WEIR – Von Smith needed one more drive to guide the West Oktibbeha offense down the field Friday night in Weir.
Unfortunately for the Timberwolves standout sophomore quarterback, he never got the chance.
Weir running back Jimarrian Woodard led his team in an inspired game of keep-away for the final 7:08 at Marion Kelley Field, running out the clock as the Lions defeated West Oktibbeha 27-19.
"He is just a hoss," Timberwolves coach Adam Lowrey said of Woodard. "I thought (Timakis Bell) of East Webster was good. (Woodard) is even better."
Woodard finished the night with 209 rushing yards on 31 carries, with 57 of those yards coming on 11 carries during Weir's game-clinching drive.
"(Our defense) just didn't penetrate the way they needed to and made some little mistakes," said Smith of the game's final minutes.
Knowing the weapons West Oktibbeha possessed, Weir head coach Danya Turner said it was the Lions' goal all game long to keep the T-Wolves offense on the sidelines.
"That was definitely the gameplan," said Turner. "(Woodard) spent his time in the weight room all summer, and his hard work is paying off. I can't say enough about him."
East Oktibbeha (5-2, 4-1 in Region 3) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end.
The Timberwolves actually scored the first points of the night on Smith's seven-yard pass to Dwight Quinn.
Weir (4-2, 4-0) answered back immediately on the ensuing kickoff with a Zack Woodard 86-yard touchdown return. The Lions missed the extra point, temporarily preserving West Oktibbeha's 7-6 lead, but on Weir's opening drive of the second half, Woodard capped a five-play drive with a six-yard touchdown run.
The Lions then converted a two-point conversion for a 14-7 advantage, and would never relinquish the lead.
Weir also added a couple of second-half scores on a pair of passes from quarterback J.R. Hall. Hall hooked up with Mario Hemphill on a 27-yard strike late in the third quarter, then found Rashad Carter for a 34-yard touchdown early in the fourth.
"We give up a kickoff return for a touchdown, we stop them on a run and they pick up a big play to the tight end (Hemphill), then they hit a big play to (Carter)," said Lowrey. "Big plays is the story of this game for them. That's three touchdowns. They only scored 27 points. That means they only drove on us one time. You take the big plays out, we win."
The Timberwolves added their second half points on a pair of touchdowns from Tiberious Lampkin. The first came on a 39-yard pass from Smith midway through the third quarter. Lampkin's second touchdown was a 1-yard run that capped the game's scoring.
"We did have two or three blown opportunities on offense, but then again, that's asking your offense to score in every situation," said Lowrey.
Even in defeat, Smith still shined for the West Oktibbeha offense, completing 22 of his 27 pass attempts for 319 yards and two touchdowns.
In his typical style however, Smith was unconcerned with his statistics, choosing instead to focus on rebounding next week in a home game against Ethel.
"To know how to win, you have to lose some," said Smith. "We just have to learn from our mistakes and just come out and play Ethel real hard next week."
Lowrey has faith the Timberwolves will bounce back after suffering its first loss since a August 27th defeat at East Webster.
"The boys I coach, when they get beat, they'll be so excited to get back on the field, they'll be ready to play on Monday," said Lowrey. "This is not a letdown in terms of how they'll play next week. They're going to be ticked off, so there's no telling how well they might do next week."