The Walnut Ridge Bobcats defeated the East Poinsett County Warriors 18-14 on Friday night to earn their first victory of the 2021 football season.
Walnut Ridge scored the only points of the first quarter on Kai Watson’s one-yard run with four minutes left in the period. The two-point attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the Bobcats’ with a 6-0 lead.
The Cats extended their lead to 12-0 when Watson scored on a five-yard run with 4:32 remaining in the second quarter. EPC answered quickly when Carter Smith completed a 49-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Argo at the 3:45 mark of the period. Smith then tossed to Barry Rossell Jr. for the conversion to cut Walnut Ridge’s advantage to 12-8 heading to halftime.
The Warriors took a 14-12 lead on Dennis Gaines’ nine-yard run with 6:16 to play in the third quarter.
Walnut Ridge regained the lead at 18-14 when Watson scored on a five-yard run at the 7:24 mark of the fourth quarter. The Bobcat defense held the Warriors scoreless for the remainder of the contest to preserve the win.
Watson led the Bobcat offense with 142 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 34 carries. Walker Ward finished with 79 yards on 13 attempts.
Walnut Ridge improved to 1-2 on the season. The Bobcats open 3A-3 conference play this week when they travel to Palestine-Wheatley for a 7 p.m. kickoff.