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ATWOOD (September 27) — The West Carroll War Eagles played their final home game of the regular season Friday, hosting Gibson County for a non-region contest and celebrating Senior Night. The …
ATWOOD (September 27) — The West Carroll War Eagles played their final home game of the regular season Friday, hosting Gibson County for a non-region contest and celebrating Senior Night. The War Eagles jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead, but the Pioneers responded with 27 unanswered points for a 27-8 win. It was a contentious, physical game, riddled with penalties and closer than the score indicates, as Gibson County scored the go-ahead touchdown on a fluke catch deflected by two West Carroll defenders and two more touchdowns on the final plays of each half.
Prior to the game, West Carroll seniors in cross country, band, cheer and football were recognized on the field.
West Carroll seniors recognized were:
Cross Country — Alyssa Gentry, MaKenya Gaskin, MaKaliyah Hughes, Ty-anna Hillsman, Tylor Freeman, Destini Roberson and Savannah Sutton.
Band — Kaitlyn Lane, Annalaura Deer, Olivia Goostree, Jake Walker, Alexis Houston, Dalton Herriott, Olivia Peevyhouse, Cody Parish, Braden Pounds, Jada Clark, Jana Clark, Kaci Fowler, Alex Arnold, Kenneth Knott, Kamyrn Hillsman and Ashley Myles.
Cheer — Kamyrn Hillsman, Ashley Myles, Shatara Brooks, Ashton Worrell, Asia Emerson and Aleisha Annis.
Football — managers Sathina Gaskins and Celia Townsend; statisticians Gracie Cunningham and Macey Cunningham; and players Jeremiah Bryant, Zach Perry, Bryce Bolton, Jarrius Weatherford and Wyatt Baker.
Gibson County won the toss and elected to defer possession to the second half.
After a short, bouncing kickoff, the War Eagles began the opening drive at their own 45. A Pioneer defender jumped offside to move the ball to midfield, then Jarrius Weatherford ran for a first down. A holding penalty against West Carroll negated most of the gain, and Weatherford lost yards on the next run. Quarterback Jeremiah Bryant threw to Jack Barrow for a first down at the Gibson County 45, then repeated the play for four yards. Next, Weatherford plowed through a pile of defenders for another first. Bryant kept for a gain, but personal foul penalty against the War Eagles pushed the ball back to near midfield. The next play resulted in the same penalty, then Weatherford ran for a short gain. Bryant tossed to Weatherford, and a personal foul penalty against the Pioneers gave West Carroll another first down. Devin Rader was stopped by a host of defenders, but another personal foul penalty moved the chains to the 19. Bryant kept for two yards, then threw to Barrow to set up first-and-goal at the 6. Bryant threw incomplete, then kept for a touchdown. He threw to Barrow for a two-point conversion, and the War Eagles led 8-0 with four minutes remaining in the opening frame.
The Pioneers started the next drive at their own 41 and marched down the field on four plays. Quarterback Adam Smithson kept for the eight-yard score. A two-point conversion knotted the game at 8-8 with three minutes left in the first.
West Carroll started at the far 26 and earned a first down as the first quarter drew to an end. The drive was stifled there, and early in the second, Rader punted.
Gibson County took over at the 29, and the West Carroll defense forced a quick three-and-out.
The Pioneer punt set the War Eagles at the 31, but they earned just one first down on the possession. A good punt by Rader was downed at the 19.
Pioneer Hayden McGuire ran three times for a first down at the Gibson County 36, then two plays netted just three yards. On third-and-seven, Smithson’s pass was tipped by two War Eagle defenders, but ended up in the hands of Pioneer Jacob Patterson, who took it in for a 61-yard touchdown. The point-after kick was good, and Gibson County led 15-8 with 4:32 to play in the first half.
West Carroll started the next drive at the far 36. Weatherford was dropped for a loss, but then Bryant kept for a first down. Weatherford dragged a pile of defenders for eight yards, then a Pioneer offside moved the chains. Two plays later, a holding penalty moved the War Eagles back deep into their own territory. Rader and Bryant made short gains, but it was still fourth-and-long. Rader took a high snap and punted from deep, and Gibson County returned it to the War Eagle 12.
With time for just one play before intermission, the Pioneers pulled off a trick play to score. A double-reverse gave William Cantrell the ball, and he threw it to Smithson for the touchdown. The PAT kick was no good, and at the half, Gibson County led 21-8.
West Carroll’s second-half kickoff sailed out of bounds at the 45, and the Pioneers began the drive there. Smithson and McGuire each had good runs to move the chains into War Eagle territory, but three plays later, it was fourth-and-five. Smithson threw deep, but Bryant came down with the interception.
Taking over at their own 15, the War Eagles earned a pair of first downs, thanks in part to a pair of Gibson County penalties. Unfortunately, a pair of pre-snap penalties against West Carroll doomed the drive. On fourth-and-long, Rader punted, and the Pioneers took over at their own 44.
McGuire ran three times to move the chains, then ran again for another first down deep in War Eagle territory. After the play, McGuire was flagged for unsportmanlike conduct and ejected from the game. Moved back to the West Carroll 40, Smithson scrambled down to near the 5, but more flags went flying. The original call was against the Pioneers for targeting, and another unsportmanlike conduct was tagged on after the play. These moved the ball all the way back to the Gibson County 15, and the officials marked it as a first-and-ten. West Carroll Head Coach Josh Wolfe repeatedly objected to the placement of the chains, stating that they should have been spotted farther downfield. Fortunately, it ended up not mattering as the Pioneers couldn’t convert and punted.
Starting with good field position at the Gibson County 49, Weatherford ran twice for six total yards as the third quarter ended. Bryant kept for a first down to start the final frame. Weatherford battled for yards on back-to-back carries to move the chains again, but it was soon fourth-and-four at the 12. The play resulted in a fumble, and the Pioneers took over at their own 9.
Gibson County retained possession for the remainder of the contest, earning five first downs. The drive came down to a fourth-and-goal at the 4 with time for just one play. Pioneer Colton Lumpkin found a gap and slipped into the end zone to make the final score 27-8.
West Carroll (4-2, 3-0) enjoys a bye this week before finishing the season with four consecutive road games, beginning Friday, October 11 at Houston County.