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Rebels squash Cobras

WESSON — Playing in a tough region can have its benefits as theScott Central Rebels proved Friday night in shutting out the WessonCobras 35-0 in the first round of the Class 2A state footballplayoffs in Stone Stadium on the Co-Lin campus.

The Rebels, the No. 3 seed out of Region 5, proved to be betterthan their 7-3 record indicated. Wesson head coach Tommy Cloptonknew they were a real good team.

“I knew coming in they could play with anyone in their district,”said Clopton after the game. “They were very athletic.”

The Cobras, the No. 2 seed out of Region 6, finish their seasonwith an 8-2 worksheet. The Rebels improve to 7-3 and advance to thenext round.

Scott Central head coach Mickey Bounds felt the tough Region 5schedule was helpful in preparing his Rebels for the playoffs.

“We had a real tough district,” said Bounds. “It prepares you toplay tough teams. Wesson was a real good team. But we playedphysical and we played smart. And our defensive coaches did a greatjob.”

Scott Central hosts North Forrest for the second round of the stateplayoffs Friday night. North Forrest eliminated Mize 39-36 lastFriday.

“We played hard,” said Clopton. “We got a lot better each week. Wefinished 8-2.”

The Rebels took the opening kickoff and drove 74 yards in 10 playsto score their first touchdown of the game. Tailback Chris Ficklinscored on a 19-yard run. Ficklin ran in the 2-point conversion togive Scott Central an 8-0 lead with 7:49 left.

Scott Central continued its next drive into the second quarter butrunning back Eric Wagner fumbled and Wesson linebacker Beau Wilsonrecovered for the Cobras at their own 16. The hosts picked up afirst down and drove to the 34 before punting the ball back to thevisitors with 8:05 left.

On their next possession, the Rebels began their second scoringdrive on the night. From the 30, Scott Central marched 70 yards in8 plays before quarterback Johnny Magee went over the middle onkeeper for the TD. Magee connected to Kenneth Barlow on the 2-pointconversion for 8 points and pushed the visitors lead to 16-0 with8:06 remaining in the first half.

Three plays into the third quarter, Barlow picked off Wessonquarterback John Craft at the 11-yard line. Two players later,Ficklin went over the middle for the touchdown and Eric Wagner ranin the 2-point conversion as Scott Central pushed its lead to 24-0with 8:34 left on the clock.

The Rebels added another touchdown in the third quarter on a20-yard run by Ficklin, capping a 5-play, 66-yard drive. The PATkick failed and Scott Central increased its lead to 30-0 with 1:51on the clock.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Wesson ran off three plays thenturned the ball over to Scott Central with 10:27 left in the game.The Rebels ran off 7:13 before George Lewis scored on a 1-yardburst and Magee kicked the extra point for a 37-0 lead.

Senior fullback Roy Williams powered the Cobra running game with 22carries for 87 yards. Sophomore tailback Jeromy Smith followed with56 yards on 11 carries.

For the Rebels, Ficklin led the ground game with 13 carries for 96yards. Rushing 12 times for 73 yards was Wagner. Following with 74yards on 9 carries was Deontae Brown.

In the air, Magee completed 3 of 7 passes for 50 yards for ScottCentral. Barlow had 2 catches for 16 yards and Brown made 1reception for 34 yards.

Defensively, Kyle Cross led Wesson with 14tackles. Beau Wilson collected 12 tackles. Michael Box, Williamsand Craft finished with 8 tackles apiece.

“Hats off to our guys,” added Clopton. “Our seniors, they didgreat. We got good leadership this year. It’s been a heckuva lot offun.”