LCHS crushes Columbia

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 9, 2006

MONTICELLO — The Lawrence County Cougars celebrated homecomingwith a 49-20 romp over the Columbia Wildcats, in high schoolfootball action Friday night at LCHS. The Cougars rolled up awhopping 431 yards of total offense, and tallied a season high inpoints.

With the win, Coach Mike Davis’ Cougars improved to 4-3 overall.Lawrence County stands at 2-1 in Region 6-4A play. Class 3AColumbia, under first-year coach Doug Norris, fell to 2-5 on theseason.

“We did some good things,” Davis said, “but we screwed up somethings, too. With all due respect to a fine Columbia team, we’vegot three monster games ahead of us.

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“We’ve got to improve upon the good things, and cut out thescrew ups if we’re to have any shot at success these next threeweeks.”

Lawrence County will close out its season against Region 6-4Aco-leaders Terry (7-0) and McComb (6-1), and perennial regionpowerhouse Brookhaven (4-3), which narrowly lost to both. TheCougars will have to beat at least one of those powerhouses to haveany chance at a 4A playoff spot.

Friday’s game started with a bang, as LCHS junior IsaiahFerdinand returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.Rishawn Hayned kick the first of 7 straight extra points, and theCougars enjoyed a 7-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game.

That early lead was extremely short-lived. Columbia quickly gota 27-yard Stuart Magee-to-Derwin Foxworth pass and a 20-yardJeffrey Petel run, setting up Petel’s 1-yard touchdown plunge.

A Curtis Carr pass interception stopped Columbia’s secondpossession, but the Wildcats took a 14-7 lead late in the firstquarter, on a fake punt/pass from Magee to Denzel Expose. That wasa play that didn’t sit well with Cougar coach Mike Davis.

“We practice that stuff too much for that to happen,” Davissaid. “High school football is competitive enough that it’s hardenough to win when you make the opponents earn their points. Youcan’t afford to just give them away. That was not one of our bettermoments.”

Davis’ Cougars had plenty of good moments, however. Just 3 playsinto the second quarter, sophomore fullback Kendrick Hardy scoredon a 44-yard running, knotting the game at 14-14. After the LCHSdefense forced a Columbia punt, the Cougars took a 21-14 lead on a16-yard run by Ferdinand. Another 16-yard Ferdinand run and anoutstanding 34-yard reception by Mackenzie Woods helped to set itup.

Just moments into the second half, Hardy, who pulls double dutyas an outside linebacker, recovered a Wildcat fumble, at theColumbia 2-yard line. Quarterback Ryan McCall scored on the nextplay, giving Lawrence County a 28-14 lead.

After an exchange of fumbles, Cougar senior Will Harris scoredon a 52-yard run, giving LCHS a 35-14 lead. Monyale Mikell had thekey fumble recovery.

With 14 seconds left in the third period, Columbia’s Foxworthgot the Wildcats back into the game with a 54-yard fumble recoveryand return for a touchdown.

Lawrence County sealed the game with 2 fourth-quartertouchdowns. First, another 34-yard pass from McCall to Woods set upJosh Cameron’s 1-yard TD run. It was the first career score for thefreshman, who had 38 yard on 5 carries. Fellow freshman MathewWells gained 60 yards on 7 carries. Hardy led the Cougars with 113yards on 14 attempts.

Late in the game, Cameron’s 22-yard run set up BrandonMiddlebrook’s 14-yard scoring run.

Cougar linebackers Hardy and Julius Magee led the LawrenceCounty defense with 7 tackles each.