VIDEO — Thursday and Friday night highlights
Highlights from Friday night's games.
War Eagles hold off pesky Mustangs, 28-7
By Sean Dunlap
SOSO -- Despite an early lackluster performance on offense, Wayne County leaned heavily on its defense and made the most of its opportunities to claim 28-7 district win on Friday, Oct. 9 over West Jones High School.
The War Eagles improved to 5-2 on the season -- but, most importantly, has a 3-0 record in district play.
"We made positive things happen for us, and we were able to get the win," said WCHS Head Football Coach Todd Mangum following the contest. "I felt like our defense played lights out football, and that was a big part of this win. Now, our attention shifts to returning home for our next game against Natchez. We're just glad to have this one in the books."
In the first half, WCHS rushed the football 25 times for 44 yards while going 3-7-0 passing for 51 yards. On the other hand, West Jones managed only 18 yards on 12 carries while seeing a 1-11-1 passing effort for five yards.
The teams combined for 11 punts in the first 24 minutes of regulation.
West Jones hoped to take an early lead over Wayne County when the Mustangs attempted a 37-yard field goal with 3:37 left in the first quarter. The try was blocked when War Eagles' defensive frontman Benito Jones got a hand up and knocked down the attempt to leave the game scoreless.
The War Eagles were able to muster two scores in the second quarter to take a 14-0 advantage into the locker room at intermission.
The first sustained drive of the night for Wayne County started near the War Eagles' 2 yard line with 11:01 showing on the clock. The series got a major boost when quarterback Reggie Stewart hit receiver Will Mangum in stride for a 36-yard pickup. From there, Stewart along with backs Freddy Jordan Jr., Chris Cooley and Schadarius Chambers took turns running the ball and drove as deep at the West Jones' 20 yard line. On second down and 11, Stewart connected with Jordan Jr., for a 19-yard pickup and set up a first and goal from the 2.
Stewart called his own number and punched in the score with 6:45 left before intermission. Brett Reynolds came on to tack on the extra point to give Wayne County a 7-0 advantage.
The War Eagles' defense wound up giving their offensive peers a major shot in the arm when Deon Smith intercepted a West Jones pass and returned the ball from the Mustangs' 15 down to the 5. With a first and goal, Wayne County was flagged on a hold, which moved the ball out to the 13.
Stewart took the snap and scampered practically untouched into the end zone for the score. Reynolds tacked on the PAT to give the War Eagles a 14-0 lead that would hold through the mid-game break.
The teams continued to trade possessions through the third quarter as neither offense seemed able to find a spark to put points on the scoreboard. To start the fourth quarter, West Jones strung together a four-play drive that saw pass completions of 14 and 21 yards before the Mustangs were able to run the ball in from three-yards out with 10:22 remaining in the game. The PAT pulled West Jones to within a touchdown, 14-7, but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the way.
Wayne County had a nine-play drive that followed the WJHS touchdown, but ground to a halt with a fourth down and two. The War Eagles opted to go for the field goal try by Reynolds, but the attempt failed.
West Jones went three-and-out on its next series, and Wayne County fumbled on its first subsequent offensive possession to give the ball back to the Mustangs.
Again, when the WCHS defense was needed most -- it stepped up. DeAndre Gandy stepped in front of a WJHS pass and was off to the races with a 66-yard return for a score. Reynolds added the PAT to give Wayne County a 21-7 lead with 5:37 left to play in the game.
After another three-and-out by West Jones, Wayne County's offense got on track with a two-play drive that saw Stewart break into the Mustangs' backfield and explode for a 36-yard touchdown run. The PAT by Reynolds was good to set the final margin of victory -- 28-7.
On the night, Wayne County was able to gain 169 yards on 48 rushes while going 5-10-0 through the air for 81 yards.
Leading the way on the ground was Jordan, Jr., who had 10 totes for 67 yards while Cooley carried 15 times for 66 yards. Stewart, who carried 12 times for -33 yards in the first half finished the night with 19 carries for 28 yards and three touchdowns.
Chambers rushed the football three times for five yards and ZaBryon Jackson had one carry as quarterback for three yards.
In the passing department, Stewart connected with Mangum once for 36 yards, once with RaMeik Wallace for 25 yards, twice with Jordan, Jr., for 15 yards, and once with Jonathan McDougle for five yards.
On defense, Denzel Bonner set the pace for the War Eagles with 10 tackles to lead the team. Meanwhile Gandy accounted for nine tackles while TyRee Evans, Quindarius Bivens, Benito Jones and Tyler Hopkins finished with seven tackles each for Wayne County.
JaMarcus Fisher recorded three pass break-ups against the Mustangs and Roy Arrington had two.
Wayne County had 12 first downs, went 3-of-11 on third down conversions and 2-of-4 on fourth down conversions. WCHS punted the ball seven times for a 26.8 yard average.
West Jones was held to a total of 29 rushes for 69 yards and a 6-21-2 passing effort for 51 yards. The Mustangs had only eight first downs, went 1-of-10 on third down conversions and went 0-for-2 on fourth down conversions.
The War Eagles return to the familiar confines of home on Friday, Oct. 16 as they will face Natchez in another district contest. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
WCHS 0 14 0 14 -- 28
WJHS 0 0 0 7 -- 7
SCORING BY QUARTER
6:45 -- WCHS, Reggie Stewart two-yard touchdown run. Brett Reynolds PAT. WCHS 7, WJHS 0.
6:07 -- WCHS, Stewart 13-yard touchdown run. Reynolds PAT. WCHS 14, WJHS 0.
10:22 -- WJHS, Three-yard touchdown run. PAT good. WJHS 7, WCHS 14.
5:44 -- WCHS, DeAndre Gandy 66-yard interception returned for touchdown. Reynolds PAT. WCHS 21, WJHS 7.
3:25 -- WCHS, Stewart 36-yard touchdown run. Reynolds PAT. WCHS 28, WJHS 7.
12 FIRST DOWNS 8
48-169 RUSHES-YARDS 29-69
5-10-0 PASSES 6-21-2
81 YARDS 51
3-1 FUMBLES-LOST 0-0
8-63 PENALTIES-YDS 7-50
7-26.8 PUNTS-AVG. 9-29.1
96 RETURN YARDS 57
3-of-11 THIRD DN/CONV 1-of-10
2-of-4 FOURTH DN/CONV 0-of-2
29:47 TIME OF POSSESS 18:13
RUSHING: Freddy Jordan, Jr., 10-67; Chris Cooley, 15-66; Reggie Stewart, 19-28; Schadarius Chambers, 3-5; ZaBryon Jackson, 1-3.
PASSING: Reggie Stewart, 5-10-0, 81 yards.
RECEIVING: Will Mangum, 1-36; RaMeik Wallace, 1-25; Freddy Jordan, Jr., 2-15; Jonathan McDougle, 1-5.
TACKLES: Denzel Bonner, 10; DeAndre Gandy, 9; TyRee Evans, 7; Quindarius Bivens, 7; Benito Jones, 7; Tyler Hopkins, 7; Malik Jordan, 4; Hunter James, 4; Clinton Jordan, 4; Kendrick Fuqua, 4; Vernon Sumrall, 3; Schadarius Chambers, 3; Cody Taylor, 2; Deon Smith, 2; Roy Arrington, 2; Jabian Harris, 1; Jamarius Hundley, 1; Jesquavius Leggett, 1; Zavier Lampley, 1.
PRESSURES: Benito Jones, 3; Quindarius Bivens, 2; TyRee Evans, 2; DeAndre Gandy, 1.
BREAK-UPS: JaMarcus Fisher, 3; Roy Arrington, 2.
INTERCEPTIONS: Deon Smith, 1; DeAndre Gandy, 1.
Generals rally to nip Jaguars, 36-28
By Paul Keane
DECATUR — Wayne Academy’s varsity football team saw Newton County Academy score 29 unanswered points over the span of 3-1/2 quarters, allowing the Generals to take a 36-28 win over the Jaguars Friday night.
The loss drops the Jags to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in league play. NCA moved to 4-4 and 2-0. W.A. now faces a must-win situation at home this coming Friday night during Homecoming festivities at T.F. Giles Field against Heidelberg Academy.
The Generals took the opening kickoff and promptly drove 62 yards in two plays, using a 55 yard pass to draw first blood and take a 7-0 lead with 11:01 left in the first quarter of action.
The Jaguars answered with 28 straight points to take what appeared to be a commanding lead.
On the ensuing drive after the initial score, the Jaguars marched 53 yards in eight plays, with Zach Hutchison hitting Brayden Doss with a 30-yard pass. The Grayson Livingston kick knotted the score at 7-7 with 9:02 remaining in the period.
The defense forced a three-and-out, allowing W.A. to set up at its own 13-yard line after a 45-yard punt by the Generals. The Jaguars drove down to the NCA 15-yard line but could not score when a pass fell incomplete on fourth down.
The defense held again, though, allowing the Jaguars to take over at Generals’ 46-yard line. Three plays later, W.A. faced a fourth-and-2 from the NCA 38-yard line, and Livingston lined up to punt.
Instead of punting, though, the senior hit a wide-open Doss with a 38-yard scoring pass. Livingston then booted the extra point to make it 14-7 with 2:02 left in the stanza.
Again the defense forced a three-and-out, and a bad snap on the punt caused Newton to scramble around in the backfield before Quai Myers forced a fumble and Kyle Sanderson recovered it, allowing the offense to take over at the NCA 44-yard line. Unfortunately for the Jags, a fumble on first down ended the scoring threat quickly.
Livingston intercepted a pass on the first play of the second quarter, allowing the offense to set up at its own 31-yard line. Four plays later, Matt Landrum raced into the end zone from 13 yards out, and the Livingston kick made it 21-7 with 10:41 remaining in the half.
The Jaguars recovered an onside kick after the score but could not capitalize on it. After the punt, Kyle Sanderson recovered a fumble on a fourth-down punt attempt when the snap went awry, allowing W.A. to set up at the NCA 19-yard line.
Two plays later, Hutchison ran it in from 10 yards out, and the Livingston kick opened up a 28-7 advantage for the visiting team.
The Generals’ got on track after that score, using some big plays to put up 14 points before the intermission. NCA put together a 55-yard, four-play drive that was capped off with a 46-yard touchdown pass that trimmed the margin down to 28-14 with 6:25 left in the half.
Late in the quarter, the Jaguars forced a punt that buried the offense back at its own 3-yard line. On first down, though, the Generals intercepted a pass and returned it 36 yards for the score that made it 28-21 with 57 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The offense put together one final drive in the half, reaching the NCA 32-yard line before time ran out.
On the first drive of the third quarter, the Jaguars drove down to the NCA 23-yard line before a controversial fumble call gave the Generals possession. Wayne’s defense stiffened, though, and Hutchison intercepted a pass and returned it more than 50 yards down to the NCA 33-yard line.
The offense could not capitalize, though, as the Generals intercepted another pass to end the drive.
The Generals took advantage of that defensive stand, marching 85 yards in six plays, capping things off with a 2-yard run. That made it a 28-28 ballgame with 9:44 left in the contest.
Midway through the period, the Jaguars took over at their own 38-yard line. Three plays later, W.A. had it first-and-goal from the NCA 3-yard line. The Generals held, though, and took over at their own 6-yard line with 4:49 left in regulation.
On the drive, Hutchison was injured and had to leave the game for the rest of the night.
On first down, Ethan Parker took a handoff up the middle, broke into the open and raced virtually untouched to the end zone for the 94-yard score. The two-point conversion made it 36-28 with 4:35 left.
Doss took over the signal calling in place of the injured Hutchison, and he immediately found himself in a hole, having to start the final drive of the night from the W.A. 4-yard line. Facing a third-and-10, he hit Livingston with a 12-yard pass, then hooked up with Livingston again on a 30-yard pass.
The drive reached the NCA 38-yard line before an interception ended any comeback hopes for the Jaguars.
For the night, the Jags held the Generals’ vaunted rushing attack to only 136 yards, with 94 of those coming on the one touchdown run. NCA passed for another 136. Steven Keane led the team in tackles with 16.
Offensively, W.A. rolled up 235 yards on the ground, with Landrum leading the way with 158 yards on 21 carries. The Jags passed for another 257.
NEWTON COUNTY ACADEMY 36, WAYNE ACADEMY 28
SCORE BY QUARTERS
WA 14 14 0 0 — 28
NCA 7 14 0 15 — 36
NCA — 11:01, 55-yard pass. Kick good.
WA — 9:02, Brayden Doss 30-yard pass from Zach Hutchison. Grayson Livingston kick.
WA — 2:02, Doss 38-yard pass from Livingston. Livingston kick.
NCA — 6:25, 46-yard pass. Kick good.
NCA — 0:57, 36-yard interception return. Kick good.
NCA — 9:44, 2-yard run. Kick good.
NCA — 4:35, 94-yard run. Run for conversion.
FIRST DOWNS: WA 19, NCA 8
RUSHES-YARDS: WA 40-235, NCA 46-113
PASSES: WA 14-33-4, NCA 5-11-2
PASSING YARDS: WA 257, NCA 136
FUMBLES-LOST: WA 8-3, NCA 5-1
PENALTIES-YARDS: 13-71, NCA 5-45
PUNTS-AVERAGE: WA 1-13.0, NCA 4-34.0
RETURN YARDS: WA 6, NCA 172
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS: WA 4-of-13, NCA 2-of-15
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS: WA 2-of-5, NCA 3-of-4
TIME OF POSSESSION: WA 21:24, NCA 26:36
Matt Landrum 22-158, Zach Hutchison 21-158
Zach Hutchison 10-24-3 166 yards, Brayden Doss 3-8-1 53 yards, Grayson Livingston 1-1-0 38 yards.
Grayson Livingston 6-106, Brayden Doss 6-96, Luke Mills 1-32, Quasi Myers 1-22.
Steven Keane 16, Kyle Sanderson 15, Quasi Myers 11, Luke Mills 6, Cole Hutto 5, Markus Kittrell 5, Jaymin Hudson 5, Grayson Livingston 4, Matt Landrum 4, Cody Brewer 4, Gavin Chapman 4, Brayden Doss 3, Zach Hutchison 1, Heath Harvison 1, Hunter Sanderson 1, Kaleb Brewer 1.
Cole Hutto 2, Jaymin Hudson 1, Brayden Doss 1.
Cody Brewer 2, Brayden Doss 2, Matt Landrum 1, Zach Hutchison 1, Quasi Myers 1, Steven Keane 1, Jaymin Hudson 1.
Brayden Doss 2, Cody Brewer 2, Matt Landrum 1, Zach Hutchison 1, Steven Keane 1, Quasi Myers 1, Jaymin Hudson 1.
Kyle Sanderson 1.
Matt Landrum 1, Grayson Livingston 1.
Zach Hutchison 2.