Big plays doom WAP
Published 12:00 am Monday, October 13, 2003
Demopolis Times Reporter
SELMA &045; Friday night’s game between the West Alabama Prep Titans and the Central Christian Warriors had the makings of a classic football war.
With both teams jockeying for playoff position and possibly home-field advantage, anticipation for this game was at a fever pitch.
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Sometimes, however, the games just don’t work out like they are supposed to, and this proved to be one of those games.
For the second straight week, the Titans struggled to prevent the big play, ultimately losing to CCA 34-8.
As the rain fell on Memorial Stadium, CCA coaches elected to kick the ball to the Titans to start the game.
The plan worked as WAP failed to convert a first down, and punted to give CCA good field position at their own 41-yard line.
The Warriors marched inside Titan territory, but quickly found themselves facing a fourth-and-twenty situation from the 32-yard line.
From the shotgun, CCA quarterback T’Chelpio Woods dropped back as if to pass, but quickly tucked the football and ran 22 yards for the first down.
The quarterback draw gave CCA a first-and-goal from the ten yard line.
Two plays later, CCA fullback Simuel Walker ran the ball into the endzone for the game’s first score.
The two-point conversion failed, but Central held a 6-0 lead with 5:46 to go in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, the Titans tried to find a big play of its own.
On first-and-ten from his own 26, WAP quarterback Kevin May found receiver Tony Reed for a 30-yard pitch and catch, giving the Titans field position inside Warrior territory.
A pair of tailback Devon Norman runs got the Titans to the CCA 33-yard line.
Fullback Joe Magro carried the football down to the 25-yard line, giving the Titans third-and-two from there.
That was as close as they would get on the drive, as the offense was forced to turn the ball over on downs.
Central Christian then drove downfield, marching deep into Titan territory.
This time, however, the WAP defense would hold the Warriors out of the endzone, forcing a turnover on downs at the Titan 13-yard line.
A Kevin May punt backed the Warriors to the CCA 25-yard line.
From there, the "big play" bug struck the Titan defense. Simuel Walker ripped through the defense, 65-yards, and was tackled from behind on the four-yard line.
T’Chelpio Woods ran the rest of the way for a Warrior touchdown.
Woods’ four-yard run and successful two-point conversion pass to Clayton Smith gave CCA at 14-0 lead with 7:49 left in the second quarter.
Later in the same quarter, CCA scored again as Walker capped a nine-play, 45-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run.
Patrick Thomas’ two-point conversion added to CCA’s lead, giving them a 22-0 advantage as time expired in the first half.
The second half continued much of the same for both teams.
The Warriors’ defense continued to prevent WAP from sustaining any type of drive, while the Titan defense still remained susceptible to the big play.
With 5:12 remaining in the third period, Walker found another opening in the Titan defense and sprinted 60 yards for a CCA touchdown.
Their two-point conversion attempt failed, but Central held a commanding, 28-0 lead through the third quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Warriors would strike big for their final time. This time, it was tailback Freddie McCampbell running 67 yards for the TD.
The Titans would get on the board later in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Kevin May led the Titan drive from the WAP 34-yard line, connecting on passes of 24 and 27 yards to Rusty Pope and Shayne Hilchey, respectively.
On a third-and-goal from the seven, May hit tight end Jan Jennings on an ‘out’ route for the Titans’ only score.
Rusty Pope added a two-point conversion run, capping the scoring for the night at 34-8.
The Titans (4-3 overall, 3-1 area) are certainly still in the thick of the playoff hunt with two area games remaining.
While it seems certain that the Titans will at least make the playoffs for the first time since 1997, at least one more area win would improve their chances of winning when the playoffs arrive.
The next two ballgames for the Titans will provide that opportunity, and both are at home. Next week, WAP will host the Raiders of Shelby Academy.
Game time is slated for 7:30 pm on Friday, with homecoming festivities all throughout the week.