After letting victory slip through their fingers last week, the Chiefs hit the warpath looking for a victory that would come at the expense of the Okolona Chieftains if it came at all.
Magnolia Heights received the opening kick-off against the Okolona Chieftains Friday night but were unable to put together a drive and punted the ball back to the Chieftains. This opening possession seemed to set the tone of things to come as both teams traded punts back and forth for the remainder of the quarter.
It wasn’t until the Magnolia Heights defense blocked a punt to give the Chiefs the football on the 19 yard line that the offense would come to life. On first down MHS quarterback, Gaston Harris kept the ball and rolled out to his left breaking the plane for the Chiefs first score of the night. Following the touchdown, Parker Bright’s PAT attempt was unsuccessful, and the Chief’s lead remained 6-0.
Following the MHS kick-off, the Chieftains fumbled the ball back to Magnolia Heights on second down and Ross Thompson wasted little time in scoring from the Okolona 10-yard line. Coach Young decided to forgo the PAT attempt and again put the ball in Ross Thompson’s capable hands who responded by adding 2 points to the MHS lead which now stood at 14-0.
Once again, the Chieftains are unable to put together a scoring drive and are forced to punt the bsll on fourth down. Magnolia’s Dylan Birkhead fields the punt and returns it to the 32-yard line. The Chiefs then add their third TD of the night to make it 21-0 after Parker Bright’s PAT splits the uprights.
Following the touchdown both teams swap punts until the OHS defense finally shows signs of life and MHS was forced to turn the ball over on downs.
On second down of the ensuing drive the OHS quarterback weaved his way through the Chiefs defense and into the endzone to make it 21-12 after the Chiefs stop the two-point conversion attempt.
Trailing by 2 touchdowns with 6:53 left in the first half of play the Chieftains successfully attempted an onside kick and took possession of the football. With the Chieftains facing fourth and three Hunter Harris sacked the Okolona QB to give the Chiefs the ball back on the 30-yard line. From their it was all Ross Thompson and the offensive line as Thompson carried the ball up the middle 3 consecutive downs before plunging into the endzone behind the blocking of center, John Ellis Price. Following Bright’s successful PAT the Chiefs led going in at the half 28-12
The hometown Chieftains received the ball to begin the second half of play and wasted little time, scoring on long pass on second down to decrease the Chief’s lead to 28-18, OHS then elected to go for the 2 point conversion which narrows the MHS lead even further 28-20.
From this point both teams moved the ball up and down the field before shooting themselves in the foot with fumbles and interceptions.
Okolona would score again off a long pass to begin the 4th quarter of play to make it 28-26. Going for two it appeared te game was now tied at 28-28 but a flag on the play nullified the Chieftains 2pt conversion and the Chiefs held on to a slim 2 point lead 28-26.
Once again momentum would swing, this time in the direction of the Chiefs when Wailes Finke ran the Okolona kick-off straight down the middle of the field before being brought down on the 4 yard line. From there, Ross Thompson would break the plane for the score. The point after touchdown were good and the Chiefs pulled further out in front of the Chieftains 36-26 with 9:28 left to play in regulation.
The Chiefs defense held firm forcing OHS to punt he Chiefs took over on the Chieftan 47 yard line. Ross Thompson would score again on third down, this time racing into the endzone behind right tackle Dylan Cain. Parker Bright added the PAT and the Chiefs took a commanding 42-26 lead with 3:47 on the clock.
On Okolona’s next possession they fumble on 2nd down to give the Chiefs the ball back on the OHS 34-yard line. The Chiefs would stick with the ground attack from this point looking to keep the score down and to leave the contest with as few injuries as possible. Still, the offensive line continued to grind it out and Ross Thompson would score again, this time behind the blocking of Harrison Smith. Parker Bright adds the PAT and the game ended 49-26 in favor of the Chiefs.
Offensively, the Chiefs stuck mainly to the ground, marching up and down the field like Sherman taking Meridian. Ross Thompson had 154 yards on 16 carries that produced 3 touchdowns. Hunter Harris had 3 carries for 31 yards and a touchdown, Gaston Harris had 1 touchdown on 2 carries for 6 yards, and Collin Borgognoni had 1 carry for 1 yard. The Chiefs Gaston Harris completed 50 percent of his attempts going 2 for 4 for 30 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Chiefs were led by Chase Jennings who had a team high 15 tackles. Blake Spencer and Hunter Harris each had 10 tackles followed closely by Jordan Johnson with 6 tackles. After that, Ross Thompson, Jackson Price, Jackson Thomas, Collin Borgognoni each contributed 4 tackles, and Carson Barham and Dylan Birkhead finished up the defensive effort with3 tackles each.
The Chiefs are now 2-2 on the season and open district play on the road Friday Night versus Pillow Academy with game time scheduled for 7:00 p.m.