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Wesson holds off Richland

WESSON — Wesson’s head coach Tommy Clopton led the WessonCobras into Stone Stadium Friday in hopes of a win over theRichland Rangers and left there just as he had hoped. The Cobrasclipped the Rangers 12-6 in a hard fought game, giving the Cobrastheir first victory of the year and handing the Rangers theirsecond loss.

The Cobras got their first score of the game in the second quarterwhen Kyle Cross capped off a 6-play drive with a 12-yard touchdownrun with 8:21 left in the half. The Cobras failed the 2-pointconversion but had to go for it because their starting kicker,Austin Graham, had an injury on the very first play from scrimmageand was out for the remainder of the game.

This wouldn’t be the end of the injuries as Kyle Cross, a Super 7pick at running back/safety;, would later injure his ankle with4:08 left in the half. But the defense held strong and the Cobraswent in at the half with a 6-0 lead.

More defense in the third quarter saw Wesson leading 6-0 as thefinal 12 minutes got under way.

The Ranger offense finally got going by ending a 9-play, 90-yarddrive which included a 45 yard run by the Ranger quarterback JosephSayles who then scored a 3-yard touchdown run to even the score at6-6 with 8:48 left in the game. Wesson junior linebacker PaytonCupit blocked the extra point and kept the score tied.

The Cobras wasted very little time after that to get their nextscore. Senior quarterback Matt Smith busted a 40-yard run on thethird play of the drive to set himself up for another Cobra scorewhen he rushed in from 3 yards out with 6:41 left in the game. The2-point conversion was unsuccessful and the Cobras led 12-6.Wesson’s defense took over.

After the Rangers started a strong 7-play drive, Sayles muffed thesnap and Wesson junior defensive tackle Zack Wilson recovered thefumble with 3:31 left in the game. The Cobras ate up the clock andbrought home the win.

Coach Clopton praised his team’s performance. “It was a toughballgame for our team. Every possible break went against us but ourguys kept fighting and I couldn’t be any more proud of ourteam.

“When we had guys go down, we had guys step up and make someplays,” Clopton continued. “We found a way to win and that’s thebottom line. Our kids refused to lose. I couldn’t be more proud ofour guys for battling back”.

Wesson lost 2-way starter Austin Graham to a knee injury on thefirst series of the game. Graham is a starting cornerback and widereceiver. He also kicks off and placekicks.

Wesson’s offense leader was Smith who was 1 for 4 passing for 22yards. He also had 18 rushes for 106 yards on the ground. KyleCross added another 4 rushes for 38 yards before going down with asecond quarter ankle injury. Steven Jones had 3 rushes for 34 yardsand D.J. Coleman had one reception for 22 yards.

Wesson defense leaders were Morgan Robinson with 12 tackles, PaytonCupit had 10 tackles and 2 blocked kicks and Derrick Lyles had 10tackles.

Sayles led the Richland offense with 26 rushes for 151 yards. Hewas 0 for 4 in passing.

Defensively the Rangers were led by Malcolm Hayes with 6 tacklesand followed by Spencer Stovall with 5 tackles and Jordan Martinwith 4.

The Cobras next contest will be Friday at Bogue Chitto in anon-district matchup. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Troy SmithField