By Brian Livingston / email@example.com
The Meridian Star
With the regular season winding down and the playoffs looming, the Southeast Lauderdale Tigers pulled away from the Choctaw Central Warriors in Vimville 30-18.
The Warriors suffered through five fumbles and three interceptions in the game that effectively stalled drives and enabled the Tigers to come away with the homecoming victory.
Sophomore running back Javaris Deloach's 119 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown, along with senior quarterback Andrew Black's 14 of 25 passing night for 122 yards and a touchdown helped spark Southeast to the win which brought them to 2-1 in Region 5-3A, 4-4 overall. The loss drops Choctaw Central to 2-1 in the region, 4-5 on the year.
In the first half alone, the Warriors could not protect the ball losing five fumbles and one interception. On the first possession for Choctaw Central, quarterback Demarquis Wilson mishandled the snap from the shotgun and the loose ball was pounced on by Tiger defensive end Michael Sims at the Warrior 19. Two plays later Deloach's 1-yard burst put the Tigers on top 7-0.
Choctaw Central tried to answer with a promising drive late in the firs quarter when they went to their option attack to gain yards on the outside. The Tiger defense held at the five yard line and Wilson came in and nailed a 23-yard field goal to pull to within 7-3 early in the second.
Right back came the Tigers.
Deloach led his team on a nine-play, 60-yard drive that culminated with a 2-yard Padarius Martin run. The PAT failed but Southeast Lauderdale had reestablished the margin at 13-3.
After the Warriors suffered their fourth fumble of the first half, the Tigers took over in excellent field position at the Choctaw Central 29. But penalties and a stingy Warrior defense made the Tiger drive stal at the 12. Andrew Bernard came in and split the uprights with a 22-yard field goal and the Tigers went into halftime with a 16-3 lead.
Most of the third quarter saw both teams go back and forth at each other until Black suffered his first of two second half interceptions. Black, looking for his favorite receiver, Damion Willis, who finished the night with 10 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown, had Warrior safety Dalton Clegg step in front of Willis for the pick. Clegg returned the ball 54 yards to the Southeast 36. On the next play, Alex Lacy took the handoff and raced the 36 yards for the score. The PAT was good and suddenly the Warriors had cut deep into the Tiger lead, 16-10.
But just as quickly the momentum swung wildly back over to the Tigers.
Fielding the short kickoff at his own 40, Marcus Winn tightroped the far sideline 60 yards to negate the Warrior score. The PAT was good and in just a matter of a few seconds Southeast Lauderdale was celebrating a 23-10 lead.
With 3:24 left in the game, Black found Willis all alone in the endzone to complete the 4-yard TD toss. The PAT was good and Southeast Lauderdale held a 30-10 lead.
Choctaw Central's Tobiah Ben would scamper for 39 yards with just a little over a minute left in the contest and a two-point conversion attempt would be good to make the score a little more respectable at 30-18.
Southeast Lauderdale plays Heidelberg next week.