Bobcats leap over Seminoles, 32-22
Delta Digital News Service
Friday, Oct. 20, 2023
Brayden Morse | Sports Editor
WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. – An offensive backfield duo helped the Walnut Ridge Bobcats to a 32-22 victory over the Osceola Seminoles on Friday night at Sexton Field.
Running back Enrique Perez and running back Robbie Tate each had two rushing touchdowns, combining for all four of the Bobcats’ touchdowns.
Walnut Ridge head coach Jeffery Blake gave his thoughts on Perez’s performance.
“We have to have a lot of production out of him. We have to have him keep our offense moving,” Blake said.
Another Bobcat player who stood out was quarterback Jersie Cunningham. Not only did he manage the offense, but he also had two interceptions on defense to give his team excellent field position.
“Jersie has grown throughout the year. He is a heck of a player and has been this whole time here. He is just a sophomore, so we have got two more years left with him. We expect big plays out of him, and that is what he does each and every week,” Blake said.
Osceola’s first drive of the game ended with a touchdown thanks to utilizing the NFL Philadelphia Eagles’ trending play, the ‘tush push’ to convert on a third and fourth down.
That drive helped the Seminoles knock off five minutes on the clock.
The Bobcats responded with Perez scoring his first touchdown from 20 yards, as well as converting on the two-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead late in the first quarter.
Walnut Ridge would eventually get the ball back from a Cunningham interception, but then Cunningham threw an interception with Osceola recovering.
The Seminoles’ next drive was stalled to a punt, when the punt was blocked and recovered by the Bobcats in excellent field position.
Tate would go on to score his first rushing touchdown to increase the lead, 16-6 before halftime.
After multiple flags on Osceola’s first drive of the second half, they would go on to score a red zone touchdown and convert a two-point conversion to minimize Walnut Ridge’s lead.
Walnut Ridge found a way to drive down the field with Tate scoring his second rushing touchdown in a goal-line situation, leading 24-14 midway through the third quarter.
The Seminoles were not going down without a fight, when having a methodical drive to score a touchdown with one second left in the third quarter.
Osceola’s hopes of a victory were closed when Perez scored a 69-yard rushing touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Seminoles drove down the field in a red zone opportunity but could not complete a comeback when Cunningham snagged his second interception of the night.
Walnut Ridge was able to run out the clock and seal a victory, giving them a 6-2 record on the season.
Coach Blake gave his overall takeaways from the game.
“Just a great football game, great atmosphere. Osceola is a heck of a team, and they were very athletic and fast. I was proud of our guys for sticking together down the stretch and kept it going,” Blake said.
The Bobcats will travel to play Manila in a conference matchup next Friday.
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FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Walnut Ridge vs. Osceola. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council