Instant Classic performance ends with heartbreaking second round loss for Walnut
Walnut’s season came to an end in the second round against East Webster on Friday with a 52-50 defeats in double overtime. Mark Rowell was in attendance for Tippah County sports. Here is how the game went down.
This game had plenty of fireworks and the first fuse was lit early as TJ Colom took a 60 yard run to the house on the opening possession with 8:33 to play in the first quarter. Cade Hunt added a two point conversion on the ground after a bobbled snap on the PAT attempt to go up 8-0.
It didn’t take long for East Webster to counter with a 29 yard touchdown run by quarterback Steven Betts with 5:03 left in the first quarter to make the score 8-7.
The Wildcats next drive would end on a turnover on downs, on their own 43 yard line just before the end of the quarter. The Wolverines, threatening to take the lead, came to a stop with a huge defensive stand by the ‘Cats, as they forced a turnover on downs on the 26 yard line with 9:19 left in the second quarter.
TJ Colom then took another run 55 yards for a touchdown to put Walnut up 15-7 with 7:25 to play until halftime. Betts answered again with a 21 yard touchdown run with 5:36 to play, to shorten the Wildcat lead 15-14.
Walnut put another huge offensive drive together just before halftime with a big time pass from Cade Hunt to TJ Luellen to put the Cats on the goal line. Colom added his third score with a 6 yard rush to extend the lead 22-14 with 1:04 to play in the half.
The Wolverines marched down the field but came up with no points as the defense bent but didn’t break, as Walnut stopped a fake field goal attempt on the 8 yard line as time expired.
The third quarter started with a turnover for both teams on their opening drives before Cade Hunt would score on a quarterback sneak on the one yard line with 4:43 left in the quarter to put Walnut up 29-14.
East Webster went fast as they narrowed the gap in just over a minute with a Tyrik Pittman 12 yard touchdown run.
The fourth quarter would start with a Wildcat 29-21 lead. TJ Colom scored his fourth touchdown of the night on a absolute grown man run from 22 yards out with 9:19 left, making the score 36-21.
The Wolverines refusing to go away answered immediately with another touchdown from Tyrik Pittman on a 6 yard run. East Webster added a two point conversion to shorten the Walnut lead 36-29 with 7:09 left in the game.
The Wildcats next drive unfortunately ended with a turnover on downs, as they were unable to convert on a fourth and three on their own 42 yard line with 4:42 left. East Webster tied the game at 36 with a touchdown pass from Steven Betts to Jontavis Cunningham with 3:06 to play in regulation.
Walnut’s opportunity to score a game winner came up short, so this epic battle would go to overtime.
East Webster started on offense first. The first play from the 10 yard line backed the Wolverines up 10 more yards on a holding call. Steven Betts gave his team their first lead of the night on a 20 yard touchdown run. They added to that lead on a two point conversion. Walnut’s overtime possession was an immediate score on a 10 yard jet sweep from TJ Colom. John Meeks called the same play on the two point attempt, to tie the game at 44 in the first overtime.
Walnut would go on offense first in the second OT and they scored on a TJ Luellen 9 yard run to put the Cats up 50-44. An unfortunate penalty put Walnut on the 18 yard line for the two point try and they were unable to score.
Steven Betts took his offense back onto the field and scored on another touchdown run from 10 yards out to tie the game at 50. Walnut had to stop the two point attempt to force a third overtime, but just came up short as Betts dove into the end zone to get the win for East Webster 52-50.
Colom would finish his night with 27 Carries for 242 yards to go along with 4 Receptions for 50 yards and 5 touchdowns.