By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw County High School football team enters Friday night’s home game against Choctaw Central looking to end the 2016 season on a positive note.
The Chargers saw their playoff hopes dashed with a dramatic back-and-forth 35-29 home loss to Southeast Lauderdale on Friday night.
“We are going to try and send the seniors out with a win,” said CCHS head coach Adam Dillinger. “That’s really all you can do at this point.”
The loss to Southeast Lauderdale left CCHS at 4-6 overall and 0-4 in Region 5-3A play.
Choctaw County led SEL throughout the game, only trailing once in the contest. That came with a couple minutes left in the game when the Tigers scored on a 17-yard run by Jalen Smith.
“We had a chance to score late in the game, but we had to throw the ball into the end zone with 11 seconds left and it was intercepted,” Dillinger said. “That wasn’t what lost the game. Those kind of throws are 50-50.
“What hurt us was turnovers late in the game and we really didn’t tackle well,” he said. “We had taken care of the ball pretty good, then turned it over three times late when we were either trying to run the clock or extend our lead.”
Woody Vowell had a big night passing the pall for CCHS, hitting on 18-of-29 passes for 324 yards and two scores, while Austin Telano had five catches for 106 yards and Jalen Esters had five for 89.
The game was tired 7-7 after one quarter of play, with Choctaw County’s score coming on a 5-yard run by Chris Townsel and David Ramirez booting the point after. The Chargers made it 14-7 early in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Vowell, before SEL tied the game 14-14 at the half on a 14-yard run by Malik Miller.
Jalen Esters put the Chargers up 22-14 when he scored on a 31-yard pass from Vowell and Vowell then ran in the two-point conversion. The visiting Tigers cut it to 22-21 on a 6-yard pass from Smith to Jamarcus Ivy, before CCHS made it 29-21 on a 21-yard pass from Vowell to Esters. Ramirez kicked the point after.
Southeast scored on a 51-yard run by Raymon Harris to cut it to 29-27, but failed on the two-point conversion.
Townsel rushed for 44 yards on 14 carries for CCHS, while Vowell and 10 rushes for 34 yards. Cameron Miller was in on 15 tackles for the Chargers, while Adam Threadgill and Israel Whitmore were in on five stops each.