By Ruthie Robison The Winston County Journal
The Nanih Waiya Warriors took another win last Friday night in a close decision against the Sebastopol Bobcats, 31-28.
For the second straight week, the Warriors jump-started the game with a big point producing play. Last week it was Isaiah Eiland with a 71- yard kickoff return. However this week on the first play of the game, Jamarlo Smith returned the kickoff 81 yards putting Nanih Waiya in the lead. Ty Higginbotham added the extra point and the Warriors had an early 7-0 lead over the Bobcats.
Sebastopol would not let those points go unanswered. The Bobcats moved down the field entering the red zone and setting up a scoring opportunity. Colton Tharp punched it in from the one for a touchdown. Eric Burkes added the extra point tying the game, 7-7.
In an effort to take back the lead, the Warriors struck again in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Luke Rosamond found Hunter Luke on a 20-yard pass. After Higginbotham added the extra point, Nanih Waiya was ahead, 14-7.
The Bobcats added two more touchdowns before the first half of the game was over, first with a two-yard run by Cody Shaw and later a 53- yard run by Burkes. One of the two extra points was good and the Bobcats had a 20-14 lead going into halftime.
But the Warriors did not give up.
In the third quarter, Nanih Waiya took a one-point lead after Rosamond connected with Eiland on a 25-yard pass. Higginbotham provided the point the Warriors needed to top Sebastopol.
Later in the third quarter, the Bobcats answered back. Chris Williams received an 11-yard pass from Shaw for a Sebastopol touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion, the Bobcat score advanced, 28-21.
The fourth quarter remained scoreless for both teams and with time running out Nanih Waiya seemed less likely to make a comeback. However, the Warriors kept fighting.
With 3:02 left in the game, Nanih Waiya received an additional two points from a safety. The Warrior offense was sparked and began a ground attack that was capped a minute later with a touchdown run by freshman Dylan Dent from the two. Smith, from three yards out, added the extra points.
The Warrior defense took over and secured their 31-28 lead.
Deandre Holmes led the rushing attack with 16 carries for 88 yards. Smith followed with 15 carries for 49 yards.
Rosamond was 8-16 through the air for 153 yards with two touchdowns.
Stewart Ball had four receptions for 79 yards, while Eiland had two receptions for 44 yards and one touchdown. Luke had two receptions for 30 yards and one touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball, Aaron Ellinburg led with 11 stops including one tackle for loss of yards and one fumble recovery. Luke had eight stops and one interception. Higginbotham had seven stops, which included two tackles for loss of yards. Ball had seven stops while Hayden Patterson had five stops.
The Warriors record advanced 3-4 overall and 2-2 in district play. Nanih Waiya now has three consecutive victories, two being district wins and is currently in a battle with the West Lowndes Panthers (3-4, 2-2) to secure a spot in the playoffs. This Friday night the Warriors will host the Ethel Tigers in a division matchup.
The Tigers hold a 2-6 overall record and are 0-5 in district games. Ethel was recently defeated by the West Oktibbeha Timberwolves, 50-14.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.