As West Carroll High School head football coach Josh Wolfe predicted, Friday night’s season-opening game against the Fayette Academy Vikings featured quite a few bumbles and fumbles for both teams, which was to be expected considering that was the first time either team had squared off against an opponent this year.
And a rainy first half and a wet field probably didn’t help matters.
But things definitely got more focused and exciting late in the game as the fourth quarter ended with the contest locked at 8-8, and then the Vikings pulled out a 14-8 win in overtime.
The first three quarters went by scoreless as failed drives and turnovers plagued both teams.
Some of the high points from the first three quarters included a pass interception in the first quarter by West Carroll’s C.J. Ray, a first-quarter pass interception by the Vikings, a drive-ending sack by West Carroll’s Cody Wildridge early in the second quarter, and a fumbled snap recovery by West Carroll’s Jay Long in the second.
The War Eagles started the first scoring drive of the game midway through the third quarter and were sitting on Fayette Academy’s 22-yard line at the end of the third.
Then on the first play of the fourth quarter, West Carroll’s Jacob Blankenship made an impressive airborne catch in the end zone on a pass from quarterback Xander Moon. Tyler Shaddon pushed his way in on the conversion, and the War Eagles were up 8-0.
Things were looking hopeful for a West Carroll victory as Grant Green ended the Vikings’ subsequent possession with a fumble recovery halfway through the fourth.
But the War Eagles ended up punting the ball back two minutes later, and the Vikings capitalized on the opportunity shortly thereafter with a 57-yard breakaway touchdown and a successful conversion pass, tying the game at 8-8.
West Carroll punted again with a minute and half left in the fourth, and then West Carroll’s Jack Barrow stopped the Vikings’ last minute attempt to break the tie with a quarterback sack in the backfield.
In overtime, the Vikings took the first turn, starting at West Carroll’s 10-yard line, and Fayette Academy quarterback Luke Moore ran it in from eight yards out. Moore’s attempt at the two-pointer, however, was halted by West Carroll’s Hunter Lindsey, leaving the Vikings ahead 14-8 but vulnerable to an eight-point answer from the War Eagles.
But that didn’t pan out for West Carroll. A keeper by Moon and a penalty against Fayette Academy had the War Eagles poised at the three-year line, but then an overthrown snap flew over Moon’s head. A Viking defender fell on the ball, sealing the win for Fayette Academy.
The War Eagles are slated to travel to McKenzie Friday night to face off with the Rebels, starting at 7:30 p.m.
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Isaac Mueller remembered
Before Friday night’s game, freshmen War Eagles honored the memory of fellow freshman player Isaac Mueller, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on July 29.
Placing Isaac’s helmet and cleats on the home sideline, the freshmen then formed a circle around them to observe a moment of silence in Isaac’s memory and in prayer for his family.
Isaac was the son of Paul and Becky Mueller of Trezevant, and he also leaves behind a brother, Ethan Mueller, and grandparents, Mark and Beverly Mueller and Jimmy and Theresa Hobson, as well as aunts, uncles, and many cousins.