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DRESDEN (September 7) — The odds were against West Carroll, a determined team, who quickly shed their underdog status in the clash of two 1A teams. Dresden was ranked fifth in the state and playing at their home stadium on Homecoming.
It was the War Eagles, who remained scoreless in the first half, who put up 25 points after intermission to dominate offensively and gain their fourth victory of the season.
West Carroll is off to a 4-0 start after winning the hard-fought and penalty-laden contest in Dresden.
The highlight of the evening was a fake punt by West Carroll with 45 seconds remaining in regulation. Positioned at mid-field, the snap went instead to quarterback Trace Fuller, who advanced the ball deep into Dresden territory. West Carroll was able to exhaust the clock by taking a knee and earning a 25-20 victory.
In the post-game speech, Coach Josh Wolfe said the players were the most tenacious players he has seen. He praised them for never giving up.
Both teams traded possessions in the first quarter. West Carroll threatened with a deep run into Dresden territory. Then disaster struck as a mishandled ball was captured by Dresden late in the first quarter. It was with just 28 seconds remaining in the second quarter that a Dresden pass to Divers Lockhart lighted the scoreboard. The PAT attempt was good, but negated by an offsides penalty. The second attempt failed.
Dresden wasted little time in the second half adding 8 points to the score. Zach Crawford scored at the 10:36 mark on a 27-yard play. Tyrone Jones added two points to make the score 14-0.
West Carroll’s offense exploded on the next possession, earning three first downs on carries by Trace Fuller, Jeremiah Bryant and P.J. Odom, who punched into the end zone with 4:59 remaining in the third quarter. Devin Nash added the PAT and the score was 14-7.
Three plays later, West Carroll recovered a Dresden fumble and was again in the driver’s seat. On the first set of downs, with carries by Fuller, Jarrius Weatherford and Bryant, the team gambled on fourth-and-three and netted a seven-yard gain and a new set of downs. From Dresden’s 40 yard line, Weatherford and Bryant made carries to move the ball to Dresden’s 25 yard line and close the third quarter.
As the fourth quarter opened, West Carroll utilized Odom, Bryant and finally Fuller, who punched it in with a five-yard run at the 10:56 mark in the fourth. The PAT was no good and the score was 14-13.
After the kick by West Carroll, they soon found themselves in possession after a second-down fumble by Dresden. The possession was short-lived as Dresden took possession on downs. Dresden likewise was three and out after two passes were incomplete on the second and third downs.
Starting at mid-field, West Carroll earned two first downs on carries by Weatherford, Bryant and Odom. With 4.27 remaining in the contest, it was Bryant who added six points. The two-point conversion failed and West Carroll led for the first time 19-14.
Amidst the excitement, and before West Carroll kicked, the in-ground sprinkler system deployed, causing a brief delay in the game.
After the kick, Dresden moved the ball from its own 18 with carries by Crawford, Jones and Lockhart to earn one first down. The next series ended at Dresden’s 42 yard line with 2.37 remaining in the contest.
West Carroll used only one play as Weatherford weaved his way to the end zone for the touchdown. The PAT attempt was no good and the score was 25-14.
On first down, Dresden was awarded a pass interference call and a first down. On two passes to Crawford, and a pass to Jones, Dresden was soon sitting at the one yard line. Jones punched it in and the score was 25–20 with 1:04 remaining in the contest.
An on-side kick by Dresden was recovered by West Carroll, who attempted time management to burn every possible second off the clock. A series of timeouts by Dresden helped to eliminate WC’s hopes of making the clock expire. Then on fourth-and-18, as West Carroll set in punt formation, the ball was snapped to the backfield into the hands of Fuller, who advanced the ball to Dresden’s 20 yard line. The clock expired as West Carroll took one last knee.
West Carroll (4-0, 2-0) continues region play Friday at Gleason. Kickoff is 7 p.m.