Written By : Daniel Payne
This past Friday night, the Bibb County Choctaws hosted the Holt Ironmen in the last regular season game for both teams. The Choctaws came into the game with a 7-2 record overall and had wrapped up a first round home playoff game for the 6th year in a row. The Choctaws goal in this game was to get back to playing Choctaw football, something that they had gotten away from over the past 3 games.
It didn’t take long for the Choctaws to get on the scoreboard. The Ironmen kicked off to the Choctaws and Bibb would take over at their own 42 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Deshun Murrell followed his blockers and went untouched for a 58 yard touchdown run. Baylor Hughey kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0 with just 17 seconds gone off the clock.
The Choctaws defense held the Ironmen to a three and out to force a punt. Colby Collums received the punt at Choctaws 33 yard line and returned it to the Ironmen 9 yard line. A suspicious holding penalty brought the ball back to the Holt 40 yard line. Again Murrell would be the workhorse and five plays later he found a seam and bolted 6 yards for the score. The extra point again was good by Hughey and with 8:15 to go in the first quarter the Choctaws lead 14-0.
Holt returned the following kickoff back to their own 40 and began to move down the field via the passing game. Quarterback Jordan Driver hit Dayton O’neal for 29 yards and later found Jamaures Hood for another 10 yards to set up the Ironmen with a first and goal from the Choctaws 9 yard line. The Choctaws defense stiffened and pushed the Ironmen backwards and on 4th and goal from the 11, Jaxson Flannery kicked a 28 yard field goal to make the score 14-3 with 3:27 left in the first quarter.
Bibb would take over at their own 19 yard line following the ensuing kickoff. On the first play from scrimmage, Murrell went to his left and was vapor as he raced 81 yards for his third touchdown run of the quarter. Hughey again drilled the extra point to make it 21-3 Bibb with 3:09 left still in the first quarter.
After both teams swapped turnovers, Bibb would take over at the Ironmen 46 yard line as the second quarter began after holding the Ironmen on a 4th down play. A few plays later, Murrell bounced outside and found the end zone from 17 yards out. Hughey kicked the extra point to extend the Choctaws lead to 28-3 with 8:10 to go in the first half.
The Ironmen returned the following kickoff to their 37 yard line. On first down, Jacob Simmons stepped in front of Driver’s pass and picked it off to give the Choctaws the ball back at the Ironmen 41 yard line. Murrell again would find the end zone, this time on a 36 yard scamper. The point after try was no good leaving the score 34-3 Choctaws.
Murrell would add his sixth touchdown on a 7 yard run on the Choctaws next possession following a mishandled kickoff that was recovered by Parker Mitchell for the Choctaws. This would be his final carry of the night and what a night he turned in. In just under 17 minutes of game play, Murrell had turned in 308 yards on just 14 carries and 6 touchdowns.
The defense for the Choctaws again would hold the Ironmen and force another punt. This time Collums caught the punt and returned it 34 yards to set Bibb up yet again inside Holt territory. Following an illegal participation penalty against the Ironmen, Letrell Morrison took the handoff and raced untouched into the end zone for a 37 yard touchdown. Hughey kicked the extra point to make the score 48-3 as the teams headed into the locker rooms for halftime.
As the second half began, the Choctaws would turn to their backups to finish the game. The clock would also be ran under the “Hot Clock” rule which meant the clock would only stop for timeouts. Other than that it would not stop even during change of possessions.
The Choctaws had to kick off to start the second half and Holt misplayed Devion McCullough kick and the Choctaws quickly fell on the loose football at the Ironmen 28 yard line. Morrison would carry the ball for 25 yards on first down and then crash into the end zone from 3 yards out on his next carry for his second touchdown of the night. Hughey made his seventh extra point of the night to extend the lead to 55-3.
You have to hand it to the Ironmen as even though the game had long been decided, they continued to put forth effort. Driver got free on a quarterback keeper for 40 yards and a few plays later he found Melvin Rollins open for a 5 yard touchdown pass. Flannery made the extra point to make the score 55-10 with just 4:22 left in the 3rd quarter.
On the Choctaws next two possessions, the Choctaw fans got to see that the running back stable is not going to be empty when Murrell and Morrison graduate this year. After Jacob Simmons returned the following kickoff back to the Ironmen 39 yard line, Sophomore Jaison Taylor carried five straight times to cover the 39 yards and found pay dirt on the first play of the 4th quarter on a 5 yard scamper. Blaze Bishop kicked the extra point to make it 62-10 Choctaws.
Holt still continued to try and Driver found Rollins again, this time for a 45 yard touchdown reception. Flannery again kicked the extra point to make it 62-17 with 7:28 left to go in the game,
Following the kickoff, the Choctaws were backed up inside their own 15 yard line. Bishop carried for 7 yards to set up the Choctaws with a second down from the 15 yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, Sophomore Jordan Goode went right through the middle of Holt’s defense and raced untouched for 85 yards and the touchdown. Bishop extra point was good and it was now 69-17 with 2:53 to go in the game.
Holt returned the following kickoff back 62 yards to set up their last touchdown that happened on the last play of the game as Driver found Tyler Flowers for a 28 yard touchdown reception as the clock hit 00:00. Flannery made the extra point to make the final score 69-24.
The Choctaws starting defense held the Ironmen to just 84 yards of offense while they were on the field. Logan Browning led the way with 3 sacks and caused a fumble.
The Choctaws rushed for 527 yards on the night on just 26 carries for a 20.3 yards per carry average.
With the win Bibb moved to 8-2 on the season and finished the year 6-1 in the region. The Choctaws will be off this week before hosting Dale County in the first round of the AHSAA Class 4A playoffs at 7 p.m. on November 6th.