Defense gives Wilcox Central first win

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Wilcox Central High School Jaguars went to Greenville and came away with a 26-21 victory despite not having many of its players and nearly all of its coaching staff.

It was the first win of the season for the Jaguars (1-3). Head coach John Moton had suspended 30 players for the game because they had not shown up for practice this past week. The move left just 37 players dressed for the game.

Moton also suspended all of his assistant coaches because he said they failed to do their duties during the week.

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That mattered little to the Jaguars’ defense. Led by Parrish McNeil, Wilcox Central recorded 11 quarterback sacks. McNeil led the way with seven sacks, all of which came in the second half.

“This game is really going to help the team,” Moton said. “We needed to show a lot of the guys that this team isn’t about them. it’s about building a team.”

Greenville took a 7-0 lead on a 10-yard scoring run, but Wilcox went ahead when Cleveland Cole capped the following drive with a 5-yard run on a trap play. Quarterback Alfred Pettway ran in for the 2-point conversion and an 8-7 Jaguars’ lead with 1:40 left in the first period.

Greenville reclaimed the lead, 13-8, on a 15-yard touchdown run. But on their next possession, the Jaguars scored when Pettway hit Charlie Nicholson with a 7-yard scoring toss to give the lead back to Wilcox Central, 14-13.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Greenville returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. The 2-point conversion gave the hosts a 21-14 halftime lead.

Pettway capped a Wilcox Central drive late in the third period with a 15-yard quarterback trap that brought the Jaguars back to within 21-20 with 1:04 left in the period.

Cole put Wilcox Central ahead to stay with a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:21 to go in the game.

“We didn’t make any adjustments in the second half,” Moton said. “I just asked the guys to do what they had to do.

“You can’t be afraid and expect to win,” Moton added. “You can’t believe in Jesus and be afraid of the Devil.”