Most of the first two quarters of the matchup between the Walnut Ridge and Watkins Memorial football teams on Sept. 5 saw the defenses neutralize whatever was attempted.
Then the Scots’ Qian Magwood got loose.
The senior wide receiver with scholarship offers from numerous Division I college programs broke a scoreless tie late in the second quarter with a long touchdown and then took part in a trick play a short time later to help visiting Walnut Ridge establish control on its way to a 24-13 victory.
The Scots improved to 2-0, while Watkins Memorial fell to 1-1.
“Early on, we faced some adversity and were stagnant offensively, but we got it together and were able to come out with a win,” Magwood said.
With 4 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the first half, Walnut Ridge quarterback Howard Thornton connected with Magwood, who then ran for a 72-yard touchdown for the game’s first points.
Although the Scots’ ensuing drive stalled at the 50, Magwood dropped back to punt but instead threw to Marshawn Mankins, who dashed for a 50-yard touchdown to make it 12-0 with 26 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Watkins Memorial began its second drive of the second half at its own 8 but scored seven plays later when quarterback Liston Shroyer hit Seth Cook for a 63-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 12-7.
Walnut Ridge made it 18-7 three plays later on a 54-yard run by Javarus Leach, but again Shroyer connected with Cook on a long touchdown pass, this one for 54 yards with 11:51 remaining to keep the game close.
With the Scots leading 18-13 and facing fourth-and-4 from the Watkins Memorial 30, Thornton hooked up with Kaveon Ross on a 25-yard reception.
Two plays later, Antonio Felts ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 8:45 remaining to close out the scoring.
Magwood finished with six catches for 138 yards and Leach had 14 carries for 98 yards.
“Qian is a special player,” Scots coach Byron Mattox said. “We gave up a couple big plays, but I’m proud of how our defense played. Overall, those guys played really well and played really hard.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final WALNUT RIDGE 0 12 6 6 24 WATKINS MEMORIAL
0 0 7 6 13
WR—Magwood 72 pass from Thornton (pass failed)
WR—Mankins 50 pass from Magwood (pass failed)
WM—Cook 63 pass from Shroyer (Howell kick)
WR—Leach 54 run (run failed)
WM—Cook 54 pass from Shroyer (pass failed)
WR—Felts 1 run (run failed)