Written By: Daniel Payne
This past Friday night the Choctaws played their best game of the year by far against the visiting Warriors from Dale County. The Choctaws offensive line opened up gaping holes all night long helping Bibb rush for 430 yards on the night. The starting defense for the Choctaws held the Warriors to just 138 yards of offense before being taken out of the game. The Warriors finished with 224 yards in 56 plays.
Dale County won the toss and chose to kickoff to the Choctaws to start the game. Bibb began the drive on their own 33 yard line and on the second play from scrimmage, Deshun Murrell went right up the middle and was off to the races for a 62 yard touchdown run. Baylor Hughey kicked the extra point to put the Choctaws up 7-0 after just 51 seconds had ticked off the clock.
The Warriors took over at their own 35 yard line to begin their first drive of the game. The Choctaws defense pushed the Warriors back and forced them into a three and out. Following a 40 yard punt the Choctaws started their next drive from their own 16 yard line. Cole McCarty rushed for 19 yards on the drive and Murrell would pick up the other 65 yards on 7 carries. Murrell found the end zone again on a 1 yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good leaving the score 13-0 in favor of Bibb with 4:42 left in the first quarter.
Again the Choctaws defense turned back the Warriors and forced another punt on their next drive. McSween turned in another perfect punt, this time pinning the Choctaws even deeper in their own territory at the 10 yard line. McCarty hit Letrell Morrison on 2 pass plays and added an 18 yard scamper. Murrell did the rest and scored his third touchdown on the night on a 5 yard run. The two point conversion as no good leaving the score 19-0 with 10:12 left in the first half.
On their next drive the Warriors couldn’t get out of their own way it seemed. A delay of game penalty followed by a false start penalty had the Warriors facing a 1 and 20. On second down Morrison tackled Equali McClinton and recovered the fumble to give the ball back to the Choctaws at Dale County’s 46 yard line. McCarty kept the ball on an option play and raced 40 yards to the Warriors 6 yard line. Murrell finished the drive off with a 6 yard touchdown run. Hughey added the extra point to make the score 26-0 with 8:57 left.
The Warriors finally found some offense and slowly began to move down the field behind the running of Alex Banks, Tra Marshall, and McClinton. After getting inside the 10 yard line the Warriors found it tough inside and on 4th and 5 Banks dropped back to pass and was forced to scramble and followed a block in the back into the end zone for the score. McSween kicked the extra point and the score was now 26-7 with 35 seconds to go in the first half.
The Choctaws got the ball at their own 39 yard line following a fair catch on the ensuing kickoff. Murrell ran for 13 yards to the Warriors 48. Following a timeout, McCarty hit Murrell out of the backfield for a 39 yard gain to the Dale County 9 yard line with 12 seconds to go. Following another timeout, McCarty dropped back and found no one open and raced to his left and dove into the end zone for the score. The point after was no good leaving the score 32-7 as the first half ended.
The Warriors started the second half off by taking the kickoff and began to march down the field behind the arm of Banks and the running of Banks, Marshall, and Dozier. Banks again would score, this time on a 4 yard run. McSween kicked the extra point to make the score 32-14.
Dale County tried to catch the Choctaws napping with an onside kick, but Jerrell Leverette fell on the loose ball to give the Choctaws the ball at the Warriors 49 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Murrell torched the Warriors defense for a 4 yard touchdown run. Hughey added the extra point to extend the lead to 39-14.
Dale County again to seem to be in a groove on offense and looked like they were headed for another score. But on first down from their own 47, Banks dropped back and threw a pass that was picked off by Parker Mitchell who returned the interception 65 yards to the Warriors 4 yard line. Murrell scored his 6th and final touchdown on a 4 yard run. The point after was no good leaving the score 45-14 with 6:20 left in the third quarter.
The Choctaws would add their last touchdown on the night with 11:10 left in the game when Jordan Goode raced into the end zone from the 6 yard line. Blaze Bishop added the extra point to make it 52-14.
The Warriors added their last touchdown with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter when Marshall scored on a 7 yard run. McSween again kicked the extra point leaving the final score 52-21.
Murrell led the way for the Choctaws with 256 yards on 15 carries and 6 touchdowns. McCarty added 85 yards and a touchdown. Goode finished with 54 yards and a score.
On defense Bibb was led by Logan Browning and Gauge Boothe who each had 11 tackles. Cade Brown had 7 tackles including a sack. Mitchell had an interception and Ty Burkes and Morrison each had a fumble recovery.
With the win, the Choctaws advance to the second round of the playoffs for the fifth straight season, marking the first time this has happened in school history. The Choctaws will be on the road as the travel to Anniston this Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Tickets will be sold on the GoFan app. Bibb will be allotted 644 tickets per rule of the AHSAA due stadium limitations.
The Choctaws would like to thank our awesome Booster Club for the steak dinner that they prepared for the team and cheerleaders last Thursday night. You always make sure that our guys are taken care of, even if it means standing in a thunderstorm after an away game to make sure our guys get something to eat after the game. We appreciate you more than you will ever know. In our hearts and minds we have the best Booster Club in the state.