By Ruthie Robison The Webster Progress-Times
The East Webster Wolverines were defeated by the Eupora Eagles in a 37-7 decision last Friday night in Cumberland.
The matchup between the teams had been much anticipated. The expectations from both sides of the field were high; because not only was this game between county rivals, but it would decide who took the Class 2A, Region 2, District 4 title.
There were four possible scenarios that could have played out with Ackerman, East Webster and Eupora all having a chance at winning a district championship.
Since the bitter district and county rivalry was amplified in 2009 when the two teams were placed in the same class, region and district by the Mississippi High School Activities Association, the Wolverines had never let Eupora score on their home field.
The Eagles struck early in game with a 10-yard touchdown run by senior running back Vandy Smith. After the extra point, Eupora had an early 7-0 in the first quarter.
“We knew if they got on us early that we’d be in trouble and they did,” said East Webster head coach Doug Wilson. “They had a great game scheme, stopped us at everything we tried and we fell short.”
In an effort to answer back in the first quarter, the Wolverines tried to capitalize on a fumble recovery by junior Mckinley Hollenhead. East Webster took possession on the Wolverine 36-yard line and began moving the chains down the field. The East Webster drive was halted on the Eupora 35-yard line due to a turnover on downs in the second quarter.
The Eagles took advantage of their next possession with another scoring play. Lamontae Salley doubled the Eupora lead with a run from 12 yards out.
The Eagles took a 14-0 lead over the Wolverines into halftime.
Eupora capped their win in the third quarter by scoring 23 unanswered points.
“The first drive after the half we knew if we didn’t stop them we were going to be in trouble and we didn’t,” said Wilson. “We worked on some things at halftime that just didn’t work.”
In the past, the winning team of the Wolverine and Eagle bouts has also managed to shutout the opposing team. Sophomore Deangelo Liggins ensured that would not be the case this year.
In the fourth quarter, with 7:17 left in the game the Wolverines pounded down the field. Liggins completed the East Webster drive with a seven-yard run to the end zone. Freshman kicker Tyler Cosby added the extra point.
“[Eupora head coach] Junior Graham has a great team, and they just out played us,” said Wilson.
Liggins led the rushing attack with 20 carries for 64 yards with one touchdown. Sophomore running back Marques Reives followed with 15 carries for 22 yards. Jack Wilson had one carry for nine yards while Marshan Clark had six carries for three yards.
Liggins was 5-8 through the air for 33 yards.
Senior Austin Mcginnis had two receptions for 18 yards while Liggins had two receptions for 14 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Thomas Brooks led with six stops and a blocked field goal. Chase Keller had five stops while Codie Mckee and John Wofford Williams had four stops each. Brett Flora had three stops and a sack during the game.
“We have had a great [regular] season and we hate to end it like that, but we’re looking forward to next week,” said Wilson. “We plan on getting stronger for the playoffs.”
The Wolverines hold an 8-3 overall record and ended their schedule with a 3-2 district record gaining a No. 3 seed spot in playoff action.
East Webster will travel this Friday to Sarah taking on the Strayhorn Mustangs.
The Mustangs are the No. 2 team in Class 2A, Region 3, District 3. Strayhorn will enter the meeting with an overall 9-1 record and a 4-1 record in district matches.
“We’ll be ready to go,” said Wilson.
All first, second, third and fourth round Class 2A playoff games have a 7:00 p.m. kickoff set by the MHSAA.