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CRAWFORD â€“ The East Oktibbeha Titans played the Weir Lions in what is likely to be the last football game in Weir High School's history.
Weir is currently awaiting a decision from the U.S. Justice Department that could scatter current students at Weir throughout Choctaw County. Weir currently holds grades pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.
However, should the consolidation plan take effect, students will find themselves in different schools.
Grades pre-k to 5th grade would attend either Ackerman Elementary or French Camp Elementary, grades 6-8 would stay at Weir, and grades 9-12 would begin their high school careers at Ackerman High School.
With this new plan, the Weir football program could have potentially ended its final season with a 21-20 victory against West Oktibbeha.
Weir head coach Paul Courtney talked about the legacy that his Lions could be leaving behind.
"I love these boys and I'm proud of what they have done for each other and for their community," Courtney said. "I don't know what will happen next, but whatever it is, we'll be ready."
Weir quarterback Tyler Henson led the Lions offensively with two rushing touchdowns in the first half.Â â€¨On the defensive side of the ball, the goal was clear for both teams â€“ stop the quarterback. Senior Justin Williams for East Oktibbeha scored the only touchdown for the Titans in the first half with a 4-yard run late in the first quarter.
Shortly after Weir's second touchdown of the half, injuries plagued the Titans on both sides of the ball. On fourth down,Williams was injured after being stopped short of the Titans' first down marker. A few plays later, Steven Bell, another senior for the Titans, was injured during an attempted tackle. Both players, however, returned to the field after halftime.
In the final half of what could be Weir's final game, Henson continued to carry the team with his third rushing touchdown of the game halfway through the third quarter.
"It's about the team," Henson said. "We did our part and won. I'm just a small piece of the puzzle."
East Oktibbeha squandered a 40-yard passing touchdown by Williams after a chop block sent the Titans back into their own territory instead of finding themselves in the end zone. The combination of penalties, along with a solid pass defense by the Lions, Williams threw his second interception of the evening shortly after his touchdown pass was called back.
Weir's offensive game plan in the second half was to simply run out the clock by running the ball and letting the play clock dwindle, leaving East Oktibbeha with as little offensive possessions as possible to insure a victory.
This game plan worked to perfection as the Titans were only allowed two possessions in the third quarter, neither of which resulted in points.
The fourth quarter began with an immediate interception by Weir on the first play of the quarter. The Titans' woes continued after Bell was injured again after he was sidelined earlier in the game with a leg injury.
The final 12 minutes did not go as smoothly as the first three quarters for the Lions. With a 15-point lead coming into the fourth quarter, Weir allowed two touchdowns in the quarter, resulting in only a one-point lead with 1:20 left in the game.
East Oktibbeha's head coach Randy Brooks said it was a good game between two proud programs.
â€¨"We (East Oktibbeha) have played great games on this field," Brooks said. "It's saddening to me that this could be the final game for their program."ÂView more articles in: