No. 1 reason for OC loss known

No. 1 reason for OC loss known
No. 1 reason for OC loss known

Obion Central’s Nathan Ward is taken down as Covington’s Maredrecus Dyson grabs his facemask on Friday night.
COVINGTON — The number-one reason Obion Central lost to Covington Friday night was No. 1.
Sophomore sensation Carlos Williams ran for 309 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Chargers to a 35-30 victory over the Rebels — dealing OC’s playoff hopes a damaging blow.
The disappointing loss dropped Central to 0-2 in District 13AA, leaving the Rebs (2-4) little room for error in their last four games if they are going to qualify for the postseason for the second straight year with a 6-4 overall record.
And Williams is the main — albeit not the only reason — Obion Central is now behind the eight-ball in its bid to play in Week 11.
The Covington scatback became the latest opposing runner and sixth this year to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark against a Rebel defense that has struggled against the rush and seemingly was void of the passion and intensity it showed in its last outing vs. rival Union City.
Williams’ spectacular individual effort — the best recorded vs. OC this season —included TD scampers of 43, 1, 53 and 30 yards.
Central’s offense tried its best to match Williams — nearly equaling the Chargers’ overall yardage total (408-429).
A red-zone turnover, two interceptions when the Rebels were driving in Covington territory and a late-game series that ended on downs inside the Covington 10, however, also contributed greatly to OC’s gut-wrenching loss.
“I can’t explain why what happened on defense happened to us tonight, but I can’t pin it all on the defense, either. It was the offense’s fault too,” Obion Central head coach Shawn Jackson said afterward.
“Defensively, we had good practices and good preparation, and I thought the open date last week was good for us. For some reason, though, we came out sluggish. We couldn’t stop them. And offensively, you can’t turn the ball over in the red zone. We should’ve outscored them.
“We just didn’t get it done on either side of the ball.”
Central, which never led in the game, did pull to within the final tally with 4:29 to play on a Nathan Ward one-yard touchdown run and ensuing PAT, and immediately got the ball back when Ben Harner recovered a pooch kick.
The Rebs drove the ball to the Covington 10 on passes from Trey Phipps to Shawn Weaks (11 yards) and Ward (12), but faced a fourth-and-goal from the six yard-line with a little over two minutes to play.
Flushed from the pocket, Phipps threw to the left pylon and a tumbling Weaks, who rolled over on the ball and appeared to juggle possession while going to the turf. The play was ruled an incomplete pass.
The last two minutes did not run off the clock uneventfully though, as what appeared to be a third-down fumble recovered by Dillon Trout was ruled not-so and valuable time ran off the clock while the officials sorted out the play.
The Chargers then elected to take an intentional safety as the clock ran out, but the officials then correctly ruled that an ensuing kickoff must take place on such plays. A Rebel receiver touched said kick before it went out of bounds however, signaling the end of the game.
Before those last harrowing moments, Williams put on a show, often running the same off-tackle counter and sweep plays and showing off his fleet feet for big chunks of yardage. In all, 11 of his 30 rushes went for 10 or more yards.
On the flip side, OC had good balance with Phipps throwing for 234 yards and a touchdown on 16-of-23 passing, LaDevin Fair running for 164 yards and two scores. Fair was on the receiving end of Phipps’ TD — a four-yard play — and was one of six different Central players to catch passes.
Both Phipps and Fair — the latter on a halfback pass — tossed interceptions though, in Charger territory.
Ward snagged a half-dozen Phipps aerials for 71 yards, while Tanner Cary made a pair of super catches of deep balls. Mason McGrew caught big-gainers of 32 and 23 yards.
Defensively, ??? topped the Rebel tackle chart with ??? hits.
Jackson acknowledged it’s likely win-or-else for his troops over the next month if they are to fulfill their playoff aspirations.
“We’ve got hope,” the Central coach insisted. “We just can’t lose anymore.”
Dyersburg, which stunned No. 2-ranked and previously-unbeaten Crockett County 42-35 Friday, is next up for the Rebels on the Trojans’ home turf.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

 

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