Late fumble costly for Choctaws in jamboree

Gabriel Jackson, Sports editor

Mia Townsend

With less than two minutes to go in the second half and the game tied in the opening contest of the annual Star Physical Therapy-West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic High School Football Jamboree in Dyersburg, the Choctaws hoped to have plenty of time left for one last scoring drive. 

However, on the first down of the Choctaws’ late first-half drive, Dyer County fumbled the ball off a bad snap giving USJ the ball at the 31-yard line. 

Six plays later the Bruins scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on the way to a 14-7 win over the Choctaws.

“I thought we did pretty well offensively. We were able to move the ball some,” said Dyer County head coach David Whittle.

This held true as starting running back Bralyn Taylor returned from an ankle injury to give the Choctaws several much needed rushes. He converted on three first downs in the first half. Dyer County would take advantage on its second possession of the half, a huge 10-play run starting at the 30 yard line that would see Mason Patterson score on a fourth down touchdown pass from quarterback Drae Staffod.

“Defensively, I thought we played a much better defensive game than we did a couple of weeks ago when we scrimaged them,” said Coach Whittle.

The Choctaws must have learned from their first scrimmage against USJ as they were able to hold the Bruins to just one touchdown in the first half. USJ scored with 6:03 left in the half after a pass from quarterback Berkeley Pettigrew to Kevin Finch resulted in a 21-yard run into the endzone. 

The game was tied 7-7 at half.

It was wide receiver Steele Haynes who would be the hero for USJ. Towards the end of the second half after DC’s late turnover it was Haynes, who after a quick first down from Kevin Finch, would carry the ball 26 yards over the next three downs to seal the deal for the Bruins with just 13 seconds left to go in the game.

When asked how he would use this loss going into the regular season, Coach Whittle said, “You get under the lights and the crowd for the first time, see how your kids react. It’s always good to do these before the first game.” 

The Dyer County Choctaws will begin their season at home next Friday against Crockett County.