After a four-win season filled with ups and downs, East Oktibbeha ended their season on a high note with a Senior Night victory over Ethel Friday night.
Senior Lexie Edwards led the Titans (4-7) to a 48-12 win with his 125 yards rushing and one touchdown in his final game.
For a group that has struggled in their three years of football, head coach Randy Brooks was glad to see his teamâ€™s season end on a blowout victory.
â€śItâ€™s really big for this group,â€ť Brooks said. â€śTheyâ€™ve been through so much. As sophomores they only won one game. Last year they won four games and this year as seniors they won four games. Itâ€™s really big for them to go out on a high note.â€ť
Ethel scored the first points of the night on a 1-yard touchdown run from Antez Hopkins in the first quarter. The touchdown capped an 11-play, 38-yard drive, but the Titans took over the game from there.
East Oktibbeha scored 32 unanswered points before Ethel found the end zone again in the fourth quarter. After Ethel scored a second time, East Oktibbeha added two more touchdowns to win.
Chris Hunter found Jamal Halbert for a 32-yard touchdown to get the Titans on the board. Hunter also ran for a 34-yard touchdown and pass for another. The senior finished the game with 74 yards rushing, one touchdown and 86 yards passing for two touchdowns in his final game in a Titans uniform.
Those statistics of his final game mirror those of Hunterâ€™s season. The quarterback passed and rushed for over 1,000 yards in both categories, a rare feat.
â€śChris Hunter passed for 1,000 yards and rushed for another 1,000,â€ť Brooks said. â€śThatâ€™s a rare thing for a high school quarterback to do.â€ťâ€¨Another senior who was all over the field Friday night was Monte Horsley. He recovered a fumble on defense and recorded nine tackles, including a key fourth down stop in the first half. Horsley, a back with the build of a lineman, rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown on five carries. The senior also converted four two-point conversions for the Titans. While Horsley does not usually get five carries in the game, Brooks wanted to make this game memorable for his senior running backs.
â€śHorsley primarily was a blocking back for us this year,â€ť Brooks said. â€śWe wanted to get all of the senior running backs a touchdown tonight. That was our goal going into the game.â€ť
With senior Marlon Fair adding a 6-yard touchdown run in the first half, the Titans accomplished that goal.
The loss of guys like Fair, Hunter, Horsley, Edwards and the other East Oktibbeha seniors will leave a void to fill next season. However, Brooks is optimistic when he looks ahead to 2011.
â€śMost of our offensive line is coming back intact,â€ť Brooks said. â€śThe junior class has a good nucleus of players. Theyâ€™re fast and skilled. Iâ€™ve gotta develop a quarterback over the spring and summer though.â€ť
Looking ahead can wait at least for one night though, as the East Oktibbeha seniors have gone out in a huge way.