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Otho’s 3 TDs direct Wesson over Loyd Star

Wesson tailback Otho Smith came up with the big plays when theCobras needed them Friday night. Smith scored three touchdowns tolead Wesson to a key 20-6 Region 6-2A win over the host Loyd StarHornets Friday night on William E. “Sambo” Smith Field before astanding-room-only crowd.

Wesson improved to 4-1 on the season and is 1-0 in region play.Loyd Star falls to 1-4 overall and is 0-1 in region play.

“Our defense kept us in the ballgame,” said Wesson head footballcoach Tommy Clopton after the win. “We had some great blocks on thekickoff return. Hats off to our guys. We found a way to win.”

Smith returned a kickoff 70 yards, a pass interception 20 yardsand ran 25 yards for the third score. He finished the night with 13carries for 83 yards.

“Otho has great speed,” complimented Loyd Star head coach JoshThibodeaux. “Wesson was big up front. We pretty much shut them down(offensively). Take away the kickoff return and pass interception,and we’re still playing.”

On their second possession of the first quarter, the Hornets ranoff 7:27 minutes, using 17 plays and driving 64 yards. On the firstplay in the second quarter, quarterback Jarred Rogers went over themiddle on a keeper for the one-yard touchdown. The extra point kickfailed as Loyd Star led Wesson 6-0.

Smith took the following kickoff and returned it 70 yards forthe first Cobra TD. Justin Boykin kicked his first of two extrapoints to give Wesson a 7-0 lead with 11:41 remaining in the secondquarter.

After holding the Hornets to three downs and a punt, the Cobrasmounted a 10-play, 37-yard drive that stalled at the Loyd Star7-yard. Wesson was unable to get a first down and turned the ballover to the hosts with 5:46 left in the first half.

A penalty moved the Hornets back to the 4. Rogers’ pass wasdeflected off a Wesson defender and fell into teammate Randy Fells’hands who carried down into Cobra territory. However, a penaltyflag assessed against Loyd Star nullified the play and brought theball back. Two plays later, a Rogers pass was picked off byWilliams for a 20-yard TD and a 14-6 lead with 3:55 left untilhalftime.

Early in the third quarter, Wesson fumbled and turned the ballover to Loyd Star at the Hornet 48. On the next play, the Hornetsfumbled and the Cobras recovered at the Loyd Star 41. A 15-yardpenalty was assessed against Loyd Star. The flag helped set upWesson up at the hosts 28 for their final scoring drive of thegame.

Wesson ran two plays when Smith broke loose down the rightsideline for the 25-yard TD. The PAT kick was blocked, but theCobras pushed their lead to 20-6 with 10:02 left in the thirdquarter.

Wesson had two touchdowns called back on penalties in the secondhalf.

Loyd Star made one last drive at scoring late in the fourthquarter. From their own seven-yard line, the Hornets drove 86 yardsin 13 plays before stalling at the Wesson seven. The Cobras tookover on downs with 3:59 remaining in the game and ran out the clockto secure the win.

“We played good and hard,” said Wesson junior lineman TuffyThompson.

Senior lineman Brandon McMalbrough was also pleased with the winfor the Cobras. “We played hard.”

Thibodeaux felt the game could have gone Loyd Star’s way if notfor the errors.

“This was a game we could have won,” stated Thibodeaux. “We’restill young. We are making mistakes that hurt us. But our defensedid a good job.”

Thibodeaux singled out junior Randy Fells for his play ondefense and senior Michael Britt on offense.

“I was proud of Randy Fells,” said Thibodeaux. “He did a goodjob. Michael Britt is our workhorse.”

Britt led the Hornet ground game with 22 rushes for 60 yards.Johnson rushed six times for 12 yards. Fells followed with 30 yardson four carries.

Hornet quarterbacking duties were split between Rogers andPatrick Holcomb. Rogers completed 4 of 7 passes for 40 yards andwas intercepted once. Holcomb finished going 1 of 6 for 22 yardsand was also intercepted.

Top receiver for Loyd Star was Holcomb with two catches for 21yards. Garry Johnson had two catches for 19.

Adding support for Wesson’s ground game was Roy Williams with 50yards on 11 carries. Davis followed with 44 yards on 11carries.

Loyd Star travels to St. Andrew’s and Wesson visits Amite Countyat Liberty for more region football action Friday night.