The East Webster Wolverines have earned a reputation at the “come-back kids” this season, but it was the Okolona Chieftains turn to dominate the second half Friday night.
The Wolverines first drive was productive as they marched 60 yards on 12 plays culminating in quarterback Jack Wilson hitting Deangelo Liggins for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Tyler Cosby’s foot has been consistent all season and didn’t fail Friday either, giving the Wolverines a 7-0 lead.
The Chiefs went three-and-out and almost regained possession on J.C. Buchanan’s interception attempt but he came down out of bounds afer battling Marques Reives for the ball. Cosby tacked on a field goal to put the Wolverines up 10-0.
The Chiefs drove to the red zone at the close of the first quarter and got on the board in the second as quarterback Jacolbi Heard pushed across from four-yards out, bringing the Chiefs to 6-10, but the Wolverines weren’t anywhere close to finished.
Liggins, Wilson and Reives kept the chains moving on the ground and in the air and Jack Wilson hit Luke Wilson for a four-yard TD pass. Cosby’s PAT put the East Webster boys up 17-6 and John Wofford Williams intercepted the Chiefs to set the Wolves back on the five yard line and set up Jack Wilson’s one-yard TD run. Cosby again put the PAT through the uprights and the half closed with the Wolverines up 24-6.
Second half rally
Okolona coach Jack Clark said the Chieftains turned a corner in the third quarter.
“I though we were a little flat in the first half and with them (East Webster) executing, that was not a good combination,” Clark said. “During halftime, they realized how important this was.”
The Chieftain defense held the Wolverines to three-and-out on their first possession and came back with a new attitude on offense as Dequin Babbit and Heard combined to move the ball 40 yards, ending with a 14-yard TD run by Babbit. The conversion failed but the Chiefs cut the lead to 12-24 and the defense forced another fourth-down punt from East Webster.
If it worked, do it again and Babbit and Heard did, chewing up 30 yards on the next drive until they hit the maroon wall of the Wolverine’s defense. On fourth-and-long, Heard dropped a bomb on Rod Jones for a 38-yard touchdown to close the gap to 18-24.
The Okolona boys tied the game on an East Webster punt with plenty of action in the endzone. The snap was high but Cosby made the recovery and managed to get the kick off but it was deflected back to the end zone where Okolona’s Curtis Green snagged it for a TD.
An East Webster fumble returned possession to the Chiefs who worked the ball down field at the close of the third and Babbit got the 11-yard TD to open the fourth. The Chieftains finally got a conversion run to work as Terry Rogers ran the ball in for a 32-24 Okolona lead.
Defense was the name of the game through the fourth on both sides with neither team able to move with success and the Cheiftains took a knee on their final possession to secure their first division win of the season and break the Wolverines’ 6-0 winning streak.
“Their speed made us make mistakes in the second half,” said East Webster coach Doug Wilson. “Our guys played their hearts out and did their best. That’s all we can ask for. The momentum really turned at the half and we got beat by a good team.”
Clark returned the compliment.
“East Webster is a great football team,” Clark said. “Winning our first division game is huge in this division,” he added of the tough 2A road ahead the still includes Calhoun City, Bruce and Eupora. “We built a little character tonight and hopefully down the road that will come into play.”
Next in line
The Wolverines will head to the Boneyard to take on the Calhoun City Wildcats Friday while the Chieftains are off this week and will follow the Wolves to the land of the Wildcats Oct. 17.