Cobra defense stops Bulldogs

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 22, 2007

WESSON — For Wesson senior defensive end Johnathan Grace, lastnight’s 28-27 Region 6-2A win over the Hinds AHS Bulldogs was extrasweet.

Grace, who was responsible for blocking a Hinds AHS PAT kickearlier in the game, came through with the big play that securedthe win for Wesson.

The game was tied 21-all at the end of regulation and went intoovertime. Wesson went on offense first from the 10-yard line andscored two plays later on a 2-yard run around the left corner bysophomore running back Jeromy Smith. Chris Fink nailed the PAT kickto give the hosts a 28-21 lead.

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On their first play, Hinds running back Darius Newton went upthe middle for a 10-yard TD to cut the deficit to 1-point. Insteadof going for the extra point kick for the tie, Coach Michael Fieldssent his Bulldogs in to try for 2 points and the win.

While Hinds backup quarterback Timothy Myles dodged Wessonlinebacker Matthew Cliburn, Grace came from the blind side andnailed Myles, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Cobra JeremyLongino to preserve the win.

“It felt great,” said a smiling Grace after the win. “It’s greatto win your final region home game. This was dedicated to theseniors.”

Wesson (7-1, 4-1) travels to McLaurin next Friday for its finalregion and regular game of the season. The Cobras, who are No. 2 inthe standings, have an open date Friday, Nov. 2.

Hinds AHS fell to 1-4 in the region and 1-7 on the season.

“This win was big,” said Wesson head coach Tommy Clopton. “Wecan control out own destiny, This puts us in a position to host aplayoff game.”

Wesson senior running back Roy Williams led the Cobra groundgame with 21 carries for 112 yards. Smith followed with 18 rushesfor 100 yards and scored three touchdowns.

“Hinds was our most physical opponent,” said Smith after thegame. “We came together at the end as a team.”

Wesson took the opening kickoff and 43 yards in 12 plays thenfumbled. Bulldog John Gilmore recovered at the 22 to set up a9-play, 78-yard march that resulted in a 1-yard run by CedrickThompson for the touchdown. Chavez Johnson kicked the PAT to giveHinds a 7-0 lead with 3:18 left in the quarter.

The Cobras took over at their won 40 with 38 seconds left in thefirst quarter. Wesson ran off 11 plays to set up a 20-yardtouchdown-run by Smith. Fink kicked his first of 4 PATs to tie thegame at 7-all with 7:14 left in the second quarter.

The Wesson defense held Hinds at the Cobra 40 and took over with4:14 remaining in the first half. The hosts ran off 8 plays andscored on a 1-yard burst by Smith to push the Wesson lead to14-7.

On the ensuing kickoff, Thompson broke loose for a big 90-yardtouchdown run to trim the Wesson lead to 14-13. Johnson’s PAT kickwas blocked by Grace as the Cobras went into the dressing room atthe half with a 1-point edge over the Bulldogs.

Hinds took the second-half kickoff and marched 54-yards in 19plays before coming up a yard short at the Wesson 36 and turned theball back over to the Cobras.

Wesson ran off 9 plays and drove 78 yards to set up a 48-yardhalfback pass from Kyle Cross to Fink for the six points. Finksextra point kick pushed the hosts lead to 21-13 with 2 seconds leftin the third quarter.

Hind roared back in the opening minute of the fourth quarterwith an explosive 51-yard run and a 2-point conversion run byThompson to tie the game at 21-all.

Wesson quarterback John Craft completed 1 of 5 passes for 8yards. Williams had the catch.

Hinds starting quarterback Kiente Williams directed the Bulldogrunning game with 14 carries for 74 yards. Thompson followed with123 yards on 12 carries. Darius Newton finished with 3 rushes for47 yards.

Defensively, senior linebacker Beau Wilsonsparked Wesson with 11 tackles. Craft made 9 stops followed byWilliams with 7.