Wesson Cobras win again in OT

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 29, 2007

FLORENCE — The Wesson Cobras lived on the edge for one morenight Friday by winning another cliffhanger. This time it was 21-14over the McLaurin Tigers in an overtime thriller in RankinCounty.

The Cobras (8-1, 5-1) used a little trickery to score inovertime and the defense rose up yet again and held the Tigers on4th and goal from the 1- yard line to sew up a playoff spot andpossibly a first round home game. It was Wesson’s second straightovertime win.

In overtime, the Cobras received the ball first in the OT periodand would only take 3 plays to score. Wesson head coach TommyClopton reached into his bag of tricks and called a wide receiverreverse. Chris Fink took the reverse handoff from Chris Craft andoutran the defense to the end zone to put the Cobras up 20-14. Finkand Craft would again shine on the point after when Craft fielded ahigh snap and got it down in time for Fink to sneak a kick throughseveral Tiger defenders and put the Cobras up 21-14.

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The Cobra defense then rose up yet again. The Cobras, who hadbeen shredded in the fourth quarter by Michael Young, held thequarterback out of the end zone on fourth and goal from the oneyard line and painted the victory blue and white.

“We told our kids that the games just get bigger and bigger eachweek,” commented Clopton. “Every game comes down to a couple ofplays and our kids just rise up. There was no bigger fourth down inour season than that last one.”

The Cobras took little time getting on the board aftercornerback Michael Box recovered the opening pooch kickoff to givethe Cobras the ball on the 32-yard line. Two minutes later,sophomore tailback Jeromy Smith would rumble in from 4 yards out toput the Cobras up 6-0. Fink nailed his first of three humongousPATs to give the Cobras a 7-0 lead with 9:47 left in the 1stquarter.

McLaurin answered immediately in the first by marching down thefield and reaching paydirt on a 15 yard Kentrell Quick touchdownscamper. Jeffrey Moreland tied the game at 7-7 with his successfulPAT with 6:41 left in the 1st.

The Cobras would open the second quarter with a first play 34yard scoring strike from Craft to sophomore tight end JaredMcManus. McManus’ nifty fingertip grab put the Cobras up 13-7 with11:52 left before half. Fink would nail point after to put theCobras up 14-7.

The Cobras let an opportunity slip through their hands with lessthan 90 seconds left in the half when senior tailback Roy Williamsand Craft fumbled a handoff exchange at the 2 yard line going inand turned the ball over to the Tigers. The no score would provehuge as regulation time played out.

The third quarter was a punt fest as both teams countered theoffenses with excellent defense. The fourth began with Craftintercepting a Young pass on the 1 yard line to halt an impressiveMcLaurin drive that would have tied the game.

A controversial Cobra fumble would give the Tigers theirammunition for the final drive as Craft was credited with aturnover that he never let go of on the ground. After the rulingfor McLaurin, the Tigers would ride the back of Young on the finaldrive with him capping off a tremendous rushing night with a 9 yardTD run with 1:08 left in the game. Young had a huge night rushingfor 163 yards on 21 carries against the Cobras. Moreland tied thegame with the PAT and sent the Cobras to their second consecutiveovertime game.

“Our defense has brought it every play, every week,” explained ajubilated defensive coordinator Phillip Knight. “We just feel likewe know we can stop anybody and that’s the way we play.”

The Cobra offense was led by Williams who had 77 yards on 19carries. J. Smith added 61 yards on 13 scampers. The offensive lineheld tough in a game that was decided in the trenches.

“This just feels great,” explained senior tackle Brady Knight.”Nobody expected us to be like this. We played great.”

Defensively, the Cobras bent but did not break.Linebacker Beau Wilson led the Cobras with 12 tackles. Craft andBox had 9 stops each. Lineman Clayton Allen had 5 stops. Box andend Zach Williams had fumble recoveries. Craft had aninterception.

The Cobras must wait and see where and who their playoff foewill be. The Scott Central-Lake game this week will shake thingsout for the Cobras as far as opponents go. Also, St. Joe couldfactor in if the Bruins can defeat the St. Andrew’s Saints by 9points. That would send the playoff seeds into a mathematicaldraw.