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Phipps’ early blitz cures OC’s ills

Phipps’ early blitz cures OC’s ills
Phipps’ early blitz cures OC’s ills | Phipps’ early blitz cures OC’s ills
By KEVIN WEAKS
Messenger Sports
Shawn Jackson came straight from his hospital bed in Memphis to Memorial Stadium in Brownsville.
His Obion County Cen-tral Rebels healed up in a hurry.
Behind quarterback Trey Phipps’ school record- tying performance, Central bounced back from its lone loss of the season with a vengeance in a 56-6 win over the Tomcats Friday night.
“I think this is the best we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Jackson said. “We played really hard, and I’m just really impressed with our kids.”
Phipps threw for seven touchdowns, four of those going to Marcus Parr, and 395 yards as he hit on 17-of-21 passes.
The seven passing TDs in a game tied the school mark set by Wes Moore against Dyer County in 2002.
OC’s effort as a unit had Jackson feeling a lot better than he did the week before.
Hospitalized three different times in a two-week span — but not missing either of the Rebels’ regular season games — Jackson came straight from Memphis, where he had surgery earlier in the week, to the stadium and coached from the press box.
Jackson said he will require another surgery in six weeks.
While the 50-36 loss to Covington the previous week was certainly not a remedy for Jackson’s recent ills, he sure was feeling a lot better following this past game, where the Rebels were about as overpowering as possible in the first half before giving the game to the reserves and the mercy rule after intermission.
“I was just impressed with our focus,” Jackson said. “We were focused and practiced well last week, even when I wasn’t there Wednesday and Thursday. We played even better than I expected.”
Parr finished with 193 yards on just five catches as the Rebel gameplan focused on the passing game to get big strikes quickly.
The Rebels ran just 32 offensive plays, with just 25 yards on 11 rushes, but totaled 420 yards and 15 first downs.
“They put everybody in the box and forced us to throw it, and that’s what we did,” Jackson said. “They gave us the numbers out there. When they put that many in there, we just can’t run it. We’re not going to put a square peg in a round hole and run it up there, and that’s what we did. LaDevin Fair had a great night catching the ball, too.”
And, the contrast in the two teams over the first half was stark.
Haywood gained just 25 total yards in the first 24 minutes of play; the Rebels had five plays longer than 25 yards. The Tomcats managed just two first downs in the half; Central reached that total on its first two offensive plays.
Parr had three of the Rebels’ four touchdowns in the opening period, getting free for scoring strikes from Phipps of 45, 77 and 43 yards, while LaDevin Fair added an 18-yard score.
And, if 28-0 just 12 minutes into the game wasn’t bad enough for Haywood, it could have been worse. Following the second of two successful onside kicks by OC, Fair had a 45-yard TD pass called back on a holding penalty.
Four more scores, including three more on Phipps’ passes, came in the second quarter as Parr slipped open in the middle for a four-yarder, Tanner Cary went 20 yards and Mason McGrew had a catch-and-run for 61 yards. McGrew followed with a two-point conversion after a Haywood penalty, giving him 14 total points on three different methods of scoring as he also had six point-after kicks.
The defense scored with 1:46 to play in the half on, not surprisingly, a pass as Stratton Moore plucked a Bryce Young aerial and went 53 yards with a pick six.
With the Rebels substituting and the clock running, Haywood put up its only score in the fourth quarter, a two-yard run by RJ Perkins.
Central improves to 9-1 on the season and 5-1 in District 13AA. The Rebels came into the game looking at at least six different playoff scenarios for its spot in the Class 4A bracket, but Milan’s 28-26 win over Covington eliminated two of those possibilities.
OC can still be seeded as high as second and as low as sixth, depending on this week’s game. The Rebels host Dyersburg on Thursday night.
“We have to finish strong,” Jackson said. “We want to host a playoff game. It’s Senior Night, and it’s the first time in my coaching career to have a four-year group. It means a lot to me for us to go out on a winning note.”
Haywood, meanwhile, is out of the postseason picture.
In fact, the 100th year of football at the tradition-rich school is turning out to be its worst.
The Tomcats are now 1-8 overall and 0-6 in the district. A loss to Milan at home this week would give Haywood a school record for most losses in a season. Published in The Messenger 10.24.11

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