FALKNER – Another year, another Joe Bowl victory for the Walnut Wildcats.
The Wildcats dominated both sides of the ball to take their seventh consecutive Joe Bowl, beating north Tippah rival Falkner 28-0 on Thursday. The game is named in honor of the late Coach Joe Horton, who coached at both schools. The Joe Bowl trophy was introduced in 2000 and it’s staying in its familiar confines of the Walnut school office.
“It’s good to have the trophy coming back to Walnut,” said Moore, who’s coached the Wildcats for 17 seasons.
A week after being shutout with just 56 total yards, the Wildcats’ offense found its groove, easily gaining 425 total yards, while limiting the Eagles to 71, 13 of that in the first half.
The Wildcats gained 252 yards in the first half, led by senior running back Dominic Steele who scorched the Eagles defense for 132 yards and a score. His six-yard jaunt on fourth-and-goal capped a 12-play 60-yard drive and gave the Wildcats a 6-0 lead with 5:16 to play in the first quarter. Steele finished with a game-high 158 yards rushing.
In the second quarter, the Wildcats finished a 96-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown run by Jacob Hopper before their final drive of the half ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Dillon Barnes to freshman Armani Linton for a 21-0 halftime lead. Linton had 147 all-purpose yards two scores. Barnes was 4-for-6 for 105 yards and two passing TDs.
Falkner QB Kendrick Williams, who was coming off a 115-yard game, last week, was held to minus-13 yards rushing and two turnovers. Tailback Tray Woody led the Eagles with 54 yards rushing.
After a scoreless third quarter, Barnes found Linton for a 48-yard run and catch with 7:52 to play for the final points. Barnes finished the night 4-for-6 for 105 yards and two TDs.
Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel