Monday Morning Quarterback: Choctaw County 42, East Webster 13

Joel Coleman

Staff Writer

It was a good night for football in Ackerman on Friday night, or it was a bad night.

It all depends on if your loyalties were with the Choctaw County Chargers or the East Webster Wolverines.

For those two football programs, their respective 2018 seasons couldn’t have gotten off to much different starts. Where each team’s seasons go from here largely hinges on what it does with what happened Friday night.

Let’s start with the Chargers. If you didn’t know by now, Choctaw County had its way with East Webster in a lopsided 42-13 win. The defending Class 3A, Region 4 champion Chargers looked every bit like a team ready to follow up on last year’s success.

Man, I’ve got to say I was plenty impressed by Choctaw County. If the Chargers can take what they had on Friday night and build on it, that’s going to be one dangerous bunch.

To be fair, Friday night played right into Choctaw County’s hands. The game was delayed by about an hour due to thunderstorms that produced heavy rainfall. Dale Davidson Field was quickly turned into a mud hole not long after opening kickoff. That’s just fine for the run-heavy Chargers.

Choctaw County used 11, yes 11, different running backs in the football game. Three of them scored touchdowns.

The Chargers weren’t just a one-trick pony though. They scored through the air once when sophomore quarterback Tylan Carter put a pass on the money on a fade route to senior wide receiver Rakeim Ashford. They scored defensively when cornerback Andrew Johnson picked off a pass and returned it 30 yards to the end zone.

Choctaw County also dominated the line of scrimmage all night long. It was an incredibly impressive showing to say the least and one the Chargers should be proud of.

Choctaw County head coach Ben Ashley sure was. Ashley isn’t under any illusions that his team has things all figured out, but he’s ready to see what his Chargers can do for an encore this week at Winona.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Ashley said after Friday’s game. “We’ve got a whole lot of stuff to clean up, but I’m excited about (this) week.”

East Webster is excited about this coming Friday night too, but for a whole different reason than Choctaw County. It’s probably in the Wolverines’ best interests not to dwell too much on their experience of last week and just move on.

In fact, that was one of the messages East Webster head coach Ron Price talked to his team about in the immediate aftermath of the Wolverines’ loss to the Chargers. He told them the game was over. It’s now just about improvement week to week and game to game.

I believe the Wolverines can indeed pick themselves up off the mat and move on. First off, it’s East Webster. For as long as I’ve been alive, the Wolverines might just be the scrappiest team in the state of Mississippi. There’s something in the water in Cumberland. You’ll never see an East Webster team throw in the towel.

Also though, East Webster is still a talented bunch and the Wolverines might get a better gauge on who they can be when they’re playing a little bit lesser competition. Let’s not forget, Choctaw County is a classification above East Webster and the Chargers have quickly become a really, really good football team since Ashley took over last year.

Price is hopeful his team can shake off the loss. He wants East Webster to now look ahead as all of the Wolverines’ goals are still in front of them.

“We just want to be the best team that we can be by district play,” Price said. “That’s our goal.”

There’s a long season ahead. Both Ashley and Price realize that. Price told his team in the huddle after the game that this season is a marathon and not a sprint. He couldn’t be more right.

Choctaw County has come firing out of the gate. East Webster has stumbled a bit at the start, but for both teams, there’s a long, long way to go. Anything can happen and much can change. We won’t know for sure until the weather turns colder exactly how much last Friday night really meant.

Joel Coleman is a sports writer for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are Coleman's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.