By KEVIN WEAKS
Obion Central had trouble getting Crockett County’s offense off the field and then couldn’t capitalize on those occasions when it did happen.
The Rebels struggled to stop CC’s wing-T attack, giving up 421 total yards and 18 first downs while forcing just one punt in a 40-20 loss Saturday night in Alamo.
The game was suspended late in the first quarter on Friday night due to lightning, which preceded storms throughout the region, and then was continued the following day.
“They do a good job on offense,” OC head coach Shawn Jackson said. “They’re very good up front. What hurt us wasn’t them running the ball; it was them throwing the ball. You have to be able to defend the pass against wing-T teams, and we didn’t do that. That’s what hurt us. We gave up three touchdowns in the passing game to a wing-T team, and you’re not going to win doing that.”
Cavalier senior quarterback Donavan Mayfield completed 9-of-16 passes for 159 yards, throwing for three scores in the first half as Crockett County built a 34-14 halftime advantage.
Two of those scores came on third-down plays when it appeared as if the Rebels had the home team stopped.
The second Cav score came on 3rd-and-9 from the Rebels’ 12-yard-line, OC having just stiffened after allowing Crockett County to drive from its own 12. Mayfield rolled left on a play-action and found Collin Avery for the score at 6:36 of the second period.
Crockett County’s third TD pass was even more painful to Central, OC failing to stop the Cavaliers on a 3rd-and-13 from the Cavs’ own 37. Again rolling left, Mayfield hit Johnny Jones, who then weaved his way for a 63-yard TD at 3:15 of the second frame.
Those two also hooked up for the game’s first score, on Friday, with a 20-yard pass at 5:01 of the first period.
“We were absolutely awful on third down,” Jackson said. “Third down and long on the goal line, after a time-out, we give up a touchdown pass. You can’t do that. But, my hat’s off to them. Most people can’t execute the passing game in that kind of offense, and they do a great job at it.”
Crockett County did pretty good with the running game, too.
The Cavaliers had 54 rushing attempts for 262 yards, led by the trio of Jones, Terry-Allen Beaird and Josh Tatum.
Jones, who had three catches for 95 yards, had 106 yards on 25 carries, while Beaird added 93 yards on 12 tries and Tatum put up 62 yards on 12 rushes. Both Beaird and Tatum scored once.
“They’re a great coached team, and their kids play really well,” Jackson said. “They hurt us on misdirection; they hurt us with the trap. We did a good job of making plays in the second half. We missed a couple of tackles (Friday), but we did a better job tonight.”
OC was better defensively in the second half of the second night.
After allowing five TDs in the first half, Central saw the Cavs score only once after intermission — and that was on defense.
However, another type of frustration then plagued the Rebels.
Central looked to have stolen the momentum early in the third quarter when Trent Mann caught Beaird’s fumble out of the air and raced 58 yards for a touchdown.
The point-after kick was blocked, but a shift was already under way with the score now 34-20 and got another boost when the Rebel defense forced a three-and-out Cavalier possession.
The rest of the game was a series of missed chances, though, as Central was then forced to punt. The Rebs then failed on fourth down after a botched Crockett County punt gave OC the ball at the Cav 41.
Crockett followed up by holding the ball for 15 plays and overcoming four penalties in driving from its own 30 to the Rebs’ 23 only to have Mann pick off a pass in the end zone.
A holding call against OC wiped off a first down, and Central threw and interception two plays later. The Rebels held again, but Avery picked off Blake Berner and took the pick for six with 40.9 seconds to play in the game.
“We had some bad penalties,” Jackson said. “On third down, that was awful. There were crucial points in the game where the officials got involved, and that bugs me.”
While two fumbles resulted in Cavalier TDs in the first quarter, Central turned the tables early in the second when Bryce Warner went 11 yards for a TD at 11:24 on the first play after a Jones fumble. Crockett County had four turnovers in all.
“We did a good job of battling back,” Jackson said. “I was worried how it was going to go tonight, but our kids really fought their rear ends off. That’s what I’m most excited about. I was pleased with how we performed.”
Published in The Messenger 9.10.12