Snakes sprint out the gate in big Wesson win at Loyd Star

Published 2:17 pm Saturday, September 2, 2023

The Wesson Cobras cover ground faster than any snake you’ve ever laid eyes on.

On Friday at Loyd Star, Wesson showed off a racecar offense early and flew out to a 34-0 halftime lead in an eventual 48-14 win for the Cobras.

Coach Jeremy Loy and his staff came into the season replacing a four-year starter at the quarterback position in his son Will, who’s now a freshman on the team at Copiah-Lincoln CC.

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In the preseason Loy had said he felt like the team had two capable players to choose from at quarterback in juniors Cole Gibson and Wyatt Garrett.

On Friday, those two alternated series and showed that their different skill sets make the Wesson offense harder to stop.

In Gibson, you’ve got a player who came up playing behind Loy and put in work all spring and summer to earn his shot. The 6-foot-2 Coleman stands tall and delivers the ball with confidence like a pocket-passer.

Part of that confidence is the plethora of position talent the Cobras have in the wide receiver group.

Sophomore wide receiver O’Mari Johnson runs a verified 4.46 40-yard dash and holds offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, MSU and LSU among others.

Coleman looked his way on a quick slant that went for a huge gain on the first drive. The drive was finished off later when Coleman hit junior receiver DesShawn Smith with a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Smith catches passes and then turns towards approaching tacklers with the physicality of a fullback. It appears that trying to tackle him isn’t very much fun.

Caleb Chase is one of the only seniors on the team and he’s another quick footed receiver that’s tutoring the next group of Cobra skills players with Smtih and Johnson.

Garrett was on the field for the next drive and next Wesson score.

He’s like a multi-tool that has five or six useful implements, but in the form of a linebacker that can also play quarterback.

He can block as a full-back or tight end, run the ball in short yardages like a halfback, captain a defense as a linebacker and drop back deeper to play safety if needed. 

When he’s playing quarterback, he uses his legs to string plays out and inevitably a Wesson receiver runs around and finds an open spot on the field for him to throw to.

Multiple times in the game Garrett would look like he had no choice but to tuck and run or take a sack, just before he squared his shoulders and uncorked a pass like a shortstop running towards second and throwing towards first.

When the Cobras got inside the 10-yard line on their second drive, they put Johnson in at quarterback in a Wild Cobra formation and he took the direct snap in on a 3-yard run.

Wesson is still developing a kicking game and neither conversion attempt was good as they led 12-0 early in the first quarter. Later in the night, they would get some good special teams moments out of freshman Blayten Windom.

The next Cobra touchdown was nearly scored by Smith, but he went down at the 3-yard line.

That allowed senior running back Zevantae Stapleton to score on a run that put Wesson up 20-0 after a successful 2-point try.

Stapleton was injured last year just as the season began and missed his junior year after coming in with high, high expectations.

He looks like he’s having more fun than any of his teammates as he relishes this awaited senior season. Garrett is also coming back from an injury that happened during spring practice earlier this year.

On the first offensive snap of the game for Loyd Star, Wesson junior defensive lineman Korbin Ashmore pushed the lineman in front of him back into the Hornet backfield.

He and junior Trevor McRee are a physical presence up front on both sides of the ball for Wesson. 

Linebackers Cotton Westbrook and Hunter Meredith set that same physical tone on the second level of the Wesson defense.

Loyd Star had success on its first offensive possession of the game. Freshman quarterback Jordyn Kees and senior running back Omarion Clay both had long carries and Lody Star found itself on the Wesson 15-yard line on 1st-and-10.

Two penalties moved the ball backwards and the drive fizzled out though.

Johnson picked off a pass into the second quarter for Wesson and returned it 70-yards for a score.

Smith also caught a 26-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter to give Wesson the 34-0 lead at the break.

Credit to Loyd Star though, the Hornets never stopped playing hard in the second half as they kept a running clock from being implemented with their efforts.

Just as the scoreboard clock read zeroes at the end of the third quarter, large raindrops started to fall. 

These drops weren’t just chunky, they were the kind of fat drops that make a plopping sound when they hit you.

Much of the huge crowd that ringed W.E. “Sambo” Smith Field cleared out as that happened.

The rain did do a good job of stopping the dust that had been blowing across the backs of the Wesson fans. The dirt sat piled up near where Loyd Star is working on a new football complex.

When the red dust kicked up its hardest, it looked like the game was being played on Mars.

The 3A Cobras (2-0) are in a new region this season along with Port Gibson, Franklin County, Jefferson County and South Pike. Wesson is likely the smallest of that group by attendance, but don’t’ think Loy’s team isn’t planning on competing to be near the top of the table when the playoffs begin.

Wesson will host 3A Perry Central next week. Perry Central, coached by former MSU running back Nick Griffin, is 0-2 after losing 52-28 to Heidelberg in week one and 38-34 at Amite County this week.

Loyd Star (1-1) travels next week to play at Salem (0-2) in Walthall County. Salem is currently in a 30-game losing streak.