Pirates turn over Bo’ Chitto

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 23, 2006

BOGUE CHITTO — A turnover epidemic led to the demise of theBogue Chitto Bobcats Friday night on Troy Smith Field. The Bobcatslost 5 fumbles and were intercepted twice, losing 28-21 to theMount Olive Pirates in a hard-fought Region 4-1A contest.

Mt. Olive (8-1, 7-0) won its eighth straight game and remainedunbeaten atop the region standings. The Pirates were powered byJason McNair’s 154 rushing yards and the 4-touchdown performance ofquarterback Julius McNair.

In a suspenseful situation, Mt. Olive was leading Bogue Chitto22-21 when Julius McNair intercepted BC quarterback Seth Avants atthe Bobcats’ 19-yard line with 2:25 left to play. Jason McNairripped off 17 yards on third down to gain the Pirates afirst-and-goal at BC’s 3-yard line.

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On second down and 4, BC head coach Gareth Sartin ordered hisBobcats to allow Mt. Olive to score uncontested. Julius McNair ranhis right end and the Pirates led 28-21 with 53 seconds left toplay.

Sartin encouraged his team to stop the 2-point conversion andregain possession of the football on the kickoff. The Bobcatssucceeded when McNair’s conversion pass to Alfred McLaurin wasdropped.

The Bobcats’ turnover curse continued on the kickoff as thePirates recovered an onside kick at their 48-yard line and ran outthe clock.

Bogue Chitto fell to 5-4 overall and 5-2 in the region butremained in contention for a playoff berth. The Bobcats are atNatchez Cathedral (6-3, 6-1) Friday night.

“Their coach (Sartin) made a smart move, letting us score,” saidMt. Olive head coach Jackie Simpson. “He does a great job with histeam and they are just about there,” meaning a title contender. “Wewere scared to death coming down here. We knew we would have abattle.”

Rebuilding after a 14-1 campaign and a state championshiprunner-up finish, Simpson’s team still has plenty of talented skillplayers. McLaurin, a slender 6-foot-4 senior, made 2 leapingcatches for touchdowns against BC, covering distances of 16 and 30yards.

Julius McNair, an elusive junior, completed 9 of 17 passes for109 yards and 2 TDs. He was intercepted by BC cornerback AustinJones who also had 10 tackles.

Sartin said he was disappointed by the defeat, especially theplague of turnovers. “We gave (Pirates) the ballgame. We had seventurnovers.

“We physically dominated the game on both sides of thefootball,” he pointed out. “Our defense is getting better. We wereable to contain No. 22 (Jason McNair) most of the time. He’s aheckuva running back.”

Sartin’s team asserted themselves after fumbling on their first2 possessions. The Bobcats stopped a Pirate drive at their 28 with2:27 left in the first quarter. Seven plays later, they climaxedthe march with a 7-yard scoring sweep by Donyea Dillion.

The PAT kick by Fred Williams put BC up 7-0 with 11:43 left inthe first half.

The Pirates didn’t score until 23 seconds remained in the firsthalf. McLaurin made a leaping TD catch in the end zone. JuliusMcNair ran the 2-point conversion for an 8-7 lead.

To start the third quarter, BC’s Brian Robinson returned thekickoff 28 yards to the 43. Avants guided the his team to paydirtand Cole Laird scored on a 3-yard plunge up the middle. Avants ranthe conversion off left tackle for a 15-8 lead.

The Pirates responded with a quick, 4-play scoring drive. JasonMcNair broke a 40-yard gainer and Julius McNair scored on a 4-yardsneak, making it 15-14.

A night of giving continued as freshman running back ByronKersee fumbled at his 30-yard line and Pirate Cornelius Pagerecovered. On first down, McLaurin got behind BC’s secondary andmade another TD catch. Jason McNair ran the PAT for a 22-15advantage with 6:36 left in the third quarter.

The Bobcats pulled within 1 point, 22-21, on a an 8-yard run byAvants off right tackle, capping a 60-yard drive. Avants wastackled by Jason McNair on the 2-point conversion run with 8:20left in the game.

On defense, Jones was followed by linebackerScotty Brown with 9 tackles. Addison and Tillman each had 7stops.