No. 1 Collins beats ‘The Air Show’ 46-36 in 2nd round

Published 11:59 pm Friday, November 13, 2015

WOODVILLE — Wilkinson County High School quarterback Desmond Hunter had another spectacular performance, but it was not enough as the Wildcats lost to the Collins Tigers 46-36 Friday night in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A South State Playoffs.

Hunter completed 23 of 44 passes for 374 yards and four touchdowns with one interception and had three carries for 25 yards. But the lack of a running game and the inability to recover fumbles cost the Wildcats their season.

“Honestly, it was a well-played and exciting game. We just came out on the short end,” Wilkinson County head coach Kenneth Brown said. “We had an opportunity to probably win it. Playing against the defending state champions and the number one team in (Class 3A), it was a challenge. Our kids rose up to the occasion.”

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Collins appeared to be in control with a 38-22 lead with just over nine minutes to play. However, Wilkinson County would not go away quietly. The Wildcats scored a touchdown and added the two-point conversion with 7:41 remaining to make it a 38-30 game.

Then with 5:44 to go, the Wildcats scored another touchdown but came up short on the two-point try to trail the Tigers 38-36. But the comeback fell just a bit short in the end.

“We got the ball back with about four or five minutes left. But we couldn’t punch it in and time ran out on us,” Brown said.

Collins scored a touchdown and two-point conversion in the waning minutes to put the game out of reach.

“They played their hearts out. They didn’t give up. We should have picked up some fumbles. But they got them back,” Brown said. “Hats off to Collins. They’re a good team and a good program. I feel like we’re going in the right direction. “We played them tougher than anyone’s played them this season, and that’s coming from Collins’ coach (Ryan Earnest).”

Juan Anthony had six catches for 119 yards and Robert Swint had eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Travion Jones and Jaquarious Stewart each had a touchdown catch. Phillip Thompson had 11 carries for 83 yards.

Defensively, Steve Bregettsy and Juntavious Cage had 10 tackles apiece and LaKendrick Washington added nine tackles.

Wilkinson County finished its season with an overall record of 7-6.