The Harrisburg Hornets came to Sexton Field on Friday night and defeated the Walnut Ridge Bobcats 14-12 in 3A-3 football action.
Walnut Ridge received the opening kickoff and drove to the Hornets’ 31-yard-line before being stopped on downs.
Wet conditions made ball handling precarious, as Harrisburg lost 24 yards on back-to-back fumbles and were forced to punt from deep in their own territory. Walker Ward fielded the punt at the 40-yard line and returned it 21 yards to the Harrisburg 19.
After runs by Kai Watson, Ward and Korwin Johnson advanced the ball to the five-yard line, Walnut Ridge put the ball on the ground. However, Bobcat Cam Buys pounced on the loose football in the end zone to give Walnut Ridge a 6-0 lead.
The lead stood until the second quarter, when Harrisburg scored on a short run with 4:54 to play in the half. A successful two-point conversion put the Hornets ahead 8-6 heading into the intermission.
Neither team was able to put any points on the board in the second half until Harrisburg scored on a 25-yard run with 6:54 to play in the game, stretching their lead to 14-6.
Walnut Ridge began its ensuing possession at their own 37-yard line. A 30-yard run by Watson on second down put the Cats at the Harrisburg 29. Three plays later, Watson passed to Mason Andrews for a 26-yard touchdown with 4:38 remaining in the game. The two-point attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the Hornets with a 14-12 advantage.
Harrisburg received he kickoff and was able to run out the clock on their ensuing possession.
Offensively for Walnut Ridge, Watson completed three-of-five passes, for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Ward was the Bobcats’ leading rusher with 117 yards on 22 carries. Watson gained 44 yards on 16 attempts, and Xavior Dettman added 21 yards on three carries.
Andrews finished with two receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown, and Ward caught one pass for 35 yards.
The loss dropped the Bobcats record to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference. Walnut Ridge will host the Piggott Mohawks for homecoming this week. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sexton Field.