Big plays give Choctaw County big win over East Webster


Ben Ashley

By: 
JOEL COLEMAN
Staff Writer

Lightning was striking in Ackerman as a thunderstorm delayed the start of Friday night’s season opener between Choctaw County and East Webster for about an hour.

Once kickoff came though, it was the Chargers providing all the electricity.

Choctaw County got big play after big play as the Chargers downed the Wolverines 42-13. Choctaw County scored on the second play from scrimmage with a 65-yard run from Rakeim Ashford and never looked back. Ashford’s dash to the end zone quickly turned a soggy night into an evening with a bright outlook for the Chargers.

“Scoring on the second play was really, really big,” Choctaw County head coach Ben Ashley said. “When you have a delay like we did, you worry about focus and all that. To come out and give ourselves that jolt of confidence early on was really big for this football team. After that, we just kind of settled in.”

Ashford went on to score three total touchdowns for the Chargers, all in explosive style. He hauled in a 19-yard scoring pass from Tylan Carter later in the first quarter. Ashley was impressed with the throw his sophomore quarterback made to find Ashford in the corner of the end zone on a fade route.

“It was an unbelievable throw,” Ashley said. “I called it to the field, then I wanted to throw it to the sideline. I came back and threw it to the sideline because I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s just make it an easy throw. It’s either going to be out of bounds or Rakeim is going to catch it.’ (Carter) found the right spot and Rakeim went up and made a great catch.”

Ashford also notched a 42-yard touchdown run prior to halftime to stretch Choctaw County’s lead to 28-0.

Ashford and Carter weren’t alone in enjoying success. Two other Choctaw County backs found the end zone on Friday. Isaiah Conerly found pay dirt on a 26-yard scamper in the fourth quarter. Dicenzo Miller did the same on a 36-yard run. It was a successful night all-around for the Choctaw County ground game.

“In our offense, we have an A, B and C back,” Ashley said. “The A back is the fullback. I rotated four dudes there in critical moments in the ballgame. I also rotated four B backs and three C backs. We played 11 running backs. We’re really deep there. We’re really deep on the offensive line. We’ve got a lot of guys that have played a lot of football. This time last year, I couldn’t say that. This year, I can.”

Choctaw County’s defense was just as impressive as its offense. The Chargers kept the Wolverines off the scoreboard until the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Choctaw County also forced a handful of turnovers, including a pick-six by Andrew Johnson, who intercepted an East Webster pass and returned it 30 yards for a score in the second quarter.

Try as they might, the Wolverines had no answer for much of anything Choctaw County did all night.

“When the ball was kicked off, we made mistakes,” East Webster head coach Ron Price said. “Choctaw County executed their game plan. They made big plays. They had some big interceptions early.

“We got into some good positions (defensively), we just couldn’t get off the field on third downs. Offensively, we couldn’t move the chains on third down. We came in and wanted to shorten the game and be able to run the football. We challenged our offensive line to control the line of scrimmage. We wanted to make it a short game, but we just couldn’t execute the way we wanted to. Choctaw County did.”

East Webster will look to bounce back next week when the Wolverines host Okolona. Meanwhile Choctaw County will look for its second-straight win when the Chargers travel to Winona.

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