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Worst Central streak clouds best outing

Worst Central streak clouds best outing
Worst Central streak clouds best outing

Obion Central’s Patrick Minnick avoids a leg tackle during Friday’s defeat at Newbern.
It was the best of times this season for Obion County Central in Region 7-3A play.
But it was also the worst of times overall for the OCCHS program.
The Rebels gave their most competitive performance in regional play since a Week 10 win over Ripley in 2006 before ultimately falling 43-26 at Dyer County on Friday.
With the defeat, Central now has a program-worst 17-game losing streak, shattering the old mark of 16 consecutive losses set, over the course of the 1977 and 78 seasons.
During Friday’s loss to the Choctaws and especially the first half of the game, the Jekyll and Hyde Show that has plagued OC’s offense was again on display with the county locals looking good during the opening quarter before doing an about face and turning in a lackluster second canto.
In that first quarter, OC totaled 130 yards with 59 of those coming on the ground and 71 through the air, taking a 12-8 lead with one period complete.
Furthermore, the duo of Patrick Haskins and Jackson Yeager — the latter of whom was playing despite a thigh bruise — combined to complete 5-of-10 passes during the opening quarter.
However, in the second period, it was a completely different story as Yeager was 2-of-8 and was picked off twice.
The ground game suffered, too, as the Rebels totaled just 14 rushing yards during that second period.
“At times I don’t understand what’s going on with this team,” first-year Central coach Shawn Jackson said after the loss. “The execution is there at times, and then there are other stretches where we put our heads down and can’t make a play to save our lives.
“Overall, though, I’m happy with our effort tonight. But I know we had some missed opportunities. For instance, the big one was when Dyer County fumbled in our red zone during the first quarter, but it was whistled down inadvertently and I think that really took a toll on our kids, who had gotten all jacked up about what they thought was a turnover.”
Indeed, Obion Central was in high spirits at that moment and during the entire first quarter.
The Rebels came out of the locker room with a 10 play, 74-yard drive that ended in the endzone when Patrick Minnick sliced his way through the Choctaw defense for a 35-yard touchdown carry that gave Central a 6-0 lead with 8:26 remaining in the first.
Dyer County’s Peyton Lucas, who was playing with a torn ACL and totaled 241 yards and a pair of passing touchdowns, began to systematically take apart Obion Central’s defensive coverage during the first drive for the home team.
Lucas used the screen pass throughout the drive — and the evening for that matter — as the Choctaws marched to the OC 18.
From there, the fumble that wasn’t was forced and recovered by Central, but the referee’s flub gave DC another opportunity that they were quick to capitalize on.
Just two plays after the miscue, Toby Cashion dove in from a yard away and point-after-kick holder Kody King connected with Alex Newbaker on a fake to put Dyer County up 8-6.
On the next drive, Obion Central used a touch of trickery to get the lead back.
At the Choctaws’ 43, Yeager took the snap and he handed off to Haskins, who ran right and then chunked the football downfield to a wide-open Hunter Calhoun. Calhoun dashed to the endzone to put OC up 12-8.
Then, on the next Dyer County offensive series, the Rebels manned up and they held strong for a goalline stand as the host had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Gabriel Millan.
For all the good that OC did in the first quarter, the second quarter was equally bad.
Overall, Dyer County blanked the Rebels 14-0 in the period as they went into intermission with a 25-12 advantage.
During the second, DC went up for good when Jeff Miller bulled his way in from three yards out at the five-minute mark.
In the drive that led up to the Miller TD, Lucas connected on five screen passes as the Dyer County scoring summary spanned 88 yards and 12 plays.
Otherwise in the second period, Lucas threw for his first touchdown of the evening as he connected with Thaddaeus Medford for a 19-yard toss with 35 seconds remaining in the first half.
In the third quarter, Lucas found Medford for a six-yard six-pointer early in the period before the starting QB was taken out of the game in favor of Jake Alexander.
For the Rebels, another halfback pass yielded another TD for the Rebels as Brandon Armour found Jacquis Williams in the endzone for a six-yard score in the third quarter.
Later, in the fourth quarter, Central’s final score came when Yeager connected with Haskins for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Defensively, Brian Thomason led the way for the Rebels with nine tackles, while Spencer Terry, Clint Jones and Josh Gray each made seven stops. Blake Boyd also forced a fumble that Jerry Garcia recovered.
Obion Central returns to action this week with a 7 p.m. game at Covington, while Dyer County entertains Ripley.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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