Sexton Field in Walnut Ridge is a place that Salem Greyhound Head Coach Sammy Weir is intimately familiar with.
As a standout football player for Walnut Ridge in the late 1950s, Weir helped the Bobcats rack up a 30-game winning streak while earning All-State honors.
And while it may not be 30 unbeaten games in a row, Weir has seen his Greyhounds open the 2009 season with a 3-0 mark, this after Salem found the win column just once all last year.
But standing in the way of a 4-0 start for the Hounds was Weir's alma mater, Walnut Ridge, on homecoming night at Sexton Field on Oct. 2.
In the end, the Bobcats (3-2, 3-1) managed to overcome a hard-fought defensive effort on Salem's part to edge the Greyhounds 12-7. The loss was the Hounds' (3-1, 2-1) first on the year and first in 3-2A Conference play.
The Greyhounds forced Walnut Ridge to put on the Bobcats' first possession of the evening and then Salem drove the ball deep into Walnut Ridge territory.
But on third down near the Bobcat 20-yard line, Bennett Dudley picked off a Greyhound pass and rambled all the way back to the Salem 30-yard line.
This set up Walnut Ridge's first TD of the game.
On fourth-and-goal from the 7, Bobcat quarterback Luke Holloway hit Logan Gaither with a TD pass with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
The 2-point conversion was no good, leaving Walnut Ridge on top 6-0 after one.
The Hounds again marched deep into the Bobcats' side of the field early in the second quarter. Dustin Ray hit Jason Huff with a big 39-yard pass on the drive that placed the football at the Bobcat 26-yard line.
After a couple of totes from Ty Berry and Clint Ray, the Hounds were faced with fourth down at the Walnut Ridge 13.
Salem tried a field goal but it was wide of the mark, leaving the Bobcats on top.
But not for long.
On the Hounds' next possession, they drove 57 yards for the go-ahead score.
Berry ripped off a nifty 31-yard quarterback keeper in the drive and Dustin Ray finished things off with a 10-yard touchdown run on second down with 1:52 remaining until the half.
Huff booted the extra-point and the Greyhounds took a 7-6 lead to intermission.
Salem opened the third quarter with a long, clock-eating series, keyed by a 22-yard pass from Berry to Dustin Ray.
The Hounds made their way to the Bobcat 35-yard line, but on fourth down, Walnut Ridge kept the Greyhounds from converting and took the ball over on downs.
The Bobcats were forced to punt, but Walnut Ridge got the football back on a Gaither interception on Salem's next possession. Gaither ran the pick back to the Hound 16-yard line.
Five plays later, on fourth-and-5, Holloway hit Dudley with a 13-yard touchdown pass to put Walnut Ridge back on top.
The 2-point conversion was again stopped by Salem, but the Bobcats took a 12-7 lead into the final frame.
The Greyhounds had a chance to push back on top, thanks to a Huff interception of Holloway, but the Bobcats racked up a pair of takeaways down the stretch to keep Salem out of the end zone.