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Loyd Star 47-7 over West Lincoln in football opener

The Loyd Star Hornets entertained the West Lincoln BearsThursday night at William E. “Sambo” Smith Field in the 2005 seasondebut for both schools.

If first impressions are lasting, then Loyd Star fans are in fora treat this season. With only 11 seconds removed from the clock,Hornet senior Michael Britt returned the opening kickoff 76 yardsfor a touchdown. Britt and his teammates did not stop until theyhad secured a 47-7 win over the visiting Bears before an estimated1200 enthusiastic fans.

Loyd Star was tied at No. 6 in the Southwest Mississippi PrepSuper Seven Poll.

“The ball skipped straight to me,” said a sweat-soaked Brittafter the game. “We practiced a flip-back, but I decided to run it.It felt good.”

Britt, who scored on a 95-yard run in the second quarter, ledthe Hornet offensive with 96 yards on 2 carries. He accounted forhalf of Loyd Star’s 353 yards of total offense (171); including the76-yard burst on the kickoff return, all coming on the ground.

“Michael is our workhorse,” said first-year Josh Thibodeauxfollowing a post-game water shower from his team. “His kickoff setthe tempo for the game.”

Loyd Star (1-0) made the most of their scoring opportunities,crossing the goal line on 7 of the 8 times they touched thefootball without throwing a pass.

“We wanted to stay on the ground tonight,” added Thibodeaux. “Weneeded the work there.”

Besides Britt, 5 different red-clad Hornets found the endzone.Donald Shorter, Alfred Henderson, Tyler Williford, Garry Johnsonand Randy Fells found the goal line. Fells scored on a 25-yard run;provided 82 yards on 4 rushes. Shorter added 5 carries for 66yards, scoring on a 32-yard run.

Henderson opened the final frame with a 27-yard scoring burst atthe 11:45 mark. Patrick Holcomb converted his fifth PAT kick in 6attempts. Williford had a 27-yard run to paydirt, while Johnsonscored from 2 yards out.

“We were under a lot of pressure to win the first one,” addedBritt who was referring to last season’s 3-7 finish by LoydStar.

West Lincoln (0-1) had 171 yards of total offense with 159coming on the ground. They held a 3-to-1 advantage in time ofpossession; 36 to 12. Several of their possessions were between 3to 8 minutes long.

The Bears avoided the shutout with 3:55 left in the game.Sophomore tailback Darnell Sampson found paydirt on a 24-yardscamper around right end. Sampson converted the PAT kick as hepaced the West Lincoln offense with 82 yards on 23 carries.

“We are young with only 6 players having varsity experience,”said second-year West Lincoln head coach Brooks Burns. “I am proudof my kids. They did not quit, nor did they give up.”

Bear quarterback Kevin Lofton completed 2-of-4 passes for 12yards. Witt May caught 1 pass for 7 yards, while Lee Jones had a5-yard reception. Lofton also had 71 yards on 13 carries.

Defensively, Loyd Star was led by Hunter Speeg and Fells with 9tackles each. Shorter, who was in on 2 sacks, followed with 7stops. Speeg and Brandon Warren each were in on a sack. Willifordand Steven Watts each had a fumble recovery.

West Lincoln was led by Kevin Lofton and Lee Jones with 5tackles apiece. Lofton had a sack.

Loyd Star travels to Enterprise’s Harry S. Cole Field Friday forthe annual Sting Bowl, at 7:30. West Lincoln hosts Wesson Fridayfor a 7 p.m. kickoff.