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East Webster scores at will to beat West Oktibbeha

 

David Miller

 

MABEN -- For a quarter, the contrasting styles of the East Webster and West Oktibbeha high school football teams had quite the shootout brewing.  

 

Then, the Wolverines started scoring at will and limited the Timberwolves'' aerial attack to horizontal passes in a 55-27 victory. 

 

East Webster quarterback Ledrick Patterson answered West Oktibbeha''s Von Smith''s two first-quarter touchdown passes with a pair of touchdown runs.  

 

But while Smith and the Timberwolves offense slowed, Patterson and the Wolverines offense stayed hot well through the second half.  

 

Patterson scored three rushing touchdowns and completed his only pass of the game for a 30-yard score in the third quarter.  

 

Patterson (six carries, game-high 142 yards) helped the Wolverines grind out 442 rushing yards.  

 

Most of Patterson''s yards came on a string of lengthy option runs on the perimeter, as West Oktibbeha (1-1) crashed the middle to take away fullback Timarkis Bell. 

 

The Wolverines (2-0) hit the Timberwolves with the same play for wide open real estate, which Patterson didn''t expect. 

 

"On all of them because on film you would see them waiting back on the read, but tonight they were crashing in when I went to the outside," Patterson said. "I was surprised. It''s great because they''ve been talking the whole week. We just want to come out, play great, and give our fans a show." 

 

About the only hitch in the show was the 23 combined penalties -- mostly procedural -- between the teams.  

 

Despite the blowout loss, West Oktibbeha coach Adam Lowrey was pleased with production after his team defeated Class 2A side West Lowndes in Week 1.  

 

Lowrey said the team will benefit from playing a strong team with a physical rushing offense.  

 

"Their line, fullback, and quarterback can fly," Lowrey said. "Maybe it wore us down. We were rotating them in as best we could. They were one play away from the state championship last year and returned everybody. It''s a good ball team.  

 

"Coach (Kelvin Cistrunk) was telling me we need to practice a lot of goal line and smash mouth, and I told him, ''We''re getting it right here.'' Best practice they can have. It prepares us for district play." 

 

Smith completed 19 of 38 passes for 273 yards. He tossed three touchdowns and one interception. He caused headaches in the first quarter for East Webster coach Jimmy Carden and his defense.  

 

"We made some adjustments after the first quarter because we couldn''t do much with them," Carden said. "We widened our ends out and took the bubble away a little. It worked pretty well; they didn''t score on the first team after that.  

 

"At this level of football, you don''t see too many passing teams and they throw it about as well as anybody I''ve seen. Plus, you can''t simulate that kind of speed in practice." 

 

Carden, who guided a young East Webster team to the Class 2A North State title game a year ago, has a team he feels will make another run toward a title. He said the team''s confidence has grown exponentially since last season.  

 

"We started slow last year and nobody really expected us to do much," he said. "We''ve got kids who''ve grown up a lot, and now all of a sudden you''re back in position where people think nobody can beat you." 

 

East Webster took a 35-14 halftime lead before putting the game out of reach 48-14 with the second of Bolo McCurry''s two touchdown runs.  

 

West Oktibbeha had a chance to tie the game or to take a one-point lead in the second quarter after reaching the East Webster 3-yard line. From there, a false start, three incompletions, and a failed fourth-down attempt doomed the potential go-ahead score. East Webster then marched 93 yards to extend the lead 28-14.  

 

Lowrey felt going scoreless from the East Webster 3 was the turning point for his team.  

 

"I looked at the defense and called the timeout based on what I saw," Lowrey said. "Sometimes you just don''t know. I was trying to call another timeout to change the play. It just didn''t work. It''s tough when you got all that riding on one play. I thought about kicking a field goal, but knowing how powerful they were, if we had that chance and miss a field goal, I''m the worst coach in the world." 

 

Tiberious Lampkin led West Oktibbeha with four catches for 88 yards and a score. Aaron Brownlee had five catches for 70 yards.  

 

Bell had 13 carries for 112 yards and a score for the Wolverines. 

 

East Webster will play at Vardaman on Friday, while West Oktibbeha will play its third straight road game against East Oktibbeha.  

 

 

 

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