WCCA manhandles Rebels in season opener

Published 1:21 am Saturday, August 23, 2008

WOODVILLE — For a few fleeting moments, it looked like Adams County Christian would break its 12-game losing streak dating back to the final game of the 2006 season.

The Rebels had cut a 14-0 Wilkinson County Christian lead in half and had stopped the Rams on their next possession.

However, as quickly as thoughts of victory entered into the minds of the Rebels, WCCA quickly snatched them away.

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The WCCA defense made a key fourth down stop at midfield and turned that into a touchdown late in the third quarter to give the Rams a comfortable cushion on their way to a 20-7 victory in the season-opener for both teams.

“We couldn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” ACCS coach Paul Hayles said. “You’ve got to take advantage of your opportunities and unfortunately we didn’t.”

After the Rams took a 14-0 lead into halftime, ACCS took the opening kickoff of the second half and quickly drove down the field.

A 25-yard pass from quarterback Colin Dollar to Rodrique Watson set the Rebels up in great field position and a Brandon Sanders 21-yard run put the ball at the 1-yard-line.

Sanders took it in on the next play to cut the lead to 14-7 following T.J. Johnson’s extra point.

Sanders finished the game with 53 yards on just seven carries.

After the Rebel defense forced a WCCA punt, ACCS began to move the ball again. They crossed midfield, but on fourth and five, Sanders was stopped short of the first down.

That defensive stop seemed to give the Rams momentum, as they quickly marched down the field behind the running of Justin Davis.

Davis had runs of 21 and 12 yards on the drive, and capped it off with a 6-yard scamper with 1:52 left in the third quarter.

“We came in and got a stop and then got the score back to a two-touchdown lead,” WCCA coach Sam Byrd IV said. “After that the team jelled and kept playing great defensive football. The defense will be our key this year.”

The Ram defense forced two more ACCS turnovers in the fourth quarter as the Rebels never threatened the goal line again.

“We have no excuses, we didn’t play our best,” Hayles said. “We did not play our best, and we lost.”

WCCA came out in the first half with all guns blazing as they took the opening kickoff and marched right down the field.

The Rams capped off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from George Davis to Tip McKenzie.

It was the start to a big night for the freshman McKenzie, who rushed for 89 yards on 17 carries despite missing much of the second half with leg cramps.

“He had a great game,” Byrd said. “He ran the ball hard and had great hands. He is going to be a wonderful asset for us.”

McKenzie also scored WCCA’s second touchdown in the game on a 6-yard run midway through the second quarter after a Rebel interception put the Rams in great field position.

Byrd said the game was a good start to the season, but his team will have to improve as the schedule gets much tougher next week.

“We open district play next week with the (Class A) No. 2 team Huntington (as ranked by the Clarion-Ledger) and then play the No. 1 team Glenbrook the following week,” Byrd said. “We’ve got to come out ready to play ball.”