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HUMBOLDT (August 31) — The West Carroll War Eagles opened their Region 7A schedule on the road Friday against the Vikings. They led 28-0 at the half and cruised to a 35-14 victory for a 3-0 start to the season.
The War Eagles received the opening kickoff and started at their own 34. Jarrius Weatherford got the first three carries for 22 total yards and a first down. Quarterback Trace Fuller kept for six, then P. J. Odom moved the chains again. Fuller threw to Blaine Howell for another first, then threw incomplete. Odom gained six to bring up third down, then Fuller kept for a 19-yard touchdown. Devin Nash kicked the extra point, and West Carroll led 7-0 with 7:40 to go in the opening frame.
An onside kick attempt by West Carroll gave Humboldt the ball at midfield, but the Vikings quickly faced fourth down and turned the ball over on an incomplete pass.
Taking over at the West Carroll 48, Jeremiah Bryant took a direct snap 17 yards for a first down. He took two more snaps to move the chains again, then a pair of offside penalties against the Vikings and a run by Odom set up first-and-goal at the 4. Bryant scored on a keeper up the gut, and a missed kick made it 13-0 with four minutes to play in the first.
Humboldt started the next drive at the Viking 39. C. J. Webb broke loose for a 50-yard run, run down from behind by War Eagle Zach Perry to prevent the touchdown. The West Carroll defense steeled itself and Humboldt quickly faced fourth-and-long. Quarterback Malik Cox threw to Quin Verser in the end zone, but the play was called back on a penalty. Cox threw again, but it fell incomplete, broken up and nearly intercepted by War Eagle Kyler White.
Facing a long field at the 17, Fuller threw incomplete, then kept for just a short gain as the first quarter ended. Bryant moved the chains on the first play of the second with an 18-yard carry. Fuller tossed to Howell for six, then Odom crossed midfield for another first down. Weatherford gained 15, then was stopped at the line of scrimmage. Bryant and Fuller followed with long runs to set up first-and-goal at the 5, then Weatherford took two tries to power it in for the score. Odom converted for two points, and the War Eagles led 21-0 with 8:15 remaining in the half.
The Vikings started at the 30 and managed just one first down before punting from midfield.
Starting at the 22, Fuller threw incomplete, then kept for 13. Weatherford gained nine, then Bryant went 64 yards into the end zone. A penalty negated the points and put the ball at the Humboldt 46. Fuller ran it 41 yards, then threw it to Shae Crocker at the 7. Odom punched it in, and Nash’s kick gave West Carroll a 28-0 advantage with a minute and a half left before intermission.
Humboldt started near midfield. Cox threw to Devin Epperson, who tossed it back to Verser. The trick play resulted in a large gain, and a penalty against West Carroll added even more. The Vikings had first-and-goal at the 9, and Cox threw incomplete. He then carried it into the end zone, but again the play was called back on a penalty. Set back to the 23, Humboldt would quickly face third-and-goal at the 9. Cox kept, ran to the outside and dove to the end zone. He came up just short, and West Carroll took over at the 1.
With just seconds on the clock, Fuller kept for a long run to end the first half with a 28-0 War Eagle lead.
The Vikings received the second-half kickoff and were pinned back deep at the 15. They managed a first down, but the drive then fizzled due to a pair of penalties. Crocker returned the Humboldt punt from midfield to the 38.
The War Eagles quickly faced fourth-and-two. Weatherford gained enough to move the chains, but then fumbled. Malik Johnson recovered and the Vikings took over at their own 14.
A third-down pass interference call against West Carroll gave Humboldt a first down, then Cox threw to Adam Hartig for another. Cox completed two passes on the next three downs, but for a net loss. Facing fourth-and-long, his pass to Verser was not enough to move the chains.
Taking over at midfield, the War Eagles needed four downs to gain a first down on two runs each by Fuller and Odom. Bryant then ran for five yards to wrap up a scoreless third quarter. Bryant gained just a pair to start the final frame, but Nash powered through the line for a first down. Weatherford made a short gain, then Fuller threw to Crocker for a ten-yard touchdown. Nash kicked the PAT, and West Carroll led 35-0 with just under ten to play.
The Vikings started the ensuing drive at their own 34. Another series of short passes netted no yards to bring up fourth-and-ten. Cox threw to Epperson, who tossed it back to Webb as the defense swarmed the receiver. The trick play worked, and Webb scored Humboldt’s first touchdown from 57 yards out. The two-point attempt failed, and the War Eagle lead was 35-6 with six minutes left in the game.
West Carroll’s reserves went three-and-out, but a good punt by Nash gave the Vikings a long field.
Humboldt left in its starters against the War Eagle backup defense and moved the ball well, scoring on six plays. Verser finished the drive with a 27-yard touchdown run. Webb carried it in for two points, and the deficit was cut to 35-14 with under half a minute remaining.
Odom returned a deep kick to midfield, and Fuller took a knee in victory formation.
West Carroll had 397 total yards of offense, 335 rushing, to Humboldt’s 289 (105 rushing).
Trace Fuller led the ground attack with 140 yards on eleven carries with one touchdown. Jeremiah Bryant ran for 74 yards on eight tries (one touchdown). Jarrius Weatherford had 64 on nine rushes (one touchdown). P. J. Odom rushed for 51 yards on eight carries (one touchdown).
Fuller was seven of ten passing for 62 yards and one touchdown.
Blake Davidson and Zach Perry led the defense with five tackles each; Darrell Williams had four.
The War Eagles (3-0, 1-0) face a big challenge as they travel to Dresden Friday for another region contest. Kickoff is 7 p.m.