Wesson Cobras

On the first row, from left, are Langston Berry, Chris Fink, Alfred Motley, Kyle Cross, Steven Jones, Jeromy Smith, John Craft, Barron Miller, DJ Coleman, Matt P. Smith and Jacob Fischer. On the second row, from left, are Anthony Whipple, Peyton Cupit, Patrick Boone, Lartez Reynolds, Gage Wilson, Jamar Sims, Austin Graham, J. C. Hester, Jarvis Williams and Zack Wilson. On the third row, from left, are Wesley Smith, Chase Blaylock, John Ryan, Blaine Weeks, Daniel Nasif, Matt S. Smith, Derrick L

August 29 Wesson 28   Prentiss 21

September 5 Wesson 33 Richland 25

September 12  Wesson 6 Sumrall 28

September 19 Wesson 35 Loyd Star 10

September 26 Wesson 38 Enterprise 31

October 3 St. Andrews 28 Wesson 17

October 10 Wesson 33 St. Joe 14

October 17 Hinds AHS 39 Wesson 14

October 24  Wesson 45 McLaurin 24

November 7 2A playoffs round one – St. Patrick 49 Wesson 28

St. Patrick 49, Wesson 28

BY BRADLEY CROW

The St. Patrick Fighting Irish (7-3) used a balanced attack of pounding the football and throwing it around to run the Wesson Cobras (7-3) straight out of the first round of the playoffs to the tune of 49-28.
The Cobras went toe to toe with the Fighting Irish in the first half outslugging the Irish with smash mouth football.  Wesson junior fullback Jeromy Smith capped off a brilliant 1000 yard season with another 133 yard performance on 23 carries and three touchdowns.  The fullback blasted the St. Patrick defenders all evening, yet zero defensive support from the Cobra defenders.
St. Patrick quarterback Bo Underwood and tailback Ashton Craft combined for 286 yards rushing as they shredded a Cobra defense that could not force a punt all evening.  The Fighting Irish unleashed a punishing second half performance that outscored the Cobras 28-7 in the final two quarters.  The game was tied 21-21 at  the half.
“They just lined up and won the line of scrimmage,” explained Cobra head coach Tommy Clopton.  “They simply made more plays than we did.  I hate it for our seniors, cause they are a fine group of young men.”
The Irish got on the board first with a Craft 3 yard TD run.  Jordan Matthews PAT was good and the Irish led 7-0 with 6:56 left in the first quarter.
The Cobras answered immediately when they marched 80 yards to paydirt capped off by a Kyle Cross touchdown run of 8 yards.  Chris Fink nailed his first of four successful PAT’s to tie the game at 7-7.  The drive beagn with a little trickery when John Craft took the sweep and hit senior wideout Chris Fink for 32 on Wesson’s first play.
Wesson took the lead following a Zach Williams fumble recovery when J. Smith pounded his way in from 2 yards out to give the Cobras a 14-7 lead.  St. Patrick would answer immediately when Underwood hit Dylan Herron on a 15 yard TD pass to tie the game at 14-14.
The Cobras proceeded to immediately return the favor by steamrolling the Irish down the field and allowing J. Smith to splash in from 5 yards out.  The Fink kick put the Cobras up 21-14 with 2:26 left before half.
The Cobra defense offered little resistance on the next Irish possession as they scored 69 seconds later on a 10 yard Underwood toss to Kyle Ladner.  Both schools were deadlocked at 21 at intermission.
The second half saw the St. Patrick offense roll while the Wesson offense sputtered.  Underwood would rush for 3 second half TD’s from 3, 37, and 51 yards respectively on top of another Craft run of 12 yards.  The onslaught was too much burden for the Cobra offense to handle as they could only muster a J. Smith touchdown run of 5 yards with 4:06 left in the game as a consolation prize.
Sophomore quarterback Matt P. Smith completed 6 passes for 104 yards while Fink caught 3 balls for 90 yards in another solid performance for the senior.
Defensive statistics were unavailable at press time for the Cobras.  The 2008 Cobras were under the direction of Clopton.  His staff was Philip Knight, Hugh A. Knight, Ricky Gunter, and Seth Lofton.

Wesson 45, McLaurin 24

BY BRADLEY CROW

The Wesson Cobras (7-2, 4-2) took their opportunity on senior night to rip the McLaurin Tigers 45-24 in a battle for the #3 seed in the state playoffs in Division 6-2A beginning in two weeks.
The Tigers were stymied all evening by an inspired Wesson Cobra defense and the accurate passing of quarterback Matt P. Smith.  Smith had two touchdown tosses in the night’s effort aided by a three touchdown performance by wingman Kyle Cross.  Wesson junior Jeromy Smith continued his solid season scoring twice and gaining 137 yards on 23 carries.
The Cobras night started out like usual with a three and out on the first possession and then were shredded by multi-talented McLaurin quarterback Michael Young and the Tiger offense on their first possession.   Tailback Jeremy Collier scooted in from 1 yard out to give McLaurin a 6-0 lead after the missed PAT with 8:27 left in the first.
Coach Tommy Clopton’s Cobras shifted gears soon after that and completely erased the bad memories from one week prior and poured it on McLaurin for 401 total yards of offense on the evening.
“Our kids played tonight the way they practiced this week,” stated Clopton.  “We wanted to come out and show that last week was not Cobra football.  We played the first play to the last play tonight and fought hard.”
The Cobras would get on the board in the first quarter when M.P. Smith hit senior wideout Chris Fink on a 29 yard fade route to paydirt.  Fink, who nailed all 6 PAT’s and a field goal on the evening, would give the Cobras a 7-6 lead with 3:38 left in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Cross light up the scoreboard twice, first on a 3 yard TD plunge and then on a nifty 39 yard pass completion from M.P. Smith.  Fink’s two extra points put the Cobras ahead 21-6.
McLaurin would get on the board with 2:39 left before half when wideout Cedric Walker raced in from 6 yards out.  After a failed two-point try, the score stood 21-12 at the half.
The second half was more for the Cobras as Jeromy Smith struck paydirt from 3 yards out and then followed it up with a 9 yard TD blast seven minutes later.  At the end of the third quarter, the Cobras led 35-18.
Cross would hit the endzone with 2:53 left in the game on a 5 yard run to seal the deal.  Chris Fink would add a 23 yard field goal a minute and a half later to ice down the Tigers 45-24.
Young would complete a garbage TD for the Tigers when he hooked up with Kentrell Quick on a 15 yard TD connection.
Offensively, Fink accounted for 15 Cobra points on the evening and a blocked kick while M.P. Smith was 5-9 for 105 yards through the air.  Young led McLaurin with 129 yards on 10 carries and a TD.
Defensively, the Cobras bent all evening, but did not break.  Senior John Craft had 8 tackles on the evening to lead the Cobra defense.  Linebacker Brandon Bland and Fink had 5 stops to aid the defensive charge.  Senior Zach Williams and linebacker Lartez Reynolds recovered fumbles while Fink had an interception to add to his best game as a Cobra.
The seniors were emotional but pleased after the game.  “It is surreal right now,” stated senior center Matt S. Smith.  “I never thought we would make it this far and we just got to get ready for the playoffs now.”

Hinds AHS 39, Wesson 14

BY BRADLEY CROW

The Wesson Cobras (6-2, 3-2) were thrashed Friday evening in Utica as the Hinds AHS War Dawgs unleashed a wicked spanking on the lifeless Cobras in the first half in route to a 39-14 victory.
Hinds quarterback Darius Newton rushed for 219 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown in route to charging the furious War Dawg rally in the first half to take a 32-0 lead at the half.  The Cobras were stuck in neutral the entire first half with no emotion, no tackling, and zero ball protection.  The Cobras coughed the ball up 5 times on the evening with 4 coming in the first half.
“We have got to come out and play from the first whistle,” stated head coach Tommy Clopton.  “Hinds took it to us and we stood there and took it.  We played a little better in the second half and showed a little pride and fight.”
The War Dawgs only scored once in the first quarter on a Jeremy Lee 2-yard run from the tailback position.  Lovie Myles kicked the extra point on the opening drive where Hinds just pummeled the Wesson defense.  Hinds led 7-0 with 8:05 left in the first quarter.  
The War Dawgs then proceeded to run off 25 unanswered points in the second period highlighted by four Cobra turnovers.  The War Dawgs would score 12 points in the final minute when Marcus Shears would dance 40 yards to paydirt and then following yet another turnover, the War Dawgs would see Newton hook up with Lee on a 35 yard TD pass that saw the Cobra secondary standing in concrete.  
The Cobras second half saw them uncork a little emotion on the sideline and thus the results on the field followed.  Wingback Kyle Cross would score twice for the Cobras from 17 yards out and from 6 yards out to pull the Cobras within 18 points after two successful Chris Fink PAT’s.  
Hinds would add insult to injury with a Lee 2 yard run with 0:25 left on the clock that was meaningless.  The Myles PAT would end the scoring at 39-14.
Fullback Jeromy Smith led the Cobras with 105 yards rushing on 12 carries.  Cross had the two touchdowns and 56 yards rushing on 9 carries.
Defensively, the Cobras looked like they were playing two hand touch most of the evening.  Hinds’ big backs broke big gain after big gain on the Cobras.  John Craft led the Cobras with 17 tackles form the secondary where the War Dawgs spent most of the evening.  Matt P. Smith had 12 tackles at safety while defensive lineman Zach Williams had 11 tackles along with linebacker Brandon Bland’s 11 stops.
The Cobras come home next week looking to play for the #3 seed in the district when they tangle with the McLaurin Tigers.  Game time is 7:00 p.m.

Wesson 33, St. Joe 14

BY BRADLEY CROW

The Wesson Cobras (6-1, 3-1) used a second half assault to pound the Bruins of St. Joe after trailing at the half 14-13 only to regroup and escape with a 33-14 victory as Wesson celebrated its homecoming court.
The hangover from last week’s game at St. Andrew’s was prevalent in the first two quarters as the Cobras allowed the Bruins to connect on an 85 yard trick play as well as letting them walk into the endzone on an interception return.  The Cobras had three turnovers in the first half and trailed 14-13 at intermission.
“We came out and went right down the field and scored,” explained Cobra head coach Tommy Clopton.  “Then we just didn’t execute and made too many mistakes.  We showed a lot of character by rallying ourselves at halftime and coming out and taking it to them.”
The Cobras got the game started immediately as they marched 65 yards in less than four minutes to see fullback Jeromy Smith gallop in from 12 yards out.  Chris Fink would put the Cobras up 7-0 with 8:30 left in the first quarter.
St. Joe would immediately fire back on a gadget play that saw the reverse pass from Matt Sigler sail into the arms of running back Stephen Cofer  for an 85 yard TD toss.  Chase Blossman knotted the game at 7-7 with the PAT.
A Matt P. Smith throw would set up the next St. Joe score of the quarter as Cofer would intercept the errant pass and race 23 yards to paydirt.  Blossman’s PAT gave ST. Joe the lead with 1:25 remaining in the opening quarter.    
Wesson would score its only points of the second quarter with only 42 seconds left when Jeromy Smith would punish defenders in from 6 yards out.  The bad news was a mishandled extra point snap gave the Bruins the lead at the half 14-13.
The second half was nothing like the first half as the Cobra defense settled in and shredded the St. Joe offense while the Cobras got the ball going on the ground.  The Cobras would finish the evening with 375 total yards on the ground.
The third quarter saw tailback John Craft and M.P. Smith both cash in runs from 4 yards out.  Fink was 1 of 2 on the period on extra points and the Cobras stood with a 26-14 lead at the end of the third.
The icing was put on the cake with 10:22 in the final frame when Jeromy Smith would send his third touchdown to the endzone from 3 yards out.  Fink would end the scoring after the successful PAT and the Cobras celebrated homecoming with a 33-14 victory.
Jeromy Smith led the Cobras with 122 yards rushing on 25 carries and three touchdowns.  M.P. Smith got the option going to the tune of 93 yards on 13 carries after a shaky start.  Tailback Kyle Cross had 74 yards on 9 rushes.
The Cobra defense kept the Bruins off the field most of the evening only allowing only 81 yards on the ground and only 167 overall.  Linebackers Brandon Bland and Payton Cupit led the Cobras with 4 tackles each on defense.  M.P. Smith recovered a Bruin fumble.

St. Andrews 28, Wesson 17

BY BRADLEY CROW

The Wesson Cobras (5-1, 2-1) headed to Jackson Friday evening looking to pick up their 6th straight win only to be denied by a staunch St. Andrews defense before falling to the division rival 28-17.
The Cobras were given three opportunities by Saints turnovers and only could come up with a 25 yard Chris Fink field goal for the defensive effort.  Fullback Charlie Scott led the Saints offense with 141 yards rushing on 16 carries and three touchdowns to carry the Saints on an evening that saw the Cobras put forth its best defensive effort of the season in the loss.
“Our kids played really hard,” explained Wesson head coach Tommy Clopton.  “Our defense created opportunities for us and we could not take advantage of them.  We didn’t fold the tent at all, but just could not come up with the scores.”
The evening got off to a rocky start for the Cobras immediately after an offensive three and out when punt returner Robbie Leis rambled for 65 yards and a touchdown less than three minutes into the game for the Saints.  The kick was no good and the Saints led 6-0.
The second quarter saw the Cobras take the lead briefly on freshman fullback Albert Motley’s 7 yard TD run.  Fink’s kick gave the Cobras a 7-6 edge with 8:27 left before half.
Scott would answer immediately for the Saints after poor Cobra tackling allowed the fullback to scamper 57 yards to paydirt for the Saints.  Tailback Jared Myers scored on the two point conversion to push the Saints led to 14-7.
Late in the half, defensive end Jared McManus would recover a fumble that led to the Fink 25 yard field goal with only 1:50 left in the half.
This proved to be enough time for the Saints as they marched down the field with an aerial assault led by quarterback Drew Rowell.  This led to a Scott 6 yard TD run to extend the Saint lead to 20-10.  Conner Buchler would tack on the extra point for a 21-10 Saint lead at the half.
The third quarter was a defensive battle that saw the Cobras intercept and recover a Saints arrant pass by Motley.  Later in the quarter Cobra lineman Hank Jordan would recover a fumble as well.  The Cobra offense could not punch it in for the period.
Scott would put the game away with a 5 yard run with 8:01 remaining in the game.  Buchler would give the Saints a 28-10 lead with the extra point.
The Cobras put together an impressive drive through the air highlighted by receiver D.J. Coleman’s 21 yard TD reception with 2:25 left in the game.  Fink would end the scoring with his PAT with the Cobras falling 28-17.
The Saints eliminated the Cobra ground game holding the usually potent Cobras to 100 total yards on the ground.  Fullback Jeromy Smith, hobbled by a bad ankle, and quarterback Matt P. Smith led the Cobras with 30 yards rushing apiece.  Smith was 8 of 19 passing for a career high 130 yards and a touchdown.  Coleman led the receivers with 2 catches for 71 yards.  Chris Fink had several clutch catches for the Cobras on the evening finishing with 3 grabs for 48 yards which all led to Cobra first downs.  
Rowell finished the game with 131 yards passing for the Saints.
The Cobra defensive stats were not available at press time on a night that saw the Cobras step up when it had to.  Missed tackles was the downfall on the evening.

Wesson 38, Enterprise 31

BY BRADLEY CROW

 The Wesson Cobras used a tremendous second half rally highlighted by sophomore Kyle Cross’ three touchdown performance to stun the Enterprise Yellow Jackets 38-31 in a game that Enterprise dominated for the most part.
The Cobras (5-0, 2-0) had to overcome a 17-14 halftime deficit in their comeback bid that should have been a 17-7 Enterprise (1-4, 0-1) lead at the half.  Wesson sophomore running back Kyle Cross proved to be the dagger for Enterprise on the evening with 129 all purpose yards and 3 touchdowns, none more important than the momentum killing 67 yard kickoff return to paydirt with no time on the clock in the first half.
“We dug ourselves quite a whole missing assignments and turning the football over,” stated Cobra head coach Tommy Clopton.  “We were very fortunate to win tonight, but an ugly win is still a win.  Hats off to Enterprise for taking it to us tonight.”
Wesson got on the board first with 6:56 left in the first quarter when running back John Craft would race 39 yards to the endzone.  The Chris Fink PAT put the Cobras up 7-0.
Little time was wasted before Enterprise signal caller Cody Brister would slash his way to a 5 yard TD run.  The PAT failed after an offsides penalty on the Yellow Jackets to bring the score to 7-6.
The Cobras would turn the ball over to Enterprise late in the second quarter when a botched pitch on the option missed its mark.  Enterprise would take over on the Cobra 1 yard line and after a penalty would nail it in from 6 yards out with tailback Deon Pendleton.  The Brister run on the two point conversion would put the Yellow Jackets up 14-7 with 11 5:15 left in the half.
Enterprise kicker Lance Spring would kick a 26 yard field goal following a Cobra punt to put the Jackets up 17-7 with11 seconds left in the half.  This set up an amazing 67 yard cross field kickoff return that saw Cross race to the endzone with a wall of blockers in front.  Fink’s kick would close out the half at 17-14 Enterprise.
The second half got off to a rocky start for the Cobras with them fumbling a sweep play and giving the ball to the red hot Enterprise offense.  Pendleton would again slam in from 7 yards out to put the Jackets up 23-14 with 7:58 left in the third quarter.  The Spring kick made it 24-14.
The rest of the third quarter was the Cobras as Cross hit paydirt from 8 yards out and a safety on an errant punt snap out the back of the endzone on the Jackets would put the Cobras down 24-23 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Cross only used 11 seconds once again, this time into the fourth quarter, to put another touchdown on the board for the Cobras.  Cross raced 40 yards to paydirt to extend the Cobra lead to 29-24.  Craft would ramble in from the quarterback position in relief of starter Matt P. Smith for the 2 point conversion to extend the Cobra lead to 31-24.
The Cobras would extend the lead to 14 points following a Matt P. Smith interception of a Brister pass.  Wingback Jamar Sims would cash in the TD from 2 yards out with 9:07 left in the game.  The Fink kick saw the Cobras take a 38-24 lead.
Enterprise would rally for one more score before falling to the Cobras.  Brister, who spent all evening shredding the Cobra defense, would sneak in from one yard out to cut the Cobra lead to 38-31.
One more possession would come for Enterprise to mount another rally on a night that saw the Yellow Jackets take a huge step forward as a program.  The Cobra defense rose to the occasion and forced Brister to fumble on a sack attempt with 25 seconds left.
“We played real hard tonight and I am proud of our effort,” stated Jacket head coach Wayne Rogers.  “We had a rough week emotionally and we played through that and got better tonight.  Right now its not about wins and losses, but getting better every week.”
Brister and Pendleton owned the Cobra defense all evening.  Brister finished his outstanding performance with 146 yards on 22 carries while Pendleton had 113 yards rushing for the Yellow Jackets.  The Cobra ground game was severely limited on the evening due to turnovers and a stout Enterprise defense.  Fullback Jeromy Smith led the Cobras with 78 yards on 20 carries.
Defensively, the Cobras were led by linebacker Gage Wilson and Craft who had 9 stops each.  Defensive end Zach Williams and linebacker Alfred Motley had 8 tackles each.  Matt P. Smith had an interception and Williams recovered a fumble.”
“We didn’t come ready to play tonight,” stated the senior Williams.  “We got the win but we have to play better than we did tonight.”  

Wesson 35, Loyd Star 10

BY BRADLEY CROW

The Wesson Cobras (4-0, 1-0) steamrolled to 460 yards total offense in a dominant performance over arch rival Loyd Star (1-3, 0-1) Friday evening in thrashing the Hornets 35-10.
The Cobras used a community approach in the backfield spreading the wealth to a host of backs on offense.  When the dust settled, wingback John Craft had amassed 125 yards on 13 carries and a score while sophomore running back Kyle Cross gutted the Hornets for 100 yards on 3 carries and a touchdown.
“Tonight I thought we were the more physical ball team,” stated Wesson head Coach Tommy Clopton.  “We played smart and set the tone early.  I am proud that our seniors can leave Wesson saying they never lost to Loyd Star.”
The Cobras got on the board in the first quarter on a Jeromy Smith touchdown plunge from two yards out.  Senior kicker Chris Fink would nail the first of five successful PAT’s on the night to bring the score to 7-0 with 3:01 left in the first quarter.
The Cobras owned the second quarter of the contest scoring three times in the onslaught.  The first came at the 9:43 mark of the second when wingman Jamar Sims would start left and reverse field to turn in a nifty little 8 yard touchdown run that went sideline to sideline to push the lead to 14-0.
A minute and a half later, after a Loyd Star stall, Cross would gash the Hornets with a 75 yard TD run of his own at the 8:18 mark of the second quarter.
After a Chris Buie field goal of 29 yards by the Hornets, the Cobras would extend the lead to 28-3 with fifteen seconds left to go in the half on another hammering four yard run by Jeromy Smith.
The third quarter also belonged to the blue and white of Wesson.  Following a Quentin Barlow fumble recovery on defense, Craft would take the pitch 22 yards to paydirt to cap off the Cobra scoring at 35-3.
Loyd Star would add a touchdown on a 14 yard Marquis Sims run late in the game to bring the final to 35-10.
Jeromy Smith rambled his way to 95 yards on 9 carries for the Cobras plus the two scores.  Quarterback Matt P. Smith had 72 yards rushing on 9 carries and completed one pass for 11 yards.  Sims would finish with 45 yards rushing on 8 carries while Fink carried one time for 12 yards.
Defensively, the Cobras were excellent.  Linebacker Brandon Bland led the Cobras with 8 stops and a fumble recovery.  Defensive lineman Quentin Barlow had 6 tackles and a fumble recovery.  Lineman Zach Williams and Cross had 6 tackles as well.  Sims and Matt P. Smith had interceptions for Wesson.
The Cobras welcome new division foe Enterprise to 2-A this Friday evening when the Yellow Jackets travel to Copiah County for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

Wesson 36, Sumrall 28

BY BRADLEY CROW

The Wesson Cobras (3-0) defense put on a second half clinic at Stone Stadium Friday evening to send the Sumrall Bobcats (1-2) packing to the tune of a 36-28 loss in a game in which the Bobcats controlled the first 24 minutes.
The Cobras once again plowed ahead with tailback Jeromy Smith who finished the evening with 175 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.  The Cobras finished the evening with 398 total yards of offense while the defense carried the Cobras to a second half win.
“We did not come out with a lot of fire tonight,” explained Cobra head coach Tommy Clopton.  “Give Sumrall the credit for coming out and getting after us.  We are excited to be 3-0 headed into division play.”
Sumrall came out of the gates firing on all cylinders as tailback Chase Lewallen would race 32 yards to paydirt on an opening four play possession that took less than 90 seconds into the game.  Caleb Herrington would nail the PAT for the Bobcats to take the 7-0 lead.
Wesson would respond immediately as Jeromy Smith would counter with a 37 yard rumble of his on with 8:27 remaining in the first quarter.  Chris Fink would tie the game at 7-7 following the successful PAT.
Five minutes later in the first, Lewallen would strike again for the Bobcats with a 7 yard run.  An unsportsmanlike penalty would allow the Bobcats to go for the two point conversion.  A Michael Parker plunge would push the Bobcat lead to 15-7.
The Bobcats would again light up the scoreboard early in the second quarter when QB Wesley Graves would find wideout Brad Drummond on a 70 yard scoring strike.  The Herrington kick gave the Bobcats a 22-7 lead with 10:49 remaining in the half.
The next possession would see the Cobras answer on a one yard Matt P. Smith sneak from the quarterback position.  Jeromy Smith would collect the 2-point conversion for the Cobras to cut the lead to 22-15.
The Bobcats would score their 28th point of the first half on a Dustin Atkins 10 yard plunge with 2:15 remaining in the half to push the score to 28-15.
The turning point in the ballgame occurred with 0:00 on the clock when Cobra signal caller Matt Smith would find wingman Jamar Sims wide open down the middle on a 21 yard scoring toss.  Momentum changed addresses after the Fink kick pulled the Cobras within 28-22 with the opening kickoff of the second half going to Wesson.
The Cobras owned the second half on both sides of the ball.  A stalwart defensive effort by defensive coordinator Phillip Knight’s squad matched the intensity of the offense in the final two quarters.  Wingback Kyle Cross and Jeromy Smith would each find the endzone in the second half from 30 and 5 yards out respectively.  The defense dominated and Wesson closed the game out with an emotional 36-28 come from behind victory.
The Cobras ground game was aided by Matt P. Smith who had 50 yards rushing on 12 carries.  Wingback John Craft had 6 carries for 64 yards while Sims caught two passes for 24 yards and rushed for 53 yards.  Lewallen led Sumrall with 121 yards rushing and two scores.
Defensively it was the tale of two halves.  First half was a 28 point disaster for the Cobras while the second half was sheer dominance on the Cobras behalf.  Linebacker Gage Wilson led the Cobras with 10 tackles.  Lartez Reynolds contributed 9 stops on the evening while Cross and Zach Williams netted 6 stops each.  Defensive lineman Jeremy Longino would recover two fumbles himself for the Cobra defense.     
“We didn’t do what we were supposed to do in the first half,” explained Wilson.  “We came out in the second half and played the way we should.  It feels good to win.”
The Cobras take their undefeated worksheet to Loyd Star next Friday evening to tangle with the rival Hornets.  Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Wesson 33, Richland 25

BY BRADLEY CROW

The Wesson Cobras (2-0) continued to show the gritty gut wrenching performance that has allowed them to be successful this time knocking of the Richland Rangers 33-25 in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

Wesson was powered on offense by their big tailback Jeromy Smith.  The junior rushed for 144 on 22 carries and a touchdown.  Smith’s efforts along with a tremendous first three quarters allowed the Cobras to dominate the game until the final frame.

“We have to learn how to put people away,” explained Cobra head coach Tommy Clopton.  “I like a lot of the things we are doing, but we have to learn how to finish the game.”

Wesson got the scoring started in the first quarter after both teams exchanged punts.  Senior quarterback John Craft would take the bootleg run in from 6 yards out at the 5:34 mark of the first quarter.  A Chris Fink PAT would extend the Cobras lead to 7-0.

The first play of the second quarter saw Ranger kicker Jonathan Falen pull the Rangers within 7-3.  The Cobras would immediately answer with a three minute plus drive that would see Jeromy Smith plunge in from 2 yards out to put the Cobras up 13-3 after the botched PAT snap.

The Cobras would create the 20-3 halftime margin at the 6:32 mark of the second quarter when power keg punt returner Jamar Sims would electrify the crowd with a dazzling 42 yard punt return to paydirt.  Fink would nail the PAT.

“We gave a great effort tonight,” commented Sims, “I am so proud of our guys for hanging in there and pulling the game out.”

Hanging in there would prove to be the theme as the Cobras were put to the test in the second half by a rejuvenated Ranger squad.  Wesson quarterback Matt P. Smith would open the third quarter with a 5 yard option keeper to score to put the Cobras up 26-3. The PAT would be blocked at the 8:04 mark of the third.

Richland would march down the field in less than two minutes and answer on a quarterback Josh Bennett 34 yard scamper.  Falen’s PAT would cut the margin to 26-10.

The Cobras would not let that score go unanswered as they drove the length of the field to see Matt P. Smith once again keep the option and dive in from 2 yards out.  Fink’s PAT would extend the Cobra lead to 33-10 with only 45 seconds remaining and a long bus ride back for the Rangers.

The problem was that the Rangers did not get the memo.  The Rangers would use a halfback pass to connect Kyle Tucker with wideout Jonathan Sayles for a 29 yard TD to cut the Cobra lead to 33-17 after the Falen kick.

The ensuing kickoff showed confusion and a lack of effort from the Cobra return team as they squandered the ball right into the hands of the Rangers on kickoff return.  The Rangers would cash it in when tailback Quentin Wilson would dash in from 15 yards out.  Bennett would pull the Rangers within 8 with the two point conversion run with 5:38 remaining in the game.

The Wesson offense would put an end to the Ranger comeback with three consecutive first downs to run out the time in the contest and wrap it in blue and white.

Offensively, the Cobras were aided by Matt P. Smith who had 2 touchdowns on 34 yards rushing.  Sims accounted for 55 yards rushing while Craft tallied 42 on the evening and a score.  Richland was led by Bennett who rushed for 91 yards on 15 carries and a score.

Defensively, the Cobras were led by Brandon Bland who recorded 11 stops on the evening.  Jared McManus would be credited with 8 stops and a sack while Sims would haul in an interception.

The Cobras are at home next Friday evening once again to face the Sumrall Bobcats.  Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Stone Stadium.

Wesson 28, Prentiss 21

BY BRADLEY CROW

It is not like Wesson head coach Tommy Clopton did not warn his Cobras of the importance of hanging on to the football.  The Cobras overcame a late Prentiss Bulldog rally to put away the pups from Jeff-Davis County 28-21 on a night that the Cobras would like to forget, especially in the first half.     

The Cobras used big play runs and grinded out 409 total yards, in which none came through the air, to defeat former Mississippi State quarterback and new Prentiss head coach Sleepy Robinson’s squad.  The Cobras were led by tailback Jeromy Smith who hammered his way to 139 yards rushing on 17 carries.  It was also a huge welcome home party for wingman Jamar Sims who used his explosive speed to gain 100 yards and 10 carries and a score.

“I am proud of the way we responded to our mistakes in the first half,” explained Wesson head coach Tommy Clopton.  “We were the better conditioned team even though we were tired and we had enough gas to get the job done.”  

The Cobras killed opportunities in the first half at almost every turn.  Four turnovers out of the veer package kept the Cobra offense grounded most of the first half with also some assistance from a much improved Bulldog squad.  The only score of the opening half was a one yard TD run by senior quarterback John Craft with 10 seconds left in the first quarter.  Chris Fink’s PAT hit the upright no good and left the Cobras sporting a scary 6-0 cushion at intermission.

The Cobras and Bulldogs decided to change the tempo in the second half with both deciding to let it all out on the field.  The Cobras were the first to strike when Craft would keep the option and scamper 16 yards to paydirt to put the Cobras up 12-0.  Craft would then run in the 2 point conversion to extend the Cobra lead to 14-0 with 8:00 remaining in the third quarter.

Prentiss would answer on the next two possessions with the aid of a Cobra turnover in between.  The first score was by accident when left tackle Terry Price picked up a Bulldog fumble and rambled in from 6 yards out.  The PAT never took flight and the Bulldogs closed the gap to 14-6 with 3:05 remaining in the third.  After a Craft fumble for Wesson, the Bulldogs would tie the game 14-14 with a Demarco Dacus one yard plunge.  Fullback Corey McCullough would dive in for the 2 point conversion off the option pitch to tie the game.

Only 12 seconds into the final period, sophomore quarterback Matt P. Smith would change gears at the helm for the Cobras and take the first play from scrimmage 55 yards on a option keeper to increase the lead to 20-14 and wake up a nervous Wesson crowd.  Finks PAT was good to extend the lead to 21-14.

Prentiss would answer back with its on big play when Dacus took the second play of their next possession 65 yards to the house.  A Cory Otis PAT would tie the game at 21-21 with only 10:00 left in the game.

The Cobras had enough gas for one more drive as Sims would beat the Bulldogs to the pylon for a 14 yard TD run with 4:44 remaining in the game.  Fink’s kick cleared the uprights to extend the Wesson lead to 28-21.

The Cobra defense tightened and held the Bulldogs out of the endzone on their final charge to preserve the victory over an exhausted Prentiss team.  

“I am so proud of my teammates tonight,” explained senior tailback Jeromy Smith.  “We had to rise up tonight and win a big one for our school and the fans.”

The Cobras were aided on offense by Craft who picked up 52 yards on 7 carries while wingback Kyle Cross jetted for 58 yards on 4 carries.  Defensively, the Cobras were led by linebacker Brandon Bland who recorded 9 stops and a fumble recovery.  Sims and linebacker Gage Wilson had 10 stops each with Matt P. Smith intercepting a Bulldog pass as well.

The Cobras are at home Friday evening against the Richland Rangers at 7:30 p.m. at Stone Stadium.  The Rangers were 24-7 victims of the Florence Eagles Friday evening to drop to 0-1.

Jamboree shows mixed results for county teams

BY BRADLEY CROW

The Wesson Cobras and Crystal Springs Tigers came to Stone Stadium in Wesson to debut their 2008 football squads against the Bassfield Yellow Jackets in the Wesson Jamboree Friday evening.
Bassfield 19, Wesson 0
The Wesson Cobras took the field against the Yellow Jackets first and had a disastrous first scrimmage.  The Cobras lost the handle on the football three different times and allowed Bassfield to cash in on all three turnovers to the tune of a 19-0 win.  All was not lost for Coach Tommy Clopton and the Cobras as they sustained drives and moved the football well prior to losing the handle.
“It was a tale of two periods,” explained Clopton.  “We fumbled it away in the first game and then settled in and played well enough against Crystal Springs to win.”
Bassfield got two touchdowns from Larry Thompson in the game with one coming through the air.  The Bassfield JV defeated the Wesson JV 8-0 in the second scrimmage.
Bassfield 18, Crystal Springs 6
Bassfield’s defense once again wreaked havoc on Copiah County as the Tigers turned the ball over twice in the period in route to Bassfield cruising to a 18-0 lead.
Crystal Springs would get on the board late in the contest on a Demarcus Sturgis to Kendarius Williams touchdown toss.  The Extra point attempt was no good and the game ended 18-6.
Crystal Springs JV 8, Wesson 0
The Tigers lone score came on a 24 yard TD run to defeat the JV Cobras 8-0 in the final JV contest of the evening.
Wesson 13, Crystal Springs 7
The Cobras decided to work out the kinks in the passing game in a big way by throwing two separate touchdown strikes against the Tigers.
The first was a 37 yard John Craft to Chris Fink pass where Fink just outran the coverage.  Fink’s PAT failed to put the Cobras up 6-0.  On the ensuing possession, Craft was banged up on the field which allowed time for sophomore quarterback Matt P. Smith to light up the scoreboard.
Smith would hit Jamar Sims on a 42 yard TD toss to put the Cobras up 13-0 after the successful Fink point after.
The Tigers would get on the board late on a 19 yard Cameron Clark scamper.  Kelvin Monzon would boot the PAT for the Tigers to pull within 6 points.  The Cobras were able to control the ball and the clock in the final minutes and pull off the victory.
“The difference in tonight’s two periods was execution,” stated Clopton.  “I’m proud we came out in the second game and got some things accomplished.  We have to hold onto the football.”
The Cobras hit the road this Friday evening as they play Prentiss at 7:30.  Crystal Springs travels to Port Gibson for their first contest of the year at 7:30.

Wesson Cobras ready for new year with same theme

BY BRADLEY CROW

If the 2008 Wesson Cobras were making a movie, it would definitely be the sequel to the blockbuster performance the 2007 Wesson squad produced.

New faces surround a painfully familiar theme for head coach Tommy Clopton and his staff.  The Cobras are once again young and inexperienced at key positions and in the same predicament that last year’s team was in.  The obvious difference for the 2007 squad was their refusal to quit and their determination to win ugly or by any means necessary.  The 2008 Cobras clearly can replicate last season’s success, but it will be dependent on several key factors and a handful of returning starters to springboard Wesson back to another 8-2 record and playoff appearance.

“We are much quicker as a team this year but we are also young and inexperienced on both sides of the ball at key positions,” stated Clopton.  “A big key to our success is going to be the maturity rate of our players and how fast they step up.”  

The maturity level is key, but the Cobras will have to rely on two other monster categories to get to where they need to be.  First, they once again must dominate the turnover battle as they did one year ago.  Secondly, the thin Cobras must stay healthy on both sides of the ball as the depth chart is shallow in players that can fill voids when the starters are out of the game.

“We are going to keep things simple and build up our confidence in what we do and learn to be a good football team,” commented Clopton.  “Another big key early on is to make sure that we are not our own worst enemy.”

Offensively, the Cobras return senior quarterback John Craft.  Craft made huge strides towards the end of the year in Clopton’s veer package and Clopton looks no further than Craft for the leadership his team will need.  The quarterback in reserve will be sophomore Matt P. Smith.  

The ground game sees some new faces for the 2008 campaign with one that could emerge as a definite playmaker for the season.  Tailback Jeromy Smith returns from a solid ’07 campaign and looks to become a more complete player this year and wear the title of “bellcow” as Roy Williams did last year for the blue and white.  Sophomores D.J. Coleman and speedster Kyle Cross will look to contribute in the Cobra backfield with Cross bringing in the most experience.  Tight end Jared McManus came on at the end of last season and Clopton expects big things from that position.  Leadership at the wide receiver position is also back this season as senior Chris Fink returns along with Langston Berry.  Sophomore Patrick Boone will also see time at the tight end position.

The big boys of the offensive line return senior quick guard Matt S. Smith who slides over from center and senior bruiser Zach Williams who is back at strong tackle.  Brandon Bland steps in at center while Hank Jordan, Blake Tarver and Greg Hodges fill out the rest of the starters for the Cobras.  Fink will handle all the Cobra kicking chores.

Defensively, the Cobras will rely on senior Dominique Williams to plug holes as the leader of the defensive squad at tackle. McManus, Williams, and Blaine Weeks will sure up the defensive front from the end positions while Bland and Gage Wilson will shut down the middle from the linebacker position.  Cross and Craft will complete the linebacker core for the Cobras on the outside.  Mat P. Smith will work the middle of the field at free safety while Coleman and Fink will lock down the corners for Wesson.  The defense is under the direction of defensive coordinator Philip Knight.

The coaches for Wesson in addition to Clopton and Knight are Hugh Knight, newcomer Seth Lofton from Enterprise, and Ricky Gunter.  The Cobras are ready and primed for another action backed and exciting season.  The fans just hope this year’s movie is as good as last years.

    

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