Cobras slip by Tigers

Cobras slip by Tigers

BY JOE B. COATES The first football game of the season, which featured a duel between Wesson and Crystal Springs, was preceded with much hype and fanfare.  The two Copiah County schools had met last year at Wesson, with the Cobras coming out on top 27-7.  This time the game was held at lovely Tiger Stadium in Crystal Springs, and fans of both schools turned out in droves to witness the contest.
On this warm, muggy and damp Friday night, the team that could hold on to the football the longest and make the fewest mistakes was going to win.  The Cobras trailed most of the contest, but eked out a late fourth quarter touchdown to earn a hard-fought 15-8 victory.
The first period was one of turnovers and punts and missed opportunities.  Both teams failed to capitalize on the other’s miscues, and the period ended in 0-0.
Wesson finally got on the board when Antonio Miller scampered in from 5 yards midway through the second quarter.  Lewis Mellado’s extra-point attempt was good for Wesson’s 7-0 lead.
The Tigers scored a two-point safety later in period when the Cobras snapped the ball over the punter’s head into the end zone, where Wesson fell on the ball.  The score remained 7-2 the rest of the first half, as neither team threatened before halftime.
Crystal Springs finally hit paydirt early in the third quarter on a dandy 6-yard rush by Demonterius Kendrick and led 8-7 after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.
From that point on, the game officials let penalty markers fly on several occasions in the perid. False starts, delays-of-game, holding and other fouls by both teams attributed to a slow-moving third quarter that ended with the score 8-7 Tigers.
Wesson got a break in the fourth quarter when  the Cobra receiving team recovered an errant snap on a Tiger punt at the Tiger 30 yard line with under 5 minutes left.  The Tiger defense dug in and held Wesson out of the end zone three straight plays after the Cobras had earned a first-and-goal.  Two runs and a pass produced nothing for the Cobras.  Then, on fourth down, Miller broke the stalemate and blasted into the end zone, this time from 2 yards away to put the Cobras ahead 13-8.
New Wesson head coach Ronald Greer gambled somewhat by attempting a 2-point conversion with the hopes of putting the Cobras up a full seven points with only a few ticks left on the clock.  And, his call was the right one, as Cobra quarterback Bailey Warren tacked on the two points when he clawed his way over the goal line behind good blocking from the Cobra offensive front.  Wesson led 15-8.
The Tigers had one final shot to tie the game, but the Cobra defense held firm and kept the home team out of the end zone until the final horn sounded.
The effort by the Cobras was lauded by Greer post-game.  “Our kids gave a great effort, and we are proud to get the win,” Greer said. “We must continue to improve every game.”
Miller led the Cobra offensive attack with 122 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries.
Defensive lineman Cullen Greer collected 8 tackles and one sack.  Defensive back Alex Smith picked off a pass and had 4 tackles.
The Cobras,1-0, are at home this Friday night, but catch no scheduling break with 4A North Pike, 0-1, rolling in to Stone Stadium at Co-Lin.  The Jags were pummeled by Franklin County 40-0 last Friday.  Last year, the Jaguars defeated the Cobras in Summit, 32-19.  Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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