West Oktibbeha unquestionably is a spread-offense, pass-first team. Through its first 6 games, the Wolves averaged 244 yards through the air, proficient for a high school squad.
However, Friday night’s script read differently, as West Oktibbeha (5-2) stormed passed Ethel, rushing the ball 28 times for 329 yards in a 42-18 rout.
Shun Fair leads West Oktibbeha with 56 rushing yards per game, but the Wolves may have found a new work horse in Tiberias Lampkin, who piled up 258 yards on the ground. He rushed for 176 in the first half alone.
“Coach always tells us we have to equal out our offense,” Lampkin said. “When the time came, I was ready. The O-line really did a great job getting off the ball tonight.”
In front of a sellout homecoming crowd, the West Oktibbeha defense would bend, but rarely broke, holding Ethel (2-6) to 270 yards of offense and 18 points. It also forced three turnovers.
Midway through the second quarter, Ethel’s bruising back Michael Ervin carried the ball for 15 yards across mid-field, carrying five West Oktibbeha defenders with him. However, when the pile cleared, West Oktibbeha’s Fair was nearly crossing the goal line for a touchdown, having recovered a fumble amid the pile of bodies.
Ervin would find redemption, returning the ensuing kickoff to the Wolves' 10-yard line. Tiger quarterback Bobby Potts scored via a 9-yard quarterback draw on the very next play, putting the Tigers within striking distance at 20-12.
Yet again, one play later, Lampkin found a crease up the middle, scampering 45 yards for a score to put West Oktibbeha up 28-12. All-in-all, during that second quarter stretch, 22 points were scored in 1:42.
The game featured five unsuccessful onside kicks, giving each team excellent field position to work with most of the game. A conventional kick wasn’t witnessed until a minute before halftime.
Another wild stat: The Wolves did not punt. Not once. In its first series of the second half, with a 36-12 lead, the Wolves went for it on 4th and 4 on its own 40-yard line and naturally converted.
“I don’t feel like anybody can stop us,” West Oktibbeha coach Adam Lowery said.
Von Smith, the Wolves normally prolific passer, went 12-for-21 for 132 yards and a touchdown. Ethel’s quarterback Bobby Potts only threw for 92 yards, but ran for two touchdowns.
Midway through the fourth quarter, after the scoreboard quit functioning and the game was well in hand, West Oktibbeha was able to insert its entire second team. Back-up quarterback Drake Powell threw a 30-yard strike to freshman Ty Smith on what was designed to be a bootleg run.
“It’s good to see your young boys get in and do good,“ Lowery said. “They are like sons to you. I get excited, and it feels great.”