McComb Tigers claim big win over Lawrence Co.

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 23, 2006

MONTICELLO — A pair of teams that no one talked about at thestart of this football season in Region 6-4A met Friday night; asthe Lawrence County Cougars played host to the McComb Tigers in avery important regional battle. Both teams, surprisingly, weresitting atop the region standings with 2 games to go.

The Tigers forged another bend-but-don’t-break defensive effort;authoring a 33-10 win over the Cougars. McComb limited Lawrence to171 yards of total offense. This followed Lawrence County’s400-plus yard effort in the Cougars’ big win over region-rivalTerry last week.

“Hats off the McComb Tigers, Coach Martin, his coaches andplayers,” Cougar head coach Mike Davis said following the game.”Their defense made the difference in the game.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The loss by Lawrence County (5-4, 3-2) puts the Cougars in amust-win situation against rival Brookhaven Friday night at KingField. A Cougar win puts them in the playoffs, while a loss wouldsend Mendenhall into the post-season; thus eliminating LCHS.

McComb (7-1, 4-0) travels up I-55 to take on the Terry Bulldogs.The winner of this game claims the regional title, while the loserwill be the runner-up. Both teams will host a first-round game inthe South State 4A playoffs that begin on November 3.

Region 6-4A will be matched up against Region 7. Their members,in order of their present standings, include Forrest CO. AHS,Gautier, D’Iberville, Vancleave, East Central, St. Martin and StoneCo.

Only the top 4 teams from each region advance to theplayoffs.

Following a three-and-out series by Lawrence Co., the Tigerswent to work from the McComb 23. It took 5 plays to cover 24 yards.Senior quarterback Alonzo Harris called his own number from 1-yardout with 8:28 left in the opening period. Dylan Boyd’s PAT kick wasblocked, but McComb held the early 6-0 lead. Key play in the drivewas a 6-yard punt by the Cougar’s Justin Hammond.

Davis’ Cougars would respond on the ensuing kickoff, marching 65yards in 9 plays. Fullback Kendrick Hardy ran 10 yards for thetouchdown with 3:27 in the first. Rashawn Haynes kicked the extrapoint and Lawrence County held its first lead of the game at7-6.

McComb went 3-and-out their next possession and Davis’ ballclubwould capitalize. Haynes split the uprights on a 29-yard field,giving the Cougars a 10-6 lead with 9:56 left in the firsthalf.

The Tigers would carry a 13-10 lead into the halftime lockerroom. McComb got a 13-yard touchdown run from Demorius Stewart.Dylan Boyd made the PAT kick at the 5:14 mark on the secondperiod.

“We were unable to get into any rhythm after the touchdown thatgave McComb the lead,” Davis added.

McComb used 8 different ball carriers on the night. Stewart, theTiger’s leading rusher averaging nearly 140 per game, was held to58 yards on 12 carries.

“We knew that Lawrence County would try and gang up ofDemorius,” Tiger Head Coach Randy Martin. “We are not aone-dimensional team.”

Harris led the Tiger rushing attack with 109 yards on 7 rushes.Justin Powell followed with 62 yards on 8 carries.

“We were able to wear them down with the running game,” Martinadded. “Our defense keeps coming up with big plays every week.”

Following the second half kickoff, Harris went to the airwayswith 9:12 left in the third frame, finding Bobby Felder with a9-yard touchdown pass. Boyd’s kick made the score 20-10.

Lawrence County received the ensuing kickoff; promptly marchingdown to the McComb 5. On fourth and goal, Hardy was stuck by Tigerdefensive linemen Dontrell Sargent; as McComb took over ondown.

“McComb has a very good defense,” Davis said. “They played as ateam.”

The Tigers tacked on a pair of touchdowns in a 2-minute spanlate in the fourth quarter, to put this one out of reach. Harrisgot his rushing touchdown with 4:40 left in the game. RamonCrockett took advantage on his only carry, scoring on a 41-yardscamper with 2:27 left in the game.

McComb registered 376 yards of total offense, with 319 coming onthe ground. Lawrence County’s 171 yards included only 7 yardspassing.