The Walnut Ridge Bobcats went on the road to face the undefeated McGehee Owls in the first round of the 3A state football playoffs Friday night. The Owls, last year’s runners-up in 3A, were too much for the Bobcats, coasting to a 60-12 victory.
McGehee quarterback Samuel Polite threw touchdown passes of 14 and 15 yards to give the Owls a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Later in the period, the Owls’ Jody Easter broke loose for a 79-yard scoring run to put McGehee ahead 21-0.
Polite passed 28 yards to Easter for another touchdown early in the second quarter. Channing Woodson added a pair of touchdowns on runs of 15 and 12 yards, as the Owls’ advantage grew to 42-0. Tyrique Newman scored on a 15-yard scamper with 1:26 to play in the period and the Owls carried a 48-0 lead into halftime.
Each team scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half.
Walnut Ridge’s points came on a pair of receptions by senior Mason Andrews. Andrews scored on a 71-yard pass from Walker Ward with 45 seconds to play in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Andrews was on the receiving end of a 16-yard pass from Mason Ashlock.
Offensively for the Bobcats, Walker Ward completed two-of-three pass attempts, for 79 yards and a touchdown. Kai Watson was one-of-nine passing, for 12 yards, and Ashlock completed his only attempt, for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Ward had 12 yards rushing. Robbie Tate rushed for two yards, and Noah Roark added one yard.
Andrews finished with three receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns, and Jaden Blaylock caught one pass for 12 yards.
Walnut Ridge ended the season with a 4-7 overall record and were 3-4 in 3A-3 conference play.