Monday Morning Quarterback: Choctaw County 20, South Pontotoc 14

Robbie Faulk

Staff Writer

On the way to last season’s Class 3A, Region 4 championship with a perfect 5-0 record, the Choctaw County Chargers utilized much of their talent but even more their experience.

They had veteran leadership at key positions and the luxury of discretion to make the right decisions in Ben Ashley’s Wing-T offense. At times this season, the youth of the 2018 team has led to some frustrating moments for the coaching staff as they bring the kids along, but Friday night showed that the youngsters on this team have a chance to be pretty special as time continues.

In a game that ended with several seniors being celebrated on senior night, the underclassmen were the ones that shined and they did it when the pressure was on the most in a pivotal 20-14 win over South Pontotoc.

It all started with the defense for the Chargers who were stifling for most of the game. They got red zone stops and turnovers that shut down the Cougars for the first half and third quarter and a critical interception late in the game as well. At the forefront were a couple of sophomores in Brian Threadgill and Ques McNeal.

Threadgill had 11 tackles in the game, including a stop inside the 5-yard line, to keep the Cougars from scoring in the second half. McNeal had six tackles, two tackles for loss and two interceptions in the game. The second of those picks was on the final possession that sealed the game.

On the offensive side of the football was sophomore quarterback Tylan Carter. There have been frustrating moments for Carter in his first year as a quarterback on the high school level, but instincts kicked in on Friday. Carter’s team went down 14-7 going into the fourth quarter when he led them right down the field for the game-tying score. He followed that up with the game-winning score and finished with nine carries, 90 yards and two touchdowns. He had 85 yards passing and a touchdown as well as he became the difference in the game.

Needless to say, those youngsters who could be up and down as they learn this season are starting to get over that hump and become big-time players for the Chargers and that’s dangerous for other teams moving forward. The Chargers are now 7-3 and 3-1 in region play. They’re locked into a No. 2 seed in the playoffs and will host the first round in two weeks, but they’re playing their best football at the right time and they have the physical and mental toughness to make something happen.

Along with the young talent that is getting the job done, those seniors are also still doing their thing. Rakeim Ashford was solid again on Friday with his 15 carries and 80 yards and he’s still the team’s best player. He had four catches, 75 yards and a 48-yard touchdown that showed his game-breaking ability.

If everything comes together over the next couple of weeks, Choctaw County is going to push for another 10-win season, but most importantly will challenge in the North. The Chargers are certainly rounding into form. 

Robbie Faulk is the high school sports writer for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.