Mize Bulldogs rally past Bogue Chitto
BOGUE CHITTO – The Mize Bulldogs received their wake-up call athalftime. The defending Class 1A state champions cashed in twothird-quarter touchdowns and rallied past the Bogue Chitto Bobcats22-18 Friday night on Troy Smith Field in a battle of unbeatenpowers.
Two-point conversions were a key to the victory. The Bulldogs(4-0), ranked No. 2 in last week’s Associated Press Little Ten PrepPoll, got conversions runs from tailback Jason Ducksworth andquarterback Jay Johnson, giving them a 22-12 third quarter lead andthe victory.
Bogue Chitto (3-1), ranked No. 7, had taken a 12-6 halftimeadvantage. The Bobcats got their final TD with 1:46 left in thegame when tailback Denard Ferguson plunged the final 2 yards aroundright end. But, just like the previous two conversion tries, theBobcats fell short of the goal line.
Bogue Chitto head coach Carl Cole said he was proud of histeam’s performance against Mize. “We sent a message tonight that weare touchdown for touchdown with Mize. Those two-point conversionswere big. We must learn to convert the conversions.”
Following a patriotic, pregame ceremony, the large crowd watchedthe Bobcats take a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter.Senior quarterback Jacob Leggett faked a handoff and ran an optionplay to his right side which resulted in a 67-yard scoring run.
Ferguson was stacked up on the 2-point conversion run.
Early in the second quarter, Johnson got the Bulldogs on thescoreboard. After faking a handoff, Johnson rolled to his right andthrew a 35-yard TD pass to Jasper Adcock who had slipped behind apair of Bobcat defenders.
The Bulldogs tried kicking the extra point and Jason Ducksworthwas wide right.
Responding quickly, Bogue Chitto went up 12-6. Dominique Addisonreturned the short kickoff to his 48-yard line. Ten plays later,Leggett scored on a keeper from 5 yards out
An ineligible receiver wiped out a 2-point conversion pass playby Leggett and the Bobcats led 12-6 with 4:11 until halftime. Asthe first half came to a close, Cody Wallace intercepted Johnson ona deep pass and returned it past midfield.
Mize head coach Kenny Robinson said he challenged his Bulldogsat halftime. “We told them if they didn’t play better in the secondhalf, we better come out and forfeit and go to the house. BogueChitto wanted it the first half and we wanted it the secondhalf.”
The Bulldogs received the second-half kickoff and drove 73 yardsin 7 plays. Tailback Curtis Keyes covered the final 12 yards aroundright end. On the 2-point conversion, Ducksworth broke severaltackle to cross the goal line and it was 14-12.
Opportunity knocked loudly and Mize answered on the next BogueChitto series. On fourth down the punt snap sailed over Addison’shead. He scrambled to recover the football and launched adesperation pass down field which fell incomplete. Mize took overat BC’s 44-yard line.
On first down, Johnson hit wingback Joey Sullivan with a screenpass good for 23 yards to the BC 21. Five plays later, Ducksworthmade a spinning run off left tackle for the TD.
Johnson ran an option to his right and dove across the goal linefor the 2-point conversion. Mize led 22-12 with 3:55 left in thethird quarter.
“Coach gave us a good chewing out at halftime,” said Johnson, a6-foot-3, 195-pound junior who also started at strong safety. “Weknew Bogue Chitto would be tough. We came out the second half andgot the job done.”
The Bobcats only accounted for 42 yards offense the second halfand finished with 200 yards, all of it on the ground. Seniorlinebacker John Wallace led the Bobcats with 6 tackles.
“Mize had a few big plays which killed us,” said Wallace. “Theyhave a good offense and you have to read it real well. They havesome trick plays.”
Cole said it was a big game early in the season but the Bobcatscould still make the state playoffs. “I told our guys we will seeMize again in the state playoffs.”
0 – 22
Bogue Chitto, J. Leggett 67 run (run failed),6:58.
Mize, Adcock 35 pass from Johnson (kick failed), 9:45
Bogue Chitto, J. Leggett 5 run (pass failed), 4:11.
Mize, C. Keyes 12 run (Ja. Ducksworth run),9:22.
Mize, Ja. Ducksworth 3 run (Johnson run),3:55.
Bogue Chitto, Ferguson 2 run (run failed),1:46
RUSHING: Mize, C. Keyes 11-82, Ja. Ducksworth 15-66,Sullivan 8-34, Johnson 10-12, Agee 1-6. Bogue Chitto, J. Leggett11-97,m Addison 12-43, Ferguson 13-32, J. Wallace4-18.
PASSING: Mize, Johnson 2-7-1, 55. Bogue Chitto, J.Leggett 0-3-1. Addison 0-2-0.
RECEIVING: Mize, Adcock 1-35, Sullivan1-23.