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franklin county times

Knights knock out defending 3A champs

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Nov. 13, 2004
For the first two quarters on Friday, West Lauderdale looked every bit like a team playing the defending state champions.
In the second half, though, it was the Knights who looked the part.
Dameon Baylor rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown, and West Lauderdale toppled defending Class 3A champ Greene County 22-7 to advance to the third round of the playoffs.
Just as it was in the playoff opener against Prentiss, defense led the way for the Knights, particularly in the second half. Before halftime, Greene County quarterback Markeus Bivens ran for 76 yards. Over the rest of the game, though, he gained just one yard on the ground.
West Lauderdale (9-3) also forced three turnovers after halftime, two of which were turned into crucial time-consuming drives and one of which resulted in a touchdown.
Greene County (7-5) got its only score of the game midway through the second quarter. After recovering a West Lauderdale fumble, the Wildcats moved quickly. Bivens ran for gains of 17 yards and 13 yards on the first two plays of the drive, and Justin Mathews capped off the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Greene County lead.
But the success that the Wildcats enjoyed in the first half was squelched quickly in the third quarter. The Knights seized momentum three minutes into the third quarter when Dameon Baylor ripped off a 43-yard touchdown run, followed up by a two-point conversion for an 8-7 lead.
After ending a 10-play Greene County drive on fourth down late in the third quarter, West Lauderdale followed with a 75-yard drive and a 28-yard touchdown pass from Austin Roebuck to Patrick Daugherty with 10 minutes left in the game.
Defense continued to pave the way for the Knights' offense in the fourth quarter. After Daugherty's touchdown, West Lauderdale forced and recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Four plays later, Caleb Dulaney sprinted around the left side for a 23-yard touchdown run.
And on Greene County's first play of its next possession, Knights safety Michael Pogue reeled in his second interception in as many weeks.
The Wildcats had one last chance, taking over at their own 22 with three minutes to play, but West Lauderdale cornerback Rod Cannon picked off the Knights' second interception in less than seven minutes to regain possession for West Lauderdale. Greene County never touched the ball again.
After surrendering 142 total yards in the first half, the Knights yielded just 60 after halftime.
West Lauderdale will host Hazlehurst on Friday after Hazlehurst beat Newton County 36-7.

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