Walnut Ridge’s Mari Thomas runs the ball as Mustang Cooper Spradlin moves in to tackle during senior high football action Friday night. Also in on the play were Hoxie’s Mario Armstrong (background) and Bobcat Walker Ward (#3). The Mustangs won the game, 48-19, to end regular season play.

Hoxie quarterback Daylon Powell has been accustomed to putting up big rushing numbers this season. Friday night, however, he showed off his arm, passing for 353 yards and five touchdowns in the Mustangs’ 48-19 win at Walnut Ridge. The victory capped an undefeated regular season for the Mustangs, who will take a 9-0 record into the state playoffs.

Walnut Ridge will also advance to the playoffs. The Bobcats will play the Lakeside Beavers Friday night at Lake Village. Hoxie received a bye this week and will host the winner of the Walnut Ridge-Lakeside game on Nov. 20.

Hoxie’s offense was fast out of the gates, putting up 21 points in each of the first two quarters as they built a commanding 42-13 halftime lead.

Daylon Powell got things started by racing 35 yards for a Mustang touchdown less than a minute into the contest. Jalen Chappell kicked the extra-point for a 7-0 Hoxie lead with 11:33 to play in the first quarter.

Walnut Ridge kept it close early, with Mari Thomas capping a Bobcat drive with a five-yard run at the 5:33 mark of the opening period. The PAT was no good, leaving Hoxie with a 7-6 advantage.

The Mustangs answered quickly when Daylon Powell hit Cade Forrester with a 43-yard touchdown pass with 5:08 to play in the period, stretching Hoxie’s lead to 13-6.

Hoxie increased its lead when Stefan Coleman hauled in a Daylon Powell pass and took it 86 yards for another Mustang touchdown with 1:59 remaining in the quarter. Daylon Powell ran for the conversion to boost Hoxie’s lead to 21-6 after one period.

The Mustangs continued to rack up points in the second quarter. Daylon Powell passed to Davie Powell for a 60-yard touchdown, followed by Chappell’s extra-point to make the score 28-6 with 9:27 to play in the first half.

Daylon Powell scored on a 14-yard run at the 6:01 mark of the period. Chappell’s PAT increased the Mustang lead to 35-6. Later in the period, Daylon Powell once again hooked up with Coleman, this time for a 61-yard strike with 1:06 to play before the intermission. Chappell booted his fourth PAT of the game to put Hoxie ahead 42-6.

Walnut Ridge continued to play hard, as Thomas passed to Mason Andrews for a touchdown with 10 seconds to play in the half. Parker Carmack added the extra-point to make the halftime score 42-13.

Daylon Powell hit Coleman for a 37-yard touchdown for the Mustangs’ final points and a 48-13 advantage with 3:05 to play in the third quarter.

Walnut Ridge added a touchdown on Kai Watson’s five-yard run with 7:29 remaining in the game to set the final score.

Daylon Powell’s final numbers included 10-of-16 passing, for 353 yards and five touchdowns. He also carried the ball three times for 51 yards and two touchdowns.

Coleman was the primary receiving target, catching six passes for 231 yards and three scores. Davie Powell had a 60-yard touchdown reception, and Forrester caught one pass for a 43-yard score. ShunDerrick Powell had a 10-yard reception and Seth Brooks caught one pass for nine yards.

ShunDerrick Powell led Hoxie in rushing, finishing with 78 yards on three carries, and Cannon Dail had one carry for three yards.

For Walnut Ridge, Thomas completed two-of-five pass attempts, for 45 yards and a touchdown. He was also the game’s leading rusher with 114 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries.

Blane Wade added 86 yards on 23 carries, and Watson had 33 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts. Cole Manning had four carries for seven yards, and Cam Buys had two carries for 12 yards.

Andrews had a 35-yard touchdown reception, and Wade caught one pass for 10 yards.

The Bobcats conclude the regular season with a 2-7 record. Walnut Ridge’s game against Lakeside is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in Lake Village.

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