By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
They might not be the Three Musketeers, but Tay Edwards, Willie Miller, and T.C. Hatchett certainly proved to be just the heroes the Choctaw County Chargers were looking for on Friday night.
With starting quarterback Jamarcus Bradley out with a shoulder sprain, CCHS head coach Adam Dillinger turned to Edwards who stepped up in fine fashion, passing for four touchdowns and running for two more to lead the Chargers to a 41-20 home-opening win over Winona.
“We really went into the game thinking we were going to run the ball and try to control it that way, but they decided to commit to stopping our run and when they did that opened up the passing,” Dillinger said. And Edwards took advantage of it, hitting on 10-of-16 passes for 173 yards and four scores.
While Edwards’ effort was certainly a highlight of the night for the Chargers, he didn’t stand alone. Willie Miller caught three of those passes for 57 yards and three touchdowns, while Hatchett had a touchdown reception of his own to go with a pair of pass interceptions.
“All three of the touchdowns to Miller were on fade routes,” Dillinger said. “He made some good catches.”
Choctaw County took a 7-0 lead on its first possession when Edwards connected with Miller for the first of their three scores. However, Winona responded by returning the ensuing kickoff for a score. Later in the quarter the Tigers broke off an 87-yard run for a score to go up 14-7.
The Chargers tied the game on the first play of the second quarter when Edwards again connected with Miller. That score sparked a 21-point outburst for CCHS that saw the winners hold a 28-14 halftime advantage.
“We were very pleasantly surprised (with the passing attack),” Dillinger said. “We were hoping to just be able to throw it enough to keep them honest.”
Sophomore Corey McPherson rushed for 55 yards on seven carries for the Chargers, while Hatchett had three catches for 47 yards and Jazay Davis had two for 32 yards.
Next up for CCHS is a road trip to North Pontotoc, which has started the season at 0-2.
“They’ve struggled early, but they lost to some good teams in Bruce and Ripley,” Dillinger said. “Bruce had to block a punt at the end to win. They (North Pontotoc) could be 0-2, but are sitting at 2-0. They are very good and had a lot of good athletes.”
The next home game for Choctaw County will be on Sept. 20 when the Chargers host the Hilltoppers of Houston.
“I thought we had some real good support from the fans for four first home game and we are hoping that continues,” Dillinger said.