By NEMS Daily Journal
The Duke of Baldwyn, Duke Upshaw, ran loose against the fourth-ranked Chieftains on Friday night, scoring on a 40-yard run and returning a kickoff 73 yards in the Bearcats’ 34-28 victory at Okolona.
“He finally caught up with the speed of the game,” Baldwyn head coach Michael Gray said of his eighth grader. “When he made his first touchdown, he hit another gear for a 14 year old.”
The Chieftains led 28-26 through three quarters before Walker Wildmon connected with Will Moore for a 13-yard touchdown pass to give the Bearcats (3-5, 1-1) the lead.
“They’ve got some good ballplayers. They struck us early,” Gray said of his opponent, which dropped to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in Division 1-2A. “It was like a boxing match.”
Upshaw returned a kickoff for a touchdown to start the second half and to give the Bearcats a 26-14 lead.
Okolona responded, though, with touchdown runs from Dequin Babbitt (53 yards) and Jordan Ivy (1 yard).
“It was a good matchup,” Gray said. “We both made plays on both sides of the ball.
“It was a hard-fought, four-quarter game.”
Babbitt started the scoring off with a 21-yard run and Baldwyn’s Bradley Boose retaliated with a 2-yard run. Ivy then scored from 11 yards out.
The Bearcats host second-ranked Bruce next week, while the Chieftains play at top-ranked Calhoun City.
In other games:
ABERDEEN 43, NETTLETON 7: Josh Williams scored two TDs and four other Bulldogs scored for the Journal’s top-ranked Class 3A school.
VARDAMAN 37, COLDWATER 0: Cody Jenkins scored on a pair of 7-yard runs as the fifth-ranked Rams (4-2, 4-0) cruised at home in a Division 1-1A contest over the Cougars (3-5, 1-4). Jenkins also hooked up with Eric Jones for a 58-yard scoring pass in the second period.
SMITHVILLE 35, BIGGERSVILLE 8: Six different players scored for the Seminoles (3-3, 3-1) in their road win. Josh Kuykendall recorded a safety and J.T. Pitts returned a fumble recovery 55 yards for a touchdown.
UNION COUNTY 40, NEW SITE 8: Union County won its second game of the season.
No other information was available.