The Manila Lions jumped out to a 19-0 lead in the first half and went on to defeat the Walnut Ridge Bobcats, 39-14, in 3A-3 football action Friday night at Manila.

Walnut Ridge’s first points came from the defense. Kai Watson intercepted a Lion pass and returned it for a touchdown to bring the Bobcats to within 19-6 with 9:32 to play in the second quarter. Manila added another score in the quarter and led 27-6 at halftime.

The Lions continued to pull away in the second half, with two touchdowns in the third quarter, to stretch their lead to 39-6.

Watson threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Mullen with 1:37 to play in the game. Mason Ashlock ran for the conversion to set the 39-14 final score.

Watson completed four-of-15 passes, for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Walker Ward led Walnut Ridge in rushing with 39 yards on six carries. Watson added 30 yards on 12 carries, and Korwin Johnson had four attempts for 18 yards. Robbie Tate had 15 yards on five carries, and Xavier Dettman ran three times for 12 yards.

Mason Andrews led the receivers with two receptions for 22 yards. Mullen had a 15-yard touchdown reception, and Jayden Blaylock had one reception for 10 yards.

The loss dropped Walnut Ridge to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play. The Bobcats close out the regular season Friday night at Hoxie. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hoxie’s Crider Field.

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