Walnut Ridge’s Mari Thomas (right) picks up some yardage for the Bobcats during Friday night’s game against Salem as he receives blocking assistance from teammate Michael Steele.

The Salem Greyhounds scored 20 unanswered points in the third quarter to pull away for a 34-14 victory over the Walnut Ridge Bobcats in senior high football action Friday night at Salem.

Walnut Ridge took a 6-0 lead on Cole Manning’s 65-yard touchdown pass to Mari Thomas with 10:57 to play in the first quarter. Manning was stopped short of the goal line on the two-point attempt.

The Greyhounds scored their first touchdown at the 6:53 mark of the opening period, but couldn’t connect on the point-after, leaving the score at 6-6.

The Bobcats took the lead again when Manning passed seven yards to Blane Wade for a touchdown. Manning added two points on a quarterback keeper to put Walnut Ridge ahead 14-6 with 2:47 remaining in the quarter.

Salem tied the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion in the final seconds of the first quarter.

No one scored in the second quarter and the teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked 14-14 at halftime.

Salem wasted little time breaking the tie, scoring on a 64-yard pass play at the 11:38 mark of the period. The Greyhounds scored again on a 26-yard pass with 8:21 to play in the period to extend their advantage to 26-14.

The Hounds closed out the scoring with a three-yard run with just over two minutes to play in the quarter. The two-point conversion made the score 34-14 and proved to be the game’s final points, as the teams battled to a scoreless fourth quarter.

For Walnut Ridge, Manning was nine-of-23 passing, for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed the ball 27 times for 168 yards.

Walker Ward had three carries for 17 yards. Wade finished with three carries for 10 yards. Kai Watson gained six yards on two carries, and Cannon Baker had one yard on two carries.

Thomas caught six passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Mason Andrews had two receptions for 14 yards. Wade caught one pass for a seven-yard touchdown.

Walnut Ridge is now 1-1 on the season. Next up for the Bobcats is a road trip to Lepanto to face the East Poinsett County Warriors. Game time is 7 p.m.

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