3 Conference rival Corning 42-7 Friday night at Corning.
Walnut Ridge opened the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown run by Xavier Dettmann with 4:42 to play in the first quarter. Corning blocked the PAT attempt to leave the score 6-0.
Quarterback Kai Watson scored on a two-yard run with just 26 seconds remaining in the opening period. Watson then passed to Mason Andrews for the two-point conversion to give Walnut Ridge a 14-0 lead.
Neither team scored in the second quarter, but Walnut Ridge wasted no time adding to their lead after the intermission. Watson fielded the second-half kickoff and raced 86 yards for a touchdown. Bo Kersey kicked the extra-point to stretch Walnut Ridge’s lead to 21-0.
Special teams accounted for the next touchdown, as well, when Walnut Ridge blocked a Corning punt. Logan Sain recovered the loose ball in the end zone to stretch the Cats’ advantage to 27-0.
Corning’s only touchdown came on a three-yard run with 5:01 to play in the third quarter, which cut Walnut Ridge’s lead to 27-7.
Walnut Ridge finished strong, however, adding two scores in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. First, Watson threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jaden Blaylock. Watson then found Andrews again for the conversion to stretch the lead to 35-7 with 11:07 to play.
Korwin Johnson scored Walnut Ridge’s final touchdown on a two-yard run with eight minutes remaining. Kersey added the PAT to set the 42-7 final score.
Watson finished with four pass completions on seven attempts, for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Walker Ward was the Cats’ leading rusher, with 82 yards on 17 carries. Dettman added 59 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Watson added 30 yards and a touchdown on nine attempts, and Johnson rushed four times for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Andrews and Blaylock each had two receptions, for 32 and 17 yards, respectively.
The victory improved Walnut Ridge’s record to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the conference. The Bobcats host Osceola this week. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Sexton Field.