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War Eagles dominate Bulldogs, 55-14
By Paul Keane
Consider these little tidbits when evaluating Friday night's district opener between WCHS and Natchez:
• It wasn't until the final play of the third quarter that the Bulldogs reached WCHS territory.
• The 59-yard scoring run as time expired in the third quarter moved Natchez to minus-9 yards rushing for the game at that point.
• The Bulldogs did not get into positive rushing yardage until there were less than two minutes left in the game.
Add in three interceptions — one returned for a touchdown — and a strong return game and it all added up to a 55-14 thrashing of NHS by the War Eagles in Friday night's district opener. WCHS moved to 4-1 and 1-0 in league play with the victory while the Bulldogs fell to 3-2 and 0-1.
"We played a good game tonight," said Head Coach Todd Mangum. "This was a good way to start region play, but we've got six more of these left to play.
"I feel like we left some points out on the field in the first half, but our defense played well and our offense did a good job. Now, we have to get ready to head to Brookhaven next week, which is always a tough game when we play over there."
The War Eagles took control of things early and then kept applying the pressure until things were well in hand. WCHS scored 14 points in the first quarter, added 14 more in the second and then exploded for 27 in the third, allowing Mangum and his staff to play multiple players and rest starters in preparation for next week's game against Ole Brook.
Surprisingly, a fumble ended Wayne County's first scoring threat, but the defense held and gave the ball back to the offense at the War Eagles' 40-yard line. Eight plays later, quarterback David Hodo bulled his way in from 4 yards out, and the Brandon McCary kick made it 7-0 with 5:35 left in the opening quarter of play.
The score was set up when DeCarlos Walker took a snap on a fake punt and raced 34 yards down to the Natchez 10-yard line.
Three plays and a punt later, the War Eagles were back in business, this time at their own 36-yard line. Seven plays later, Chris Cooley scored on a 7-yard run and the McCary kick opened up a 14-0 advantage with 3:00 left in the first.
The War Eagles had a chance to add more points on the board in the first quarter, but a drive stalled at the Natchez 20-yard line and a 37-yard field goal barely missed its mark.
On the first series of the second quarter, Cadarius Pannell stepped in front of a Natchez pass and returned it 52 yards for a score. The McCary extra point made it 21-0 with 11:31 left before the intermission.
The War Eagles were driving down field again after a fourth-down play by the Bulldogs was stopped, and Freddy Jordan, Jr., raced down to the 9-yard line before being hit and having the ball come loose. The fumble rolled into the end zone and was recovered by the Bulldogs for a touchback. Jordan, Jr., left the game after that play with what was believed to be a concussion.
Quinten Hogan picked off a pass and returned it to the Natchez 34-yard line on the ensuing series, and it took the offense only six plays before Schadarius Chambers scored from a yard out. The McCarty kick made it 28-0 with 4:46 left before halftime.
On the War Eagles next drive, WCHS was forced to punt for the first and only time of the night.
The War Eagles started the second half with an impressive 73-yard, seven-play drive that was capped off when Hodo hit Rameik Wallace with a 50-yard touchdown pass on third-and-20 from midfield. The McCary kick opened up a 35-0 lead with 10:!2 left in the stanza.
On the very next play, Javonta McCann intercepted a pass and returned to the Natchez 35-yard line. The drive stalled, though, as a fourth-down pass missed its mark.
On the very next play, though, Jamal Powe recovered a fumble that set the offense up at the Natchez 25-yard line. Three plays later, DeCarlos Walker scored on a 19-yard run, with the McCary kick making it 42-0 with 5:59 remaining in the third.
A 37-yard punt on the ensuing series was returned 30 yards by Reggie Stewart, setting the War Eagles up at the Bulldogs 8-yard line. Cooley scored on a 7-yard run with 4:15 left to make it 48-0.
The defense held again, allowing the offense to take over at the NHS 31-yard line. On first down, Chambers raced to pay dirt, and the Brett Reynolds kick made it 55-0 with 1:39 left.
On the final play of the quarter, Natchez scored its first points of the night on a 59-yard run to trim the deficit down to a mere 49 points.
The Bulldogs would add another touchdown, this time on a 23-yard year, to make it 55-14 with 27 seconds remaining.
WCHS 55, NATCHEZ 14
SCORE BY QUARTERS
NHS 0 0 6 8 — 14
WCHS 14 14 27 0 — 55
WCHS — 5:35, David Hodo 4-yard run. Brandon McCary kick.
WCHS — 3:00, Chris Cooley 7-yard run. McCary kick.
WCHS — 11:31, Cadarius Pannell 52-yard interception return. McCary kick.
WCHS — 4:46, Schadarius Chambers 1-yard run. McCary kick.
WCHS — 10:12, Rameik Wallace 50-yard pass from Hodo. McCary kick.
WCHS — 5:59, DeCarlos Walker 19-yard run. McCary kick.
WCHS — 4:15, Cooley 7-yard run. Kick failed.
WCHS — 1:39, Chambers 31-yard run. Brett Reynolds kick.
NHS — 0:00, 59-yard run. Run failed.
NHS — 0:27, 23-yard run. Pass for conversion.
FIRST DOWNS: WCHS 21, NHS 8
RUSHES-YARDS: WCHS 50-288, NHS 34-65
PASSES: WCHS 7-19-0, NHS 11-21-3
PASSING YARDS: WCHS 102, NHS 89
FUMBLES-LOST: WCHS 2-2, NHS 1-1
PENALTIES-YARDS: WCHS 4-35, NHS 6-50
PUNTS-AVERAGE: WCHS 1-34.0, NHS 8-30.0
RETURN YARDS: WCHS 211, NHS 62
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS: WCHS 7-of-13, NHS 3-of-13
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS: WCHS 2-of-5, NHS 0-of-2
TIME OF POSSESSION: WCHS 22:55, NHS 25:05
Freddy Jordan, Jr., 10-64, Chris Cooley 11-57, Schadarius Chambers 8-56, DeCarlos Walker 2-48, Raphael Everett 12-32, David Hodo 4-17, Will Mangum 3-14.
David Hodo 7-19-0 102 yards.
Rameik Wallace 1-50, Dashon Philon 2-24, Freddy Jordan, Jr., 1-10, Reggie Stewart 1-9, Direkus Harris 2-9.
DeAndre Gandy 9, Benito Jones 7, Chandler Pugh 7, Denzel Bonner 7, Hunter James 7, Kendrick Fuqua 4, Cadarius Pannel 4, Tyler Hopkins 4, Tramond Lofton 4, Jabien Harris 4, Quidnarius Bivens 4, Schadarius Chambers 3, TyReeEvans 3, Jesquavius Leggett 3, Jeffery Ramey 3, Jamal Powe 3, Corey Polite 2, DeAntavius Mason 2, Devin Washam 2, Sanchez Mayfield 2, Schrcihiontez Kittler 2, Jacquan White 2, Brandon McCary 2, Javonta McCann 2, Dashon Philon 1, Sharquez Williamson 1, Rashad Parker 1, Vernon Sumrall 1, LeeDarius McDougle 1, Jeffery Shanks 1, Clifton Jordan 1.
Bentio Jones 3, Tramond Lofton 2, Chandler Pugh 2, Jacquan White 1, Quindarius Bivens 1, TyRee Evans 1.
Tramond Lofton 2, Chandler Pugh 2, DeAndre Gandy 1, TyRee Evans 1, Jabien Harris 1, Jacquan White 1, Jesquavius Leggett 1.
Denzel Bonner 1.
Jamal Powe 1.
Quinten Hogan 1, Cadarius Pannell 1, Javonta McCann 1.
Cadarius Pannell 1, Devin Washam 1.
Jaguars drop district opener to Simpson
By Sean Dunlap
Despite spotting Simpson County Academy 21 points within the first six minutes of the game, Wayne Academy's varsity football team rallied to pull to within two points of the visiting team Friday night by intermission.
However, the Cougars, now 5-1 on the regular season, regained the momentum in the second half en route to a 47-19 win over the Jaguars at T.F. Giles Field to take a 1-0 mark in Mississippi Association of Independent Schools' Class AA District 4 play and dropped WA to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in regional competition.
Wayne had a fairly balanced attack against the Cougars with the Jaguars gaining 173 yards on 37 carries — a 4.67 per average on the night. In the passing department, Wayne -- with Hutchinson from the shotgun -- was 8-28-3 for 126 yards.
Junior quarterback Zach Hutchinson rushed 17 times for 89 yards -- one of his best performances of the season thus far -- while sophomore tailback Bubba Lewis had 18 carries for 81 yards. Senior tailback Garret Dixon came into the game late, and carried twice for three yards.
Meanwhile, Simpson rushed 39 times for 422 yards -- a 10.8 per tote average -- and was 4-9-2 passing for only 45 yards on the evening.
WA Coach Sean Harrison said he was proud of the way his team battled back from the early 21-point deficit midway through the first quarter until the intermission. "The one thing that we didn't do was quit, and I think that was one of the biggest positives we carried away from the game," he noted. "I thought we played hard, but just ran out of gas in the end. Still, I believe we did a lot of things right against Simpson and showed that we could hang with them. I hope this is something we can build off of as we continue into our district schedule."
Simpson scored three times on as many offensive series in the first six minutes of the game. The Cougars' first score came on a two-play drive after a Hutchinson pass was intercepted with 9:46 showing on the clock. A 64-yard touchdown run and subsequent two-point conversion put Simpson out to a lead that it would not relinquish down the stretch.
With that 8-0 lead, Simpson went to work again after Wayne failed to convert on fourth down with 7:32 remaining in the opening frame. Again, a two-play drive put the Cougars in the end zone as a 54-yard run pushed SCA out to a 14-0 advantage with 6:39 still hanging on the clock in the opening quarter.
The Cougars' final score of the first quarter -- and half for that matter -- followed a fumble by the Jaguars on the post-touchdown kickoff at the Wayne 26 yard line. Simpson used a pass to find paydirt once more and the point after try made it a 21-0 ballgame less than 15 seconds after the previous score.
The Jaguars then began an epic comeback as Hutchinson masterminded a four-play drive that took exactly one minute off the clock. Hutchinson connected with freshman receiver Gunner West for a 37-yard strike to set up a first and 10 at the Cougars' 29. From there, Hutchinson called his own number on back-to-back running plays of 18 and 11 yards for the touchdown. Senior kicker Reed Wood split the uprights on the PAT to pull Wayne to within 14, 21-7.
Wayne then strung together an eight-play drive -- that was boosted by a pass interference call against Simpson -- to score again with 11:11 left before intermission. Keys to the series included a 32-yard pass completion from Hutchinson to Braden Doss and some strong running by Lewis inside the red zone to set up a first and goal at the Cougars' 3.
Hutchinson ran the ball in on a quarterback keeper to further cut into Simpson's lead, 21-13. Wood's PAT was no good.
The Jaguars' defense contributed to another WA score before the first half came to a close with West recording an interception of a Simpson pass with less than four minutes to play in the second quarter. With a first and 10 from the Cougars' 26, Wayne used a five-play drive to score with Hutchinson and Lewis taking turns running the football.
Lewis raced into the end zone from nine yards out with 2:01 left before the mid-game break. Hutchinson, however, was stopped short of the two point conversion to pull Wayne to within two points of the lead, 21-19.
On the post-touchdown kickoff, Wayne used a little trickery to get the ball back as junior Steven Keane pooched an on-side kick and the Jaguars got the ball back near midfield. Though the drive would end with Hutchinson's second interception of the night, the Cougars had less than 45 seconds to work with and tried to move down the field.
Keane finished the night with two on-side kicks for the Jaguars.
Simpson got as deep as the Jaguars' 20 before West stepped in front of another Cougars' pass to end the SCA scoring threat and sent both teams into the locker room to regroup.
Simpson worked quickly to regain the momentum it lost in the first half with a four-play scoring series to start the third quarter. The drive concluded with a 35-yard touchdown run and PAT that lifted the Cougars to a 28-19 lead.
SCA scored again with 2:58 left in the third on a 24-yard run to the end zone. The PAT failed, and the Cougars held a 34-19 advantage that would remain until the fourth quarter.
Two more scores would put the game out of reach in the final 12 minutes of regulation, including a 48-yard run at the 6:04 mark and a two-play, 19 yard scamper plus PAT with 3:24 left to play.
On the night, Wayne recorded 16 first downs on the night, was 3-of-13 on third down conversions and was 2-of-7 on fourth down conversions. WA had four fumbles on the night and lost two of those, plus was flagged seven times for 55 yards -- including a personal foul in which Matt Landrum was ejected from the game following what appeared to be a late hit.
Simpson, on the other hand, had 17 first downs, was 4-of-9 on third down conversions and was 0-of-2 on fourth down conversions. The Cougars fumbled once in the game, but held on to possession of the football; and was flagged 11 times for 100 yards.
Doss had a solid night as part of the WA receiving corps -- reeling in two passes for 61 yards -- while West had four receptions for 55 yards. Landrum had two receptions for 10 yards.
WA 7 12 0 0 -- 19
SCA 21 0 13 13 -- 47
SCORING BY QUARTER
8:56 -- SCA, 62-yard touchdown run. Two-point conversion run. SCA 8, WA 0.
6:39 -- SCA, 54-yard touchdown run. PAT fails. SCA 14, WA 0.
6:25 -- SCA, 26-yard touchdown pass. PAT. SCA 21, WA 0.
5:20 -- WA, Zach Hutchinson 11-yard touchdown run. Reed Wood PAT. WA 7, SCA 21.
11:11 -- WA, Hutchinson 3-yard touchdown run. Reed Wood PAT fails. WA 13, SCA 21.
2:01 -- WA, Bubba Lewis 9-yard touchdown run. Hutchinson two-point conversion run fails. WA 19, SCA 21.
9:52 -- SCA, 35-yard touchdown run. PAT good. SCA 28, WA 19.
2:58 -- SCA, 24-yard touchdown run. PAT fails. SCA 34, WA 19.
6:04 -- SCA, 48-yard touchdown run. PAT fails. SCA 40, WA 19.
3:24 -- SCA, 19-yard touchdown run. PAT good. SCA 47, WA 19.
First Downs: WA 16, SCA 17
Rushes-Yards: WA 37-173; SCA 39-422
Passes: WA 8-28-3; SCA 4-9-2
Yards: WA 126; SCA 45
Fumbles-Lost: WA 4-2; SCA 1-0
Penalties-Yards: WA 7-55; SCA 11-100
Punts-Average: WA 2-41.5; SCA 2-28.5
Return Yards: WA 54; SCA 79
Third Down Conversions: WA 3-13; SCA 4-9
Fourth Down Conversions: WA 2-7; SCA 0-2
Time of Possession: WA 22:44; SCA 25:16
Rushing: Zach Hutchinson, 17-89; Bubba Lewis, 18-81; Garret Dixon, 2-3.
Passing: Zach Hutchinson, 8-28-3, 126 yards.
Receiving: Braden Doss, 2-61; Gunner West, 4-55; Matt Landrum, 2-10.
Tackles: Bubba Lewis, 11; Steven Keane, 9; Dakota Crager, 8; Quasi Myers, 6; Matt Landrum, 4; Zach Hutchinson, 4; Garret Dixon, 4; Kyle Sanderson, 4; Braxton Philyaw, 3; Gunner West, 2; Cole Hutto, 2; Braden Doss, 2;
Interceptions: Gunner West, 2.