Junior High Football Update
The junior high Mohawks and Cougars fell last week, although the Piggott seventh grade squad did post their first win over Paragould.
Cougars vs Walnut Ridge
After a sluggish start, the Rector Junior Cougars seemed to get stronger as the game went on, but they still fell, 24-0, on Thursday night to an experienced bunch of Junior Bobcats at Walnut Ridge.
"We're a young team and had a deer in the headlights look," coach David Hendrix said of the way his team started the game.
The Junior Cougars gave it up on downs on their first drive and the hosts promptly drove 38 yards for the first score of the game. The touchdown came from 20 yards out by Drew Brewer and Brycen Thomas added the PAT for an 8-0 Walnut Ridge lead.
Rector's second drive was halted at the Bobcats' 33 and the Cats required only two plays to notch their second touchdown. The score came on a 60-yard burst over left tackle by Cade Burris. Thomas again added the PAT and the Cougars were down 16-0 with 26.9 seconds left in the first quarter.
Neither team could pose a serious scoring threat in the second quarter as Burris intercepted a Rector pass to stop a drive and Shannon Patterson later returned the favor for Rector.
The young Cougars showed in the second half that they belonged in the game by managing a much better offensive performance and holding the Cats to one touchdown.
The Walnut Ridge score came on their first possession after intermission. The Cats moved 60 yards in five plays with the TD coming on a six-yard run by Thomas. The successful PAT was a pass from Burris to Jace Turner and Walnut Ridge led 24-0 with 5:50 left in the third period.
The Cougars then began their most impressive drive of the game, moving from their own 34 to the WR seven-yard line before giving it up on downs. It was a methodical 12-play drive by Rector, which featured some strong running by Kale Hardin (28 yards), Max Ford (10 yards) and Conly Lockhart (10 yards). Walnut Ridge stopped the drive when the Cats halted Ford just short of a first down on a fourth-and-one play.
Neither team could mount a scoring threat the rest of the way as the Cougars fell to 0-2 on the season while the Bobcats won their season-opener.
"After the first quarter we settled down and did what we are supposed to do," Hendrix said. "Walnut Ridge has a good football team, but we need to settle down and play how we need to instead of thinking about who we are playing. We need to keep playing and be aggressive."
Rector will be in action this week with a long trip to Salem for a game that starts at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Mohawks at Paragould
The Piggott Junior Mohawks dropped their second game of the year last Thursday, as they traveled to Paragould and fell to the 5A Rams by a final of 28-22. Delayed by the weather, the game started a bit late, and followed the Mohawk seventh grade teams first win of the year, as they dispatched the Paragould seventh graders 16-14.
The Tribe drew first blood in the contest, as Gunner Shaw scored on a 60 yard touchdown run with 2:19 to go in the first quarter. Quarterback Trey Gossett added the two-point conversion, and the Mohawks led 8-0. But, the Rams answered less than two minutes later, as they punched it in from 20 yards out. They also converted on the two-point attempt, and the score stood tied at the end of the first quarter 8-8.
The Mohawks extended their lead early in the second quarter as Mason Tillman scored from four yards out with 6:37 to go until intermission. Shaw added the two-point conversion, and the Mohawks enjoyed a 16-8 lead at the half.
The Tribe took the second half kick-off and wasted no time, as Tillman rambled 48 yards for his second touchdown of the night. This time the two-point conversion attempt was no good, and the Mohawk lead stood at 22-8.
But, the Rams were not finished as they came back and scored three unanswered second half touchdowns. Paragould scored on runs of 21, 16 and 49 yards and converted on one of the three two-point conversion attempts to set the final score.
The Tribe did mount a late drive, but it ended as the Mohawks fumbled the ball into the end zone and it was covered by the Rams.
Shaw led the Mohawk offensive attack with 211 yards rushing on 13 carries while Tillman finished with 106 yards on 8 totes.
With the loss the Mohawks fall to 1-1 overall as they're set to begin conference play. They'll begin the conference schedule at home this Thursday evening, as they host the Corning Bobkittens. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Parker Field, and the contest will be preceded by a seventh grade game at 5.