By Ruthie Robison The Winston County Journal
The Nanih Waiya Warriors gained their first win of the season in a dramatic style outscoring their opponent, 54-21.
The Warriors took a break from division play to host the Class 2A Clarkdale Bulldogs last Friday night in their last non-division matchup of the season.
The Bulldogs made an effort throughout the game to keep up with Nanih Waiya’s explosive scoring but were unable to claim the lead during the entire game. Senior Deandre Holmes set the tone for the for game with a 54-yard touchdown run in the beginning of the first quarter taking the lead, 7-0, after the extra point by senior Ty Higginbotham.
Clarkdale answered back shortly when Austin Alsup ran 15 yards for the touchdown. After the extra point, the Bulldogs matched the Warriors, 7-7.
However, Nanih Waiya came back, showing their intentions of a Warrior victory, later in the first quarter after sophomore Jamarlo Smith ran 27 yards to the end zone putting Nanih Waiya back in the lead. Higginbotham added the extra points and the Warriors were ahead, 14-7.
Clarkdale managed to score on a safety in the second quarter after a potential punt was snapped to the back of the end zone.
But the Warriors managed to rack up more points on the scoreboard with their next possession. Senior quarterback Luke Rosamond connected with Hunter Luke 66 yards through the air for a touchdown. Higginbotham was successful again acquiring the extra point giving Nanih Waiya a 21-9 advantage.
Later in the second quarter, Rosamond topped off a successful Warrior drive with a touchdown run from two yards out. During the first half of the game, Nanih Waiya earned a 27-9 lead over Clarkdale entering halftime.
Nanih Waiya expanded their momentum in the third quarter, 33-9, when Smith punched it in from one yard out for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs tried to rally minutes later when Blake Mauldin completed a 20-yard pass with Dontae Shelby. Clarkdale was unable receive the extra two points and continued to trail, 33-15.
However, Nanih Waiya continued their ground assault in the fourth quarter when Smith entered the end zone again, this time from four yards out. After the extra point by Higginbotham, the Warriors had a 40-15 lead.
The Bulldogs answered back shortly with a 30-yard touchdown run by Austin Emerson.
However, Nanih Waiya ended Clarkdale’s hopes in catching up with the Warriors’ lead when Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 74 yards for a touchdown.
Nanih Waiya freshman Ken McQueen capped the scoring for the night with a 40-yard run to the end zone.
Higginbotham provided the extra point and the Warriors secured their 54-21 lead for a win.
On the offensive side of the ball of the ball, Smith led the rushing attack with 16 carries for 98 yards and three touchdowns. Holmes followed with 12 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown while McQueen had two carries for 58 yards and one touchdown.
Rosamond was 3-7 through the air on 100 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown.
Luke had three receptions on 100 yards with one touchdown during the game.
On the defensive side of the ball, Higginbotham led with 15 stops. Aaron Ellenburg and Luke followed with eight stops each while Cheston Jones had five stops and two sacks during the game.
Nanih Waiya now holds a 1-4 overall record and is 0-3 in division play.
This Thursday night the Warriors will be back in Class 1A, Region 3 District 4 action as they play host to the Weir Lions.
Weir has a 1-5 overall record and a 0-3 record in division games. The Lions were recently defeated by the West Oktibbeha Timberwolves, 54-6.
Both teams will be looking for their first division win of the year as the neighboring county teams battle it out.