By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
The deeper you go into the football season, and the playoffs in particular, the more likely it is to have to deal with poor field conditions.
That’s something the Chargers of Choctaw County High School got a little practice at on Friday night, as they fought off a bunch of feisty Hilltoppers from Houston and a steady rain to take a 12-8 win.
“We found a way to win, that was the big thing,” said veteran Choctaw County head coach Adam Dillinger. “I think we could have played a lot better and we could have played a lot worse. The field conditions kind of lent itself to sloppy play.
“When you get into November and the playoffs you have a better chance of running into bad weather,” he said. “It could be wet and cold.”
The win pushed the Chargers to 4-1 on the year with one non-division game remaining before opening Region 5-3A play at home against Raleigh on Oct. 4. Choctaw County hosts Caledonia Friday night at 7 for Homecoming.
“It’s important for us to continue to get better,” Dillinger said. “It’s your last tune-up game before things really start counting. If there are little things you want to tweak or work on, this is one of your last chances to do it.”
The Confederates of Caledonia come into the game with a 2-3 record, including a 25-13 loss to East Webster last week. Caledonia’s other losses were to Heritage Academy (35-14) and New Hope (51-0), while the Confederates have wins over Hamilton (41-3) and Smithville (35-21).
Houston took an 8-0 lead on Friday night on a second quarter touchdown run and two-point conversion by Damien Fields.
Choctaw Central kept battling and used good field position to pick up a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to take a win. The Chargers cut it to 8-6 early in the final quarter on a 3-yard touchdown by quarterback Jamarcus Bradley and took the lead with five minutes left when senior Tay Edwards scored on a 6-yard run.
“We really didn’t bust any long plays,” Dillinger said. “We were able to take advantage of a couple of turnovers and just played a field position game. It was difficult to put together any long drives.”
Edwards led CCHS in rushing with 55 yards on 17 carries, while T.C. Hatchett had 16 carries for 42 yards and Bradley had 19 carries for 22 yards. Bradley hit on two of eight passes for 50 yards, with Hatchett having one catch for 26 yards and Clay Grissom one for 24 yards.
Taboris Lee had nine tackles for the Chargers, while Kavon Dobbs had eight and Marquel Kennedy six. Anquan Smith and Kellen Lang had five stops each while Hatchett and Danny Woodard were each credited with an interception.