2022 FFN Game of the Week preview: Walnut Ridge at East Poinsett County

Football Friday Night airs at 10:15pm on KAIT.
Football Friday Night airs at 10:15pm on KAIT.(Source: KAIT)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 5:21 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 7:23 PM CDT
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LEPANTO, Ark. (KAIT) - Our next Game of the Week features a battle of undefeated teams as East Poinsett County hosts Walnut Ridge.

Last EPC win - 2017 (14-6 at EPC)

Last Walnut Ridge win - 2021 (18-14 at Walnut Ridge)

East Poinsett County (1-0)

Friday night will be the home opener for East Poinsett County. The Warriors, fresh off of a 42-0 victory at Manila last week.

“It’s another revenge game [for us],” senior offensive tackle Jamarkius Garrett said. “Last year, we went down there, they beat us by four, so we’re coming back to strike at them too then after that we just keep climbing the ladder.”

The two teams have a similar style of play, with both teams employing a run-heavy offense and a stout run defense.

“They run a similar offense to what Manila ran last week and we’re hoping to have that experience and capitalize on that,” senior tackle Hayden Holiman said. “The defensive line played really great and the secondary came threw in the throwing game for Manila and it just helped us capitalize holding them to zero.”

Head Coach Brandon Powell says this game will be decided along the lines of scrimmage.

“Offensively I thought we did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage and defensively I thought we did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage,” Powell said. “I feel we’re similar to Walnut Ridge, we want to run the football. I thought we did a great job last week and we want to continue doing that, running the football kind of control the clock and keep our defense off the field.”

Walnut Ridge Bobcats (2-0)

Walnut Ridge is coming off of an impressive 48-12 road victory at Cave City, now they turn their attention to another tough road test.

“Just the physicality that we’ve brought each and every week, we’ve been physical up front, we’ve been flying to the football on defense, I think we’ve only allowed under 230 yards both games on the defense side of the ball,” head coach Jeff Blake said. “And we’ve just been flying around over there and then up front, offensive line just dominating up front. And that’s kind of what we’re hanging our hat on right now, just how they’re playing up front. And that’s what we, hopefully, we can just keep on improving in that aspect of the game.”

The Bobcats held on to beat the Warriors last season. Blake’s crew looks to carry the momentum to this season.

“It’s really been surprising how good our run defense is,” senior wide receiver Kai Watson said. “And our secondary stepped up this year. Past years, it hasn’t been great, but we’ve been pulling through and we’ve got so many people who can run the ball. I know that they’re just pretty physical, pretty aggressive and there’s a lot that they can do.”

Walnut Ridge hopes to make it five wins in a row over the Warrios.

Walker Ward (Sr. RB/S): “They have a running back that we’ve played against for many years and I grew up playing him and he’s pretty strong,” senior running back and safety Walker Ward said. “If all they can do is run it then I think we should stuff them.”

It should be an exciting matchup between the Warriors and the Bobcats. We’ll have you covered with all the highlights and postgame reaction on the newest edition of Football Friday Night at 10:15.