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War Eagles fall in first round
By Paul Keane
The Wayne County News
GAUTIER — Wayne County High School jumped out to a quick 13-0 lead only to see Guatier respond with 31 unanswered points en route to a 38-21 win that eliminated the War Eagles from postseason play.
WCHS finishes the year at 7-5 while the Gators advance to host Vancleave in a second-round contest.
On the second play of the night at Vaughn-Wallace Stadium, Kelvin Walley took a pitch and raced 69 yards for a touchdown. The Kyle Clark kick made it 7-0.
Gautier then saw a short pass on its first offensive play of the night turn into a defensive score for the War Eagles as Aikerien Hopkins stripped the receiver of the ball and raced 30 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-0 with 10:49 left in the opening stanza of play.
The Gators then rattled off 31 straight points to take command of things.
Gautier scored on a 30-yard pass with 8:14 left in the first quarter, then added a 43-yard touchdown pass at the 3:01 mark to take a 14-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Gators scored on a 2-yard run, a 33-yard pass and a 34-yard field goal to extend the lead to 31-13 by the intermission.
Defensively in the third quarter, the War Eagles kept Gautier hemmed up, giving the ball to the offense on the plus side of the field multiple times. WCHS took advantage of one of those stops when Hopkins scored on a 2-yard run, then ran in the conversion, to make it 31-21 with 3:28 left in the period.
Early in the fourth quarter, with 11:26 remaining, the Gators added a 2-yard touchdown run to set the final margin.
For a complete wrap-up of the game, along with game and season statistics, be sure and pick up a copy of the Thursday, Nov. 17 edition of The Wayne County News.
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