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NORTH LITTLE ROCK FOOTBALL | Wildcats lose wild one

Photos by Jaison Sterling North Little Rock warms up under a sunny sky before the South Panola game.
Photos by Jaison Sterling North Little Rock warms up under a sunny sky before the South Panola game.
North Little Rock running back Juan Day breaks loose against South Panola.
North Little Rock running back Juan Day breaks loose against South Panola.
North Little Rock gets ready to take the field against South Panola, Miss., last Friday night.
North Little Rock gets ready to take the field against South Panola, Miss., last Friday night.

When asked to sum up North Little Rock’s 24-23 loss to South Panola, Miss. on Friday, North Little Rock football coach Brad Bolding used but two words: Missed opportunities.

A sullen Bolding said his team just didn’t capitalize on opportunities when they needed them.

“We drop an interception, we fumble,” Bolding said. “We just made too many mistakes.”

Both teams made mistakes. The Charging Wildcat’s first touchdown came on a Payton Holmes 56-yard interception return. North Little Rock had three picks in the first half.

But three Sandy Burks’ field goals and one 65-yard touchdown catch on a bail out play from quarterback Heath Land to running back Juan Day wasn’t enough for North Little Rock to come away with a win at home on Friday.

Day had 145 yards rushing and 81 receiving for North Little Rock.

The Charging Wildcats were in a similar situation a year ago, albeit on the road at Longview, Texas.

That was their only loss of the year before their season ended in the playoffs.

Bolding said South Panola was a better team than the one in Texas that they lost to.

“South Panola would beat Longview,” Bolding said.

But just like after week one’s blowout win over Lake Hamilton, it’s time to move on to the next game.

The latest installment of the Bolding Bowl takes place Friday in Pine Bluff as the Charging Wildcats travel to Zebra Stadium for the first time in several years.

Pine Bluff coach Bobby Bolding is Brad’s older brother. At this point, as many times as the two have faced each other in the summer and on Friday night, the two teams should know each other pretty well.

“They’ve got some speed, and some good players,” Bolding said, “and they are well coached.”

Their first road game won’t be an easy road game, but a win is definitely needed after a disappointing Friday night in North Little Rock.

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