BY BRIAN HAMILTON
STRAWBERRY PLAINS – Carter faced its most daunting test of the season Friday night, as the Hornets hosted sixth-ranked Class 5A Walker Valley from Cleveland. Carter suffered its first setback of the season, falling to the Mustangs 42-14.
Walker Valley got on the board with six minutes left in the first quarter when quarterback Ryan Lay found Tristen McCann for a 71-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
With under a minute remaining in the opening quarter, Lay tossed another touchdown to give the Mustangs a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
Lay tossed his third touchdown of the night to Tucker Ownby with seven minutes left in the second quarter, extending the Walker Valley lead to 20-0.
A 32-yard touchdown pass from Chandler Wilson to Max Bailey would get Carter on the board with 2:51 left until halftime. The extra-point attempt was no good, however, leaving the Mustangs with a 20-6 halftime lead.
Wilson went into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown with 7:08 remaining in the third quarter. The two-point conversion was successful, as Wilson found Brody Blankenship in the end zone, trimming the Mustangs’ lead to 20-14.
On the ensuing Walker Valley drive, C.J. Muglach ran for a 2-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, putting the Mustangs in front 28-14.
After a Carter punt, Lay found Kade Tjaarda for a big gain to the Hornets’ 38-yard line. Muglach then found paydirt on a 20-yard touchdown run, giving Walker Valley a 35-14 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Lay tossed his fourth and final touchdown of the game with six minutes left in the game, giving the Mustangs a 42-14 win. The senior finished the game with 316 yards and four scores on 21-of-31 passing.
Carter (3-1, 1-0 Class 4A Region 2) will host Scott (1-2) on Friday night in a region contest, while Walker Valley (3-1) travels to Smith County (2-2) for a non-region matchup.