BY BRANDON SPECK
MANTACHIE – After a sluggish three quarters of play, Mantachie used an elusive running game and a big fourth quarter to beat Tishomingo County 25-6 Friday night.
The Mustangs (2-1) began their second possession on their own 36-yard line. Using a dual backfield of Kyle Weaver and Chase Nichols, they drove to the Braves 13-yard line. On second down, Weaver took a handoff from quarterback Andy Wilburn 9 yards for the first score of the game, midway through the first.
Early in the second quarter, Tishomingo (0-3) stopped the Mustangs on a fourth-and-goal inside the 20 yard line. Taking over on downs at the 19, Braves quarterback Wes Dotson converted two long third down plays to reach Mantachie territory. A roughing the passer penalty and facemask helped the Tishomingo offense inside the 10-yard line. Four plays later, running back Mack Walker ran 9 yards into the end zone on fourth down for the Braves' only score of the night.
After a third quarter filled with punts and failed conversions, Mantachie turned it up a notch.
A fumbled punt by Tishomingo County led to a 44-yard touchdown sprint from Chase Nichols. The failed 2-point conversion put the Mustangs up 13-6 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
On their next possession, Mantachie continued to give the ball to Weaver, who got away from a defender on the right side of the line on his way to his second touchdown of the night, a 40-yard run to make the score 19-6 after the missed extra point.
Just minutes later, Dotson was picked off by Justin White. The interception led to the final score of the game, a 38-yard run by Weaver. The missed extra point made the final score 25-6.
“Without the line, none of that would have been possible,” said Weaver, who finished with 169 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. “Nobody quit.”
Nichols finished the game with one score and 147 yards on 24 carries.
“All of our guys stepped it up in the fourth quarter,” said Mantachie coach Mike Hill. “They gave us some different looks on defense in the second half. I give them a lot of credit. Our guys just stepped up.”
Mantachie 25, Tishomingo County 6
Tishomingo Co. 0 6 0 0 – 6
Mantachie 7 0 0 18 – 25
Man – Weaver 9 run (Nichols kick)
Tish – Walker 9 run (kick failed)
Man – Nichols 44 run (run failed)
Man – Weaver 40 run (kick failed)
Man – Weaver 38 run (kick failed)
Records: Mantachie 2-1, Tishomingo County 0-3