By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Baldwyn keeps winning but the pressure keeps mounting. The Bearcats beat Okolona 38-6 on Friday night, a victory that sets up a monster division game at Bruce next week.
Both teams are unbeaten in Division 1-2A.
“We’ve done it to ourselves,” Baldwyn coach Michael Gray said. “Last week’s game made this one even more important. Now it’s really important. We’ve got a chance to win our division.”
The Bearcats (5-3, 2-0) scored on their opening drive on Duke Upshaw’s 5-yard run and outscored Okolona 17-0 in the third quarter, including a pair of safeties.
Okolona’s Cyrus Kyle picked Baldwyn quarterback Corbin Scott in the first, and Jacolbi Heard’s touchdown sneak pulled the Chieftains within a point.
Baldwyn scored twice in the second quarter, Upshaw on a 27-yard pass for a 14-6 lead and on Devonta Gates 2-yard run.
“We weren’t consistent at all, and turnovers were the key,” Okolona coach Calvin Aldridge said. “Anytime you do that with a team like this, they’re going to beat your tail.”
Baldwyn defensive end Reggie Richey picked up a fumble before the half, and Baldwyn nearly got it back on a fumbled punt return. Richey had nine tackles, three sacks and both safeties.
The Bearcats forced Okolona into a fourth-and-30 to open the third quarter and took over at the Chieftain 28. They had to punt and Nickey Long put it at the Okolona 6.
The punt led to a safety for a 23-6 lead. Okolona got it right back as Rudell Fells picked up a fumble at his own 46 but Will Moore picked Heard to get it back for Baldwyn. On the drive, Scott hit Long across the middle for 51 yards to the 6. Bradley Boose ran it in for a 29-6 lead.
“We’re going to be back on it Monday, nose to the grindstone,” Scott said.
A snap over Heard’s head lead to another safety and 29 seconds later, Clayton Gray hauled in a 51-yard touchdown from Scott.
The junior was 9 for 19 for 215 yards with a pair of scores.
“I thought we dominated the third quarter and took advantage of turnovers,” Gray said. “Our kids did a really good job coming out of the dressing room.”