Puckett stops Bogue Chitto’s conversion
Published 6:00 am Monday, November 26, 2001
PUCKETT – Terrell Jackson did the scoring. Zach Parker did therunning. Marion Robinson did the passing and Taylor Henry made thetackles, as the unbeaten Puckett Wolves claimed a stunning 20-18victory over the Bogue Chitto Bobcats Friday night in the SouthMississippi Class 1A quarterfinals.
The Wolves (12-0) used Jackson’s three touchdowns and Parker’s23 carries for 118 yards to set up the Class 1A South StateChampionship Friday night at Pelahatchie. The Pelahatchie Chiefscaused the biggest upset of the playoffs by clipping defendingstate champ Mize 34-18.
“This was a very big win for us tonight,” said Wolves coachLenius Stevens, “That two-point conversion play and our defense inthe second half was the key to the game for us. If we hadn’t madethat stop, who knows what would of happened.”
The stop, Stevens was referring to, was the key two-pointconversion play that saw the Bobcats trailing 20-18 with 1:59 left.The Cats (11-2) gave the ball to senior running back DenardFerguson around left end but Parker and senior linebacker TaylorHenry forced Ferguson out of bounds at the one; stripping him ofthe ball and ending the Bobcats’ dreams of a championshipseason.
“Puckett did what they had to do to beat us tonight,” saidBobcat head coach Carl Cole. “That conversion attempt and thoselong pass plays really hurt us. Plus, we got some penalties thatslowed us down. But, overall, I’m proud of my team this year andthe first class effort they gave this season.”
Cole’s Bobcats looked to be in position to pull the upset earlyin the game after a 63-yard pass-play from senior quarterback JacobLeggett to sophomore receiver Michael Blackwell. The Bobcats heldthe early 6-0 advantage with 8:36 to go in the second quarter. Butthe Wolves had an answer.
That answer came four minutes later when Wolves quarterbackMario Robinson connected with Jackson from 93 yards out. Jacksonsplit two Bobcat defenders and then burned the other en route toscoring. The Wolves added a Nick Patrick PAT, taking a 7-6 leadwith 2:48 to go in the half.
The Bobcats would respond to the Puckett bomb with a littlerazzle-dazzle themselves. With eight seconds remaining. Leggettfound senior tailback Dominique Addison all alone in the end zonefor a 33-yard strike. After failing to complete the run on the PAT,the Bobcats took a 12-7 advantage into halftime.
Puckett entered the second half with a more aggressive andphysical style of defense that nearly shut down the Bobcats in thethe air and on the ground. The Wolves used their defense to theiradvantage by intercepting Leggett twice to set up back-to-back TDscampers by Jackson. His first a five-yard plunge and his second a40-yard connection from Robinson. The Wolves held a 20-12 lead with9:43 left in the game.
Bogue Chitto then used the running talents of Addison andFerguson to set up first and goal at the Puckett four-yard line.The Wolves’ defense allowed Ferguson a key third down run of 12yards to set up the first down. But just when it looked like theBobcats were going to cake walk into the end zone, the Wolves’defense tightened and allowed the Bobcats just three yards on threedowns.
Facing fourth and goal at the one, the Bobcats went to theirmost powerful runner in Addison to score the elusive touchdown theyneeded with 1:59 remaining. Cole then called Ferguson’s number forthe key conversion attempt, but the Wolves stopped him short forthe finishing touches in the hard-fought victory.
“This is something I was glad I was part of,” said Cole afterthe game. “This team and these playoffs were very special.”
Cole’s Bobcats were led in their final game by senior AceWallace on defense with eight tackles and one deflection. Defensiveback Todd Davis chipped in with six tackles, two deflections and afumble recovery. Ferguson finished with five tackles and a fumblerecovery.
For the Wolves, junior John Elmore led with 11 tackles. Robinsonfinished with six tackles, three deflections and twointerceptions.