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War Eagles roll past Gulfport, 27-7
By Paul Keane
In the final tune-up before district play begins, Wayne County High School's varsity football team turned in a yeoman's performance in taking a 27-7 win over Gulfport at home Friday night.
The victory moves the War Eagles to 3-1 overall heading into Friday night's District 3-5A opener at home against Gulfport.
Wayne County's defense turned in another stellar performance, not allowing an offensive touchdown for four quarters. The only score for the Admirals came on a 93-yard kickoff return late in the third quarter right after WCHS had scored on a fake punt.
The War Eagles allowed only 87 yards on the ground and 67 through the airways, with much of that coming late in the game.
"From Pee Wee all the way through to the NFL, you win ballgames by playing good defense," WCHS Head Coach Todd Mangum said. "We played good defense and were able to take advantage of the opportunities given to us on offense.
"We didn't play a perfect game, you never play a perfect game; but we did play a good football game against a good football team. It concerned me that we got a little tired and sloppy there at the end, but we were able to come away with the victory."
After the teams traded punts, a fumble by the War Eagles gave Gulfport possession near midfield with 4:59 left in the first quarter. The defense held, though, and the offense took over at its own 5-yard line after a punt.
It took only eight plays and an even two minutes for WCHS to score, with Freddy Jordan, Jr., doing the honors with a 30-yard run. Brandon McCary's extra point made it 7-0 with 43 ticks left on the first quarter clock.
A bad snap on a punt on the ensuing series allowed WCHS to set up shop at the Gulfport 36-yard line. Seven plays later, the drive stalled and McCary came on and booted a 22-yard field goal to make it a 10-0 ballgame with 9:05 left in the first half.
The teams traded punts a few times after that, and WCHS took over at its own 29-yard line with 6:13 left. Ten plays later, quarterback David Hodo hit Rameik Wallace in stride, and the wideout turned it into a 19-yard touchdown pass. The McCary extra point made it 17-0.
Another bad snap by Gulfport contributed to an 11-yard punt that allowed the War Eagles to set up at the Admirals' 32-yard line. The drive stalled, and McCary came on and booted a 36-yard field goal to make it a 20-0 contest at the intermission.
After trading punts again to open the second half, Gulfport drove down to the WCHS 19-yard line, only to see a fourth-and-1 pass fall incomplete. The War Eagles drove from their own 19 down to the Gulfport 33-yard line, where the drive stalled.
Hodo dropped back to punt but instead hit a wide open Cadarius Pannell on the fake, and Pannell raced into the end zone untouched. The McCary kick made it 27-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Admirals returned the kick 93 yards for a score and their only touchdown of the night. That cut the deficit down to 27-7 with 1:41 left in the third period.
Since that score came on special teams, it means the WCHS defense has allowed only six points in the last three games, with that score coming on a tipped pass against Hattiesburg.
After that score, the two teams settled into a defensive struggle, with the War Eagles bending at times but never breaking. Pannell intercepted a pass midway through the fourth quarter, but the offense could not capitalize.
For the night, WCHS rushed for 221 yards and passed for another 164. Jordan, Jr., led the way with 139 yards on 31 rushes while Hodo connected on 12-of-24 passes for 164 yards and no interceptions.
The defense held its fourth straight opponent to under 100 yards rushing.
Now, the Bulldogs of Natchez come to town Friday night for the district opener for both teams. Mangum said things are going to heat up for the next seven weeks.
"The money games are coming up," he said. "These are the ones that determine where you are seeded for the playoffs. We're 3-1 right now and feeling pretty good. I feel like we have a lot of positive momentum going our way heading into district play."
WCHS 27, GULFPORT 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
GPHS 0 0 7 0 -- 7
WCHS 7 13 7 0 -- 27
WCHS — 0:43, Freddy Jordan, Jr., 30-yard run. Brandon McCary kick.
WCHS — 9:05, McCary 22-yard field goal.
WCHS — 3:12, Rameik Wallace 19-yard pass from David Hodo. McCary kick.
WCHS — 0:47, McCary 36-yard field goal.
WCHS — 1:55, Cadarius Pannell 33-yard pass from Hodo. McCary kick.
GPHS — 1:41, Smith 93-yard kickoff return. Kick for PAT.
FIRST DOWNS: WCHS 19, GPHS 17
RUSHES-YARDS: WCHS 50-221, GPHS 35-87
PASSES: WCHS 12-25-0, GPHS 10-26-1
PASSING YARDS: WCHS 164, GPHS 67
FUMBLES-LOST: WCHS 1-1, GPHS 2-0
PENALTIES-YARDS: WCHS 9-65, GPHS 7-75
PUNTS-AVERAGE: WCHS 7-40.6, GPHS 8-34.2
RETURN YARDS: WCHS 1, GPHS 142
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS: WCHS 6-of-17, GPHS 1-of-13
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS: WCHS 3-of-3, GPHS 1-of-3
TIME OF POSSESSION: WCHS 26:34, GPHS 21:26
Freddy Jordan, Jr., 31-139, David Hodo 12-64, Chris Cooley 3-12, Schardarius Chambers 4-6.
David Hodo 12-24-0 164 yards, Reggie Stewart 0-1-0 0 yards.
Rameik Wallace 4-58, Direkus Harris 2-35, Cadarius Pannell 1-33, Reggie Stewart 1-23, Dashun Philon 3-10, Javonta McCann 1-5.
Jamal Powe 11, Tyler Hopkins 10, Tramond Lofton 9, Cadarius Pannell 8, Denzel Bonner 5, Chandler Pugh 5, Benito Jones 4, Quindarius Bivens 4, TyRee Evans 3, Jabien Harris 3, Jacquan White 3, Quinten Hogan 3, DeCarlos Walker 2, Roy Arrington 2, Jesquavious Leggett 1, Jefferius McFarland 1, Schadarius Chambers 1, Javonta McCann 1.
Jamal Powe 1, Tramond Lofton 1, Chandler Pugh 1.
Tyler Hopkins 4, Tramond Lofton 2, Jamal Powe 2, Jacquan White 1, Benito Jones 1, Quindarius Bivens 1.
Cadarius Pannell 1.
Roy Arrington 1, Cadarius Pannell 1, Tyler Hopkins 1, Tramond Lofton 1.
Jaguars fall to long-time rival Sylva-Bay
By Sean Dunlap
BAY SPRINGS -- Things were relatively close for the first 12 minutes of Friday's showdown between Wayne and Sylva-Bay academies, but the Saints wound up scoring often and putting the game away by excommunicating the visiting Jaguars 46-7 in the varsity football contest between the long-time rivals.
The Saints' defense bedeviled the Jaguars through much of the night by limiting Wayne to a meager 82 yards on 28 carries and holding the WA air attack to a 9-18-0 outing for 106 yards. Sylva-Bay, on the other hand, dominated by collecting 335 rushing yards on 38 totes of the football while the passing game netted 172 yards on an 8-11-0 performance.
WA Head Football Coach Sean Harrison, at the conclusion of the game, said simply that his team was out-coached and that he took the blame in the loss, which dropped his Jaguars to 1-4 on the 2014 campaign.
The win lifted Sylva-Bay to 3-2 on the season.
Wayne's lone score came on the Jaguars' opening drive of the contest as junior quarter Zach Hutchinson set the early tempo with a seven-yard, first-down pass play to sophomore receiver Gunner West. From there, tailback Bubba Lewis and Hutchinson moved the football from the WA 49 to the SBA 43 on a trio of running plays.
Facing a third and eight from the Saints 43, Hutchinson stood in the pocket to connect once more with West, who broke loose for a 43-yard touchdown run with 10:06 remaining in the first quarter. WA kicker Reed Wood came on to punch through the point after try to put the Jaguars on top by a 7-0 margin.
Sylva-Bay answered immediately with a three play drive that was capped on a 12-yard scoring run by tailback Tyler Butler at the nine-minute mark in the frame. The PAT try by kicker Rusty Smith was no good, and the Saints trailed by one point, 7-6.
SBA took a lead it would not relinquish with 4:34 left in the opening quarter as quarterback Kendrick Abney punched the ball in from three yards out for the touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed and Sylva-Bay held a slim 12-7 lead that would hold through early in the second quarter.
The Saints scored all three times their offense had the ball in the second quarter with Abney racing five yards to cap a nine-play drive that drained five minutes off the clock with 8:38 left before intermission. The two-point conversion failed again.
Then, SBA used four plays to score as Abney raced 35 yards on the quarterback keeper for the touchdown with 4:41 showing on the clock. He then ran in the two-point conversion to put the Saints on top, 26-7.
Sylva-Bay would score once more before the mid-game break on a three play drive that saw Butler come in an quarterback and hook up with receiver Cade Anderson for an 80-yard touchdown pass. Smith booted the PAT for a 33-7 Saints' lead that would hold through intermission.
The teams traded possessions through much of the third quarter with Sylva-Bay stringing together an impressive, five-play drive that saw Smith reel in a 4-yard pass from Abney across the middle for the score. Smith's PAT failed, but Sylva-Bay had moved out to a 39-7 lead.
The Saints had two scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter -- and capitalized on one of those. Tailback Jarvis Carr raced 29 yards for a touchdown with 7:51 left to play in the contest. Smith's PAT set the final margin at 46-7.
SBA attempted a 17-yard field goal with 1:13 left to go in the game, but the effort came up short.
Most of the statistical categories in the game were dominated by Sylva-Bay as the Saints outpaced Wayne in terms of first downs by a 23 to 9 margin; and was 4-of-6 on third down conversions while Wayne was 2-of-9. The teams combined for a total of four fumbles on the night -- with Wayne dropping the football three times with one turnover and SBA having one fumble, but managing to maintain control of the loose pigskin.
Individually, Wayne was led in the ground game by Lewis with 13 carries for 46 yards while Hutchinson had 12 totes for 26 yards. Senior tailback Garret Dixon, who took over running duties late in the game, had three totes for 10 yards.
Through the air, Hutchinson was 9-18-0 for 106 yards. The lion's share of those passes went to West, who had six receptions for 85 yards while Cody Brewer had one catch for 15 yards and Matthew Landrum reeled in two throws for six yards.
The Jaguars are slated to return to action on Friday for the first contest in a three-week home stand, and will face off against Class AA District 4 foe Simpson Academy. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., at T.F. Giles Field.
SCORING BY QUARTER
WA 7 0 0 0 -- 7
SBA 12 21 6 7 -- 46
10:06 -- WA, Zach Hutchinson to Gunner West 43-yard touchdown pass. Reed Wood PAT. WA 7, SBA 0.
9:00 -- SBA, Tyler Butler 12-yard touchdown run. Rusty Smith PAT fails. SBA 6, WA 7.
4:34 -- SBA, Kendrick Abney 3-yard touchdown run. Two-point conversion fails. SBA 12, WA 7.
8:38 -- SBA, Abney 5-yard touchdown run. Two-point conversion fails. SBA 18, WA 7.
4:41 -- SBA, Abney 35-yard touchdown run. Abney two-point conversion run. SBA 26, WA 7.
2:19 -- SBA, Butler to Cade Anderson 80-yard touchdown pass. Smith PAT. SBA 33, WA 7.
:04.5 -- SBA, Abney to Smith 4-yard touchdown pass. Smith PAT fails. SBA 39, WA 7.
7:57 -- SBA, Jarvis Carr 29-yard touchdown run. Smith PAT. SBA 46, WA 7.
1:13 -- SBA, Smith 17-yard field goal attempt fails. SBA 46, WA 7.
First Downs: WA 9; SBA 23
Rushes-Yards: WA 28-82; SBA 38-335
Passes: WA 9-18-0; SBA 8-11-0
Yards: WA 106; SBA 172
Fumbles-Lost: WA 3-1; SBA 1-0
Penalties-Yards: WA 5-35; SBA 6-60
Punts-Average: WA 4-52.3; SBA 0-0
Return Yards: WA 73; SBA 11
Third Down Conversions WA 2-9; SBA 4-6
Fourth Down Conversions WA 1-4; SBA 0-2
Time of Possession: WA; SBA
Rushing: Bubba Lewis, 13-46; Zach Hutchinson, 12-26; Garret Dixon, 3-10
Passing: Zach Hutchinson, 9-18-0 for 106 yards.
Receiving: Gunner West, 6-85; Cody Brewer, 1-15; Matthew Landrum, 2-6.
Tackles: Garret Dixon, 11; Quasi Myers, 9; Kyle Sanderson, 7; Dakota Crager, 6; Bubba Lewis, 6; Gunner West, 4; Steven Keane, 4; Matthew Landrum, 4; Braden Doss, 3; Braxton Phillyaw, 2; Cody Brewer, 2; T.J. Russ, 2; Zach Hutchinson, 1; Cole Hutto, 1; Gavin Chapman, 1; Jaymin Hudson, 1.