With a win over Turrell in the third week of the season, the Walnut Ridge Bobcats matched their 3AA Conference win total from last year; one.
The Salem Greyhounds made sure they were not the Bobcats' second victims of the year as they rallied late to notch a 19-16 win at Walnut Ridge Oct. 11.
Greyhound senior tailback Duane Slagley, banged up in last week's loss to Hughes, had another big game for Salem.
The Greyhounds saw another dose of the single-wing offense, much like the Blue Devils ran the week before.
"We knew they wanted to run the ball and that they'd be tough," said Greyhound Head Coach Bob Grass. "I'm not sure that we were mentally prepared to play them like we should have been."
Scoring was scarce in the first half as neither team lit the scoreboard until Greyhound senior quarterback Luke Barker (12 of 24, 138 yards) hit classmate Joey Burk on a 34-yard touchdown strike with 18 seconds left in the second quarter, to put the Greyhounds up 6-0 at the half.
The Bobcats answered at the 6:12 mark of the third quarter as sophomore quarterback Brett Shrable crossed the goal line from 1 yard out. The PAT gave Walnut Ridge the advantage at 7-6.
"That Shrable kid may be a sophomore, but he's a good athlete. He played well against us," Grass said.
The Bobcats added to their lead with a 32-yard field goal by Shrable to go up 10-6 after three.
Greyhound Duane Slagley, who missed a good bit of the second half last week after being injured in a spearing incident in the first half against the Hughes Blue Devils, proved to be resilient as he crossed the goal line from 7 yards out to give the lead back to Salem at 12-10 early in the last quarter.
The back-and-forth nature of the game continued as Walnut Ridge added another score at the 7:20 mark of the fourth quarter to climb back on top 16-12.
"We missed several potential touchdown passes. The throws were there, but we just didn't hang onto them," said Grass. "It was a struggle to score."
The Greyhounds got the ball one last time with 2 minutes left in the game and marched downfield where a 25-yard touchdown by Slagley (10 carries, 78 yards) with 44 seconds left put the Greyhounds out front to stay, 19-16, after the PAT.
The Greyhounds even their season's record at 3-3, 3-2 in conference.
"We need to win out. We've got four games left and we need them all if we want to go to the playoffs," Grass said.
The Greyhounds travel to Rector on Oct. 18.