Port Gibson’s Blue Waves nip Franklin County 23-21

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 23, 2000

PORT GIBSON – Timeout.

That’s what the Franklin County Bulldogs had called with twoseconds remaining in the fourth quarter trailing Division 6-3Arival Port Gibson 23-21 at the Blue Wave 27 yard line. But the gameclock never stopped, as the Waves prevailed in a shocker 23-21 overthe playoff-hopeful Bulldogs;

The Dawgs (3-5, 3-1) must now win their next two remaininggames, especially the latter game against the division leadingWilkinson County Wildcats. The Bulldogs’ playoff scenerios are verylogical. A win against both the Trojans and Wildcats would equal aDivision 6-3A championship for the Bulldogs. A victory over theTrojans and a loss against the Wildcats, would create a tie betweenthe Bulldogs and Blue Waves. Because of Friday night’s win, any tiebetween the Dawgs and the Waves would give Port Gibson theautomatic spot because of a head to head tie breaker.

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“We’re glad to still be in the playoff race,” said a happy PortGibson coach Gary Wright. “Franklin County played us tough tonight;their fullback and wingback pounded on us all night long. Somehowwe pulled it out.”

The Blue Waves (6-3, 2-2) started the game on defense, as theBulldogs won the toss. After several runs by Bulldog seniorwingback Wesley Hickingbottom. The Blue Waves hit the big play byforcing Hickingbottom to fumble at the Blue Waves 32 yard line.Blue Wave sophomore defensive end Jamal Martin picked up the looseball and raced 48 yards, before being tackled by Bulldog seniorquarterback Walt Davis at the Bulldog 20-yard line.

The Waves couldn’t handle the pressure from a strong Bulldogdefense, as they went four downs and out at the Bulldog 23. TheBulldogs didn’t keep it long as Davis’ pass dropped into the handsof Blue Wave senior safety Dexter Evers.

The Waves would answer that Bulldog mistake 30 seconds laterwith a 17 yard scamper by senior runningback Quentin Turner. Aftera Charlie Norrell PAT split the uprights the Blue Waves held anearly 7-0 advantage.

The Bulldogs’ turn came next as senior fullback Wade Woodcockdashed three yards for the Dawgs first score. After a Cole ZumbroPAT sailed wide left, the Bulldogs trailed 7-6.

As the Blue Waves got the ball back, the Bulldogs defense stepedup again as junior linebacker James Hunt introduced himself to BlueWave slotback Marcus Shorter for a four yard loss. On fourth downthe Waves were forced to punt as senior Marvin Brown booted a47-yarder that put the Bulldogs inside their five.

After a first down no gainer by the Bulldogs. Blue Wave juniorJoseph Sampson produced a bone cracking safety on Bulldog wingbackWesley Hickingbottom two yards back into the endzone.

After engaging the free kick on the safety. The Blue Waves hitpaydirt again. This time from 35 yards out, as Turner used his 6-1,195-pound frame to muscle through the Bulldogs defense for theoverwhelming touchdown. After the Norrell kick failed. The BlueWaves held a 15-6 lead.

The Bulldogs came right back, producing runs of 16, 12 and 10yards by Hickingbottom. After a no-gainer on first and second downon the Blue Wave 22. The Bulldogs called for a time out with sixseconds remaining, but the clock and the officials went blank asthe Blue Waves entered halftime with a 15-6 lead.

After a shorter than expected halftime, the Bulldogs started toitch. As Woodcock, Hickingbottom, and senior runningback ShirmonMcNair carried the Dawgs into Blue Wave territory. After a huge,35-yard sprint by McNair the Bulldogs faced first and goal at theBlue Wave one.

The Blue Waves defense would tighten on the first two downs,pushing the Dawgs back to the three on third and goal. On thirddown the Bulldogs called on their quarterback from three yards out.Davis’ number would be called upon again during the two pointer ashe connected with Hickingbottom for the 15-14 one point gap.

Twenty seconds later the Bulldogs paid the price as Turner tookthe Zumbro kickoff back 68 yards untouched for the quick score.After an Ocie Brown to Norrell two-point connection the Bulldogstrailed 23-14.

Going into the final frame of the contest, the Waves and Dawgsbegan a defensive struggle. The Bulldogs would end the strugglewith 4:00 remaining in the game as Davis connected withHickingbottom for a lightning-quick, 70 -yard touchdown. AfterZumbro added the PAT the Bulldogs found themselves within twopoints, 23-21.

Playing tough defense, the Bulldogs regained the ball at theBlue Wave 23. Thanks to a spectacular 52 yard return by juniorplaymaker Walter Anderson. After several failed attempts of movingthe ball into the endzone. The Bulldogs tried to call time out fora chance at a game winning field goal attempt by Zumbro with twoseconds remaining. The clock never stopped and the Bulldogs wereleft stunned by a 23-21 defeat.

With the win the Blue Waves keep their class 3A playoff chancesalive, needing help from the Wildcats of Wilkinson County Nov. 3,at Franklin County.

Offensively for the Blue Waves, Turner led all rushers with 162yards on 22 carries. Turner finished with 227 all purpose yards onthree touchdowns. Senior fullback Durrell Hamilton finished secondwith 43 yards on 10 carries.

For the Dawgs, Woodcock led with 15 carries for 90 yards.Hickingbottom chipped in with 77 yards on 15 carries. Hickingbottomaccounted for 152 all purpose yards.

Defensively for the Dawgs, Hunt led with 10 tackles. Woodcock,Hickingbottom, and Josh O’Neal finished with seven tackles. Juniorcornerback Tommie Smith chipped in with 5 tackles and aninterception.

For the Waves, Evers led with 9 tackles and an interception.Martin, Sampson, and Hamilton finished with 8 tackles.

The Dawgs next play at home against Division 6-3A rival AmiteCounty Friday, in a must win game for both teams. The Blue Waveshost division foe North Pike. Game time is set for 7:30.

@Bbstandings:STATISITICS FC PG First Downs 14 13Rushes-Yards 45-240 38-213 Passing Yards 75 10 Total Yards 315 223Passes 3-7-1 2-15-1 Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-0 Punts-Average 2-23.53-35.3 Penalties-Yards 4-25 6-41 Franklin Co. 0 6 8 7 – 21 PortGibson 7 8 8 0 -23


Port Gibson, Turner 17 run (Norrell kick) :37.


Franklin Co., Woodcock 3 run (kick failed) 8:36. Port Gibson,Sampson Safety 4:35. Port Gibson, Turner 35 run (kick failed)2:16.


Franklin Co., Davis 3 run (Pass to Hickingbottom) 4:52. PortGibson, Turner 68 return (Pass to Norrell) 4:32.


Franklin Co., Hickingbottom 70 pass from Davis (Zumbro kick)4:00 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING : Port Gibson,Turner 23-162, Hamilton 10-43, O. Brown 2-13, Shorter 3-(minus 5).Franklin County, Woodcock 15-90, Hickingbottom 15-77, McNair 13-58,R. Brown 1-8, Davis 2-3. PASSING : Port Gibson, O. Brown 2-15-1,10. Franklin County, Davis 3-7-1, 75. RECEIVING : Port Gibson,Hamilton 1-8, Norrell 1-2. Franklin County, Hickingbottom 3-75.