West Jones Mustangs trample Lawrence Co.

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

SOSO -The West Jones Mustangs hammered the Lawrence CountyCougars 26-3 in the football opener for both schools Friday night.The West Jones defense proved too much for the Cougars, limitingLawrence County to just 56 total yards, while the Mustang offenseconsistently took advantage of the excellent field position createdby its defense.

West Jones, which made it to the South Mississippi 4A finalslast season, improved to 1-0. The Mustangs are coached by ScottPierson. Lawrence County, under second-year coach Mike Davis, fellto 0-1.

“Our kids played awfully hard,” Davis said. “They didn’t get alot to show for it, against a very good team, but I was proud ofthe effort and the attitude. We had some tough breaks right at thestart of the game that got us in a tough spot, but I thought ourplay improved throughout the night.”

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A quick three-and-out series and a shanked punt got the Cougarsin trouble in the opening moments of the game. West Jones gotpossession at the LCHS 32-yard line, and scored on a 4-yardtouchdown run by Terry Keys. A roughing-the-passer penalty, onthird-and-10, kept the series alive for the Mustangs.

Lawrence County’s ensuing possession was also ruined bypenalties. Quarterback Will Harris, leading the Cougars’ new 4-wideshotgun attack, completed passes to 3 different receivers.Unfortunately for the Cougars, all 3 plays, 2 of them for sizablegains, were called back by blocking penalties.

“We couldn’t run-block them at all,” said long-time LawrenceCounty offensive line coach Craig Davis, “but Will played very welland made some very good plays in the passing game. Unfortunately,hardly any of them counted. He hardly has any yards in the statbook. They all got called back.”

West Jones took advantage of that flag-plagued possession to getgood field position and add 3 more points, on Adams’s 26-yard fieldgoal.

Early in the second quarter, Cougar sophomore Curtis Carrintercepted a Mustang pass deep in LCHS territory. Two plays later,West Jones returned the favor, intercepting a Harris pass. That setup a 4-yard touchdown run by Mustang quarterback Warren Herrington.That made it 17-0.

Later in the half, after a botched kickoff return forced theCougars to start inside their 10-yard line, Harris was sacked for asafety. The ensuing free kick again set the Mustangs up in goodfield position. They took advantage as Herrington hit JerrellKnight on a 35-yard flea-flicker pass, making it a 26-0 game.

Herrington completed 3 of 10 passes for 77 yards. Walter Keysled the Mustang rushing attack with 62 yards on 13 carries.

From that point on, the LCHS defense, led by defensive backbrothers Stevie and Curtis Carr, and by sophomore linebackersJulius Magee and Dontray Collins, largely held the Mustangs incheck. The Cougar offense, meanwhile, was having a tough time ofit, as West Jones played its defense into early-season shape byplaying its starters throughout. Defensive ends Ira Lee Keys andMason Musgrove were dominant defenders for West Jones.

For Lawrence County, Harris completed 13 of 28 passes for 78yards. Ryan McCall completed 2 of 2 for 5 yards. Sophomore runningback Marcus Washington had 5 catches for 22 yards. Isaiah Ferdinand(3-15), Danny Powell (3-11), Tavalas Peyton (1-16) and BlakeStalans (1-15) were other Cougar receivers. Washington (6-9) wasthe only Cougar rusher with positive yardage.

Early in the fourth quarter, Ferdinand’s blocked punt set up theCougars’ only score of the night, a 31-yard field goal by TravisStalans.

“It was a tough night,” Coach Mike Davis said, “but it wasn’t atotal disaster. Our kids played hard to the very end. We know thatwe face another very tough challenge next week, but if our kidsstay up and keep battling, we’ll continue to get better and thisseason will come around.”

Lawrence County hosts Franklin County in the Cougars’ homeopener Friday.