Keith running back Rodney Ellis is wrapped up by a pair of Choctaw County defenders during Friday’s game in Orrville. -- Tim Reeves

Keith falls 39-29 to Choctaw Co. on homecoming

Published 12:21am Saturday, November 3, 2012

ORRVILLE — You normally won’t find a head football coach who is upset about finishing the regular season 8-2, especially one whose team is the regional runner-up and is hosting a first-round playoff game next week.

Then again, Keith head football coach Harry Crum has every reason to be upset in the way his Bears finished the season and the way they are playing heading into the playoffs.

“This is not the way I wanted this team to be performing heading into the playoffs,” Crum said just minutes after his team lost to Choctaw County 39-29 to end the regular season. “We did not play the way we are capable of tonight. We have a lot to straighten out before next Friday.”

Friday’s loss — a loss that came on homecoming — marked the first time the Bears had lost on their home field since 2010 and gave the Bears two straight losses to end the season.

Keith will play host to the St. Jude Pirates next Friday in the first round of the AHSAA Class 1A playoffs. The game will be played at Memorial Stadium in Selma with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

Friday, the Bears were able to hold the lead over Choctaw County three separate times, but mistakes in the second half sealed Keith’s fate.

The Bears lost two fumbles, one of which was returned for a score, and threw an interception that snuffed out some early second-half momentum. And the Keith offensive line simply could not give the quarterback, junior Maurice Crumpton, time to throw the ball, as the Tigers were breaking through the line and harassing Crumpton on nearly every passing play.

Overall, the Tigers racked up 316 yards of total offense against the Bears defense. The yards for Choctaw County were nearly balanced, as they had 169 yards on the ground and another 147 yards through the air.

Keith had 257 yards overall on offense, 215 coming on the ground.

Rodney Ellis, Martavius Harris, Walton Young and Charles Johnson each had touchdown runs Friday, the shortest of which came from the 7-yard line. Ellis’ touchdown run was 51 yards, while Young’s was 57 yards. Johnson’s touchdown run was just 28 yards long.

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