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Obion Countian powers Covington in romp vs. Rebs

Obion Countian powers Covington in romp vs. Rebs
Obion Countian powers Covington in romp vs. Rebs

Obion Central defensive coodrinator Adam Dowland goes over instructions with Josh Gray during Friday’s defeat.
An Obion County native played a big role in deciding the Obion Central-Covington game on Friday evening.
Unfortunately, it was former South Fulton quarterback Hunter Harris — now the signal-caller for the Chargers — who helped to prolong Central’s program-worst losing streak to 18 consecutive defeats following Friday’s 47-22 downfall in Region 7-3A action.
Individually, Harris completed 6 of his 8 passes with two of those aerials resulting in touchdowns. He also dove into the endzone twice via the quarterback sneak to key the Covington triumph.
The ex-Red Devil directed a Charger offense that racked up 515 total yards — 438 of those in the first half — and was highlighted by eight plays that spanned 20 or more yards during the first two quarters.
“Their big plays really hurt us,” Central head coach Shawn Jackson said afterward. “In a nutshell, we gave up too many of them too often in the first half and, when you couple that with the fact that we dropped eight passes during that span, it’s easy to see why we didn’t win tonight.
“I can’t fault our team, though. Despite our school being on Fall Break this week, we had what I thought was a better practice week than we did leading up to the Dyer County game. And the mood of this football team is upbeat heading into our last two games.”
The Rebels (0-8, 0-5 in region play) actually held the lead and looked poised to be in the battle after their initial series on Friday.
After Covington (2-6, 1-4 in 7-3A) fumbled on the opening kickoff and Central picked up the loose football, the county locals wasted little time in finding paydirt.
OC quarterback Jackson Yeager, who finished the game 16-of-35 passing with two touchdowns, flipped a short toss to Clint Jones for a nine-yard gain on the first play to move the pigskin to the Chargers’ 32.
An offsides penalty then gave the Rebels a fresh set of downs with Yeager connecting with Lucas Fulbright on first down for a seven-yard pickup.
The next play proved to be the high point of the evening for Obion Central with the senior QB finding Patrick Haskins open over the middle for what turned into a perfectly executed 20-yard TD.
Dalton Shannon’s extra-point attempt was no good as the Rebels held a 6-0 advantage with 10:45 remaining in the first quarter.
The celebration was short-lived for the Central sideline as Covington made its way across the goal line four plays later.
The key play on the 61-yard drive to the endzone was a 52-yard sprint by Isaiah Harris on the third snap.
Harris, the running back, looked as if he was going to run off the right tackle, but he quickly slashed left and motored free into the open field.
On the next play, B.J. Burnett bounced in from four yards away and Elon Weathers then booted the PAT to give the Chargers a lead they would not relinquish.
After Covington was off and running, there was no detouring their offense.
Taking advantage of a turnover on downs that started the Chargers at their own 40, Clifford Dye jetted right for a 21-yard dash to move into OC territory.
Four plays later, Hunter Harris dove in from a yard out for the first of his two sneak touchdowns.
The Rebels’ next offensive sequence was a quick three-and-out with a pair of unsuccessful passes the culprit that forced a Hunter Calhoun punt.
After the punt, it took Covington just two plays to score again as Harris found Devante Taylor for a 52-yard aerial that resulted in six points.
Weathers’ kick was no good and the Chargers went up 20-6.
The bad got worse for Central as Yeager was sacked and a fumble was forced — which Convington quickly scooped up — on the third play of the next sequence.
And again, it only took the Chargers a couple plays to find paydirt with Benton Wooten the target of Hunter Harris’ nine-yard touchdown pass that was set up by a 43-yard connection with Clifford Dye on the drive’s first play.
In the second quarter, Covington tacked on three more touchdowns with each score taken in by a Harris.
Isaiah Harris was on the long and short of it, literally, as he made carries to paydirt of 80 and three yards.
Otherwise, Hunter Harris made his last appearance of the evening a memorable one as he dove in from a yard out with four seconds remaining in the first half to put Covington up 47-6.
The Chargers, who play regional foe Ripley this Friday, elected to pull most of their offensive starters during the second half and OC was more than capable of holding the backups in check.
Meanwhile, the Rebels added a couple touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
For starters, Haskins brought down a 59-yard Yeager offering and he took it the distance at the 7:19 mark. Otherwise, Calhoun capped the Rebels’ final drive, which spanned 60 yards and 10 plays, with a three-yard scamper to paydirt.
“Nothing is wrong with the mentality of this football team,” Jackson insisted after the defeat. “Our positives seem to just outweight our negatives each week. When you play in the spread offense like we do and you have as many dropped passes as we have, you can’t be expected to come out on top.”
Defensively, Jones was in on 11 stops, while Blake Boyd made 10 tackles
Central returns to action this Friday with its final Region 7-3A game of the season as it hosts league-leading Haywood.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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