October 3, 2010 12:43:00 AM
The only thing on Antonio Wilson''s mind was do something to help his team get the lead.
A 92-yard kickoff return in the third quarter nearly did the trick.
But Wilson didn''t work his magic until late in the fourth quarter when he scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to help push the West Lowndes High School football team to a 40-35 victory against Hamilton in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A, Region 2 game.
Wilson rushed for 198 yards on 26 carries and scored three touchdowns to help the Panthers improve to 4-2 and 1-0 in the region.
"We are always going to go to the person who can do the job for us and who is going to help us win the game," West Lowndes coach Bobby Berry said. "He did some smart things tonight. He is learning. He is just a junior, and I hope he will get better every game."
Wilson, who also had a 2-yard touchdown run in the first half, had 14 of his carries in the second half to help the Panthers rally from a 21-20 halftime deficit.
"I just had to take over and be a leader," Wilson said.
Quarterback Gerald Sanders also had a big night, throwing for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
"We told them that just because they were down didn''t mean they were out," Berry said. "That is the way life is. You have to fight and keeping fighting until the end, and everything usually comes out for the kid who fights until the end."
Hamilton (3-4, 0-1) took a one-point lead at halftime thanks to a Zarratt Sims'' 28-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Fikes. Sims (14 carries, 113 yards) also scored on a 58-yard run to extend the margin to 28-20 before Wilson''s kick return shifted the momentum.
Deion Howard''s 10-yard run in the third quarter gave Hamilton its last lead, 35-32.
"I don''t know if we will see another team with this much speed," Hamilton coach Ray Weeks said. "I hope not, but we''re going to stay positive and keep working."
Weeks didn''t make excuses for his team not being at 100 percent. Sims also struggled in the game with cramps caused by chasing all of West Lowndes'' skill players, according to Weeks. He hopes the Lions can get everyone back so they can be a player in the region race.
"I think their depth got to us in the end," Weeks said. "We ran out of gas, but my guys played hard for four quarters."