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Another week, another cross-county rivalry game for the Rebels as they played host to the West Carroll War Eagles, Friday night, in what would be a close contest that carried into overtime. Prior to the game during the coin-toss, one of the West Carroll captains, quarterback Trace Fuller got a nice surprise with his sister, Marshawnda Fuller, returning home from active duty. (see related story elsewhere in the paper.)
West Carroll, coming off a close win over Bruceton in their opener, took the ball first and started slashing at McKenzie’s defense with double digit yardage runs mainly by Jarrius Weatherford and P.J. Odom. Odom scored the first points on a 14-yard scoring run with 10:32 left in the first quarter. They missed the extra point leaving the score 6-0 in favor of the War Eagles.
McKenzie had difficulties getting their offense moving punting the ball on their first three possessions while the Rebel “D” kept West Carroll from scoring again the remainder of the first quarter.
The second quarter opened with the Rebels having possession following a West Carroll punt, The War Eagle defense forced McKenzie into a 4th and 12 situation at their own 35 and blocked Larson King’s punt attempt. War Eagle freshman Jack Barrow recovered the punt and ran the ball inside McKenzie’s 20 yard line. West Carroll went five plays and scored on a 2-yard run by quarterback Trace Fuller. This time the extra point attempt by Devin Nash was good for a 13-0 West Carroll lead.
McKenzie continued to have offensive problems for the remainder of the half swapping possessions with the War Eagles for the remainder of the half with the 13-0 West Carroll lead holding up at halftime.
McKenzie came out after halftime and scored touchdowns on three straight possessions to take the lead in the contest.
The Rebels received the second half kickoff with Wes Cook running it back to the McKenzie 39 yard line. McKenzie began a long drive mixing up short passes and hard by Eli Surber and Joseph Miller that resulted in McKenzie’s first score with Surber scoring from 2-yards out with 7:16 left in the third quarter. The extra point was no good making the score 13-6.
West Carroll had to punt their next possession after penalties killed the drive. McKenzie went right back to work from their own 30 yard line. After a no-gain play, quarterback Eli Surber hit Tyler Spivey for a 70-yard touchdown with 5:13 left in the third quarter. Diego Calderon nailed the extra point to tie the game 13-13.
Penalties and a fumble killed the next War Eagle possession forcing a punt from West Carroll’s 23 yard line. After a short punt, McKenzie got the ball at West Carroll’s 47 yard line. After two rushes, Eli Surber found DaShun Woodson open in the middle of the field for a 44-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was no good giving the Rebels their first lead at 19-13 with 1:02 left in the third quarter.
The War Eagles next possession carried over into the fourth quarter with P.J. Odom scoring a touchdown on a fourth down play that got called back on a holding penalty. West Carroll had to punt it back to the Rebels following the penalty.
After a short McKenzie possession, West Carroll’s Shae Crocker ran the punt back deep into Rebel territory setting up the War Eagle offense at McKenzie’s 26 yard line. P.J Odom scored his second touchdown of the night four plays later on a 6-yard run into the endzone.McKenzie’s Stephone Haynes blocked the extra point leaving the score tied 19-19 with 6:21 to play in the game.
Following the kickoff, a holding penalty put West Carroll in a long yardage situation and they went for it on a 4th and 6 play with the pass falling incomplete. McKenzie took over on downs with 2:20 left in the game and moved the ball down to the War Eagle 25 where Diego Calderon attempted a 42-yard field goal that would have won the contest but went just barely right and missed. The War Eagles took a knee and ran the clock out.
In overtime, West Carroll won the toss and opted to defend so McKenzie took the ball first. The Rebels didn’t get far in three plays and attempted another field goal for the lead which missed due to a bad snap. On first down War Eagle quarterback Trace Fuller kept the ball and went around the right side and scored the winning touchdown giving West Carroll a 25-19 win.
West Carroll improves to 2-0 on the season for the first time since 2009 and will face Humboldt this week. McKenzie falls to 0-2 with a week off before they begin September with four straight road trips starting with a trip to Scotts Hill on September 7.