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Wesson waxes War Dawgs

UTICA — The Wesson Cobras offense awoke and ambushed the HindsAHS War Dawgs in the second half of a hotly contested 32-13 victoryon the campus of Hinds Community College in Utica Friday evening,thus solidifying the Cobras as the No. 2 seed in Region 6-2A andcementing the very important first-round home playoff game.

The chill air found the Cobras still snuggled under theirblankets for much of the first half as they allowed the War Dawgsto dominate the stat sheet and torch the Cobras for 13 points inthe 1st quarter. The first touchdown came from Hinds AHS senior QBDerrick Steele who galloped 50 yards for the first score with 9:39remaining in the first quarter. Steele would kick the PAT and theWar Dawgs led 7-0.

Steele found paydirt once again with 0:10 left in the 1stquarter to push the lead to 13-0. That is where the offensivechapter for the War Dawgs would come to an end.

Wesson assistant coach Phillip Knight’s defensive unit wouldpitch an inspiring shutout the rest of the way and score the firstCobra points of the evening. “Our defense came after it,” commentedKnight. “They left it on the field and that is what they are toldto do.”

With Hinds driving before the half, War Dawgs running backJoshua King headed into a spin move on a sweep with the ball andcame out without it. Cobra cornerback Micah Davis picked King’spocket and raced 54 yards with the theft to get the Cobras on theboard. Chris Fink’s PAT was good and the Cobras trailed 13-7 with3:21 left in the half.

The second half was all business for the Cobras as the Dawgscould not sniff the end zone while watching the Cobras light up thescoreboard time and time again. “We dug a hole early,” explainedCobra head coach Tommy Clopton. “We had a tremendous team effort inthe second half with our seniors stepping up and making bigplays.”

The Cobra offensive fire was lit late in the 3rd quarter whenpunt returner Ralph Brothern made a spectacular, athletic return toset the Cobras up at the War Dawg 12 yard line. Davis, this time atquarterback, would make up the difference with a 12-yard optionkeeper to bring the Cobras even with Hinds AHS 13-13 with 3:22 leftin the 3rd quarter after the failed PAT try.

On Hinds’ very next offensive play, Steele was crushed by Cobradefensive end Jonathan Grace who forced and recovered a War Dawgfumble. Running back Otho Smith cashed in the defensive gift with a3-yard TD plunge with 2:01 left in the 3rd quarter. Fink’s PATpushed the Cobra lead to 20-13.

After swapping possessions, the Cobras struck again, this timewith a knockout blow. Davis would keep the option and race 73 yardsto extend the Cobra lead to 26-13 with 6:45 left in the game. ThePAT was blocked.

The final Cobra score came after a 47-yard interception returnby Smith. It set the Cobras up on the War Dawg 11-yard line. Threeplays later, fullback Roy Williams gutted the middle for a 2-yardTD score to extend the Cobras’ lead. The PAT was once again blockedand the Cobras led 32-13 with 2:56 remaining in the game.

“I’m proud of everybody tonight,” explained Davis when askedabout his team’s performance. “We all stepped it up big time.”

Davis led the Cobra offensive attack with 133 yards on 9 carriesand 2 touchdowns. Williams carried the ball 12 times for 67 yardsand a score. Smith contributed a TD as well.

The Hinds AHS offense was led by Steele who had 150 yardsrushing on 23 carries and 2 scores.

Defensively, the dominating performance handedin by the Cobras was led by Grace who had 13 tackles, a sack, andfumble recovery. Davis scored a defensive touchdown as well asrecording 8 stops. Linebacker Beau Wilson had 16 tackles.Linebackers Daniel Watson and Williams had 10 stops each.

The Cobras have revenge on their minds this week as they hostthe Mize Bulldogs at Stone Stadium Friday night in the first roundof the Class 2A state playoffs.

Mize beat the Cobras 20-14 earlier in the year. Mize lost itsfinale 35-14 to Bay Springs Friday and got the No. 3 seed out ofthat region. The game begins at 7:30 p.m.