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Jefferson Davis pulls away from Wesson

It was not a beautiful night for football on Thursday, as the Wesson Cobras (4-6) hosted the Jefferson Davis County Jaguars (7-4) in their regular season finale. The Cobras saw an early first-half lead evaporate in the face of several self-inflicted miscues as the Jaguars pulled away for a 55-27 win.

A steady mist filled the air throughout the game, turning the playing surface in Stone Stadium on the campus of Copiah-Lincoln Community College into a soggy bog. Wesson energized the home crowd on the opening kickoff when senior running back Jaquavion Harris returned the ball deep into JDC territory.

On the first play from scrimmage, Wesson sophomore running back Jason Edwards scored from 27 yards out. The Seth Cone PAT kick was good, and Wesson had a 7-0 lead to the delight of the faithful fans that had braved the crummy weather.

Jeff Davis answered back on a 48-yard touchdown run by Deandre Shorts. The point after kick was no good, and with 8:03 remaining in the first quarter Wesson led 7-6.

Another strong Harris return put the Cobras over midfield on their next drive and the Wesson offense would stay hot. Sophomore quarterback Antrelle Sims sliced right through the middle of the Jefferson Davis defense to score from 17 yards to put Wesson back on top 14-6 with 3:59 remaining in the opening quarter.

The Wesson defense forced a Jaguar punt on the following drive, but a fumbled shotgun snap on second and long by the Cobra offense would give the ball right back to Jefferson Davis.

The Jaguars wouldn’t need long to take advantage of what was a short field when they scored on a long TD pass with just three second left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion try was good and the game was knotted at 14-14.

After the kickoff return the game clock read that only .3 seconds remained in the first quarter. That’s all the time Sims needed to put Wesson back up when he took a quarterback keeper 70 yards for the Cobra touchdown to put the Cobras ahead 21-14.

Another good return for Jefferson Davis gave them a short field to work with and it didn’t take long for the Jaguars to pull within one — 21-20 — after a rushing touchdown with 9:15 remaining until halftime.

The next Cobra drive is when things started to go south for the home team.

A Sims pass on a screen play was ruled a lateral and the ball was kicked backwards towards the Wesson goal line. The Jaguar defenders knew the whistle hadn’t blown the play dead and they raced to recover the ball on the Cobra 1-yard line.

The subsequent touchdown run would give the Jaguars a lead they would never relinquish. Wesson had another turnover on a botched punt that again gave JDC great field position.

The visitors scored twice in the last 3:55 of the half to push their lead to 42-21 in the blink of an eye.

Wesson got their final score of the night on a 1-yard Harris run with 3:21 remaining in the game.

“We just had two or three plays that snowballed at the end of the first half and a good team like them will always take advantage of that,” said Wesson coach Jeremy Loy.

The emotions of the final game for the senior class were palpable in the post-game huddle as Loy addressed his team.

Harris came in to hug Loy as he was speaking after the game. The senior running back told the third-year head coach that it had been an honor to play for him.

You could see the emotion of the moment seize Loy in his throat as he thanked Harris for his effort and hard work.

Linebacker L.J. Guess smiled wide when he talked about the work done by himself and his fellow senior classmates.

“I think our class showed the younger guys what it means to show up every day and work in practice,” said Guess.  “You’re not going to win every game, but we played hard until the end every night and I think the teams coming behind us have a chance to be really good.”

The Cobras will be moved back down to 2A for the next two seasons after a six-year run in the 3A ranks. There is talk of Wesson replacing Amite County in Region 7-2A and joining the Lincoln County schools in an all Copiah-Lincoln district. It will be a welcome change for a Cobra team that is 15-1 against Lincoln County competition in the last 10 combined seasons.

That’s for next season, though. The Cobra coaching staff will take up equipment on Friday and start planning for offseason conditioning.

The senior Guess doesn’t have too much time to reflect on his final season of football. He starts playing the original game of football next week with the Cobra soccer team.

“I’ve got soccer starting next week and when that’s over with I’ll start getting ready for baseball in the spring,” said a sweaty, mud-covered Guess.

Story by Cliff Furr