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Cats pound Panthers 41-0 in playoff, move into top 16
LA Baseball holding fundraiser
Westmoreland inducted into Hall of Fame

Cats pound Panthers 41-0 in playoff, move into top 16


Josh Scott photo
Livingston Academy’s offensive line gives quarterback Brannon McCoin, #8, plenty of time to throw a pass in Friday’s first round playoff game against Stone Memorial High School.


Josh Scott photo
LA defenders suffocate a Stone Panther ballcarrier’s run.


Josh Scott photo
Dylan Ashlock, #7, and Kevin McGregor, #41, end a Stone Memorial run in Friday’s playoff game at LA.


Josh Scott photo
Brock McCoin, #6, rocks the socks off a Panther.


Josh Scott photo
LA’s defense backs up a Panther drive in Friday’s game.


Josh Scott photo
Jake Huitt waits for the ball.


Josh Scott photo
LA’s Seth Kilgore, #62, makes attempts to strip the ball.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Before Friday night’s first round playoff game with Stone Memorial , Livingston Academy coach Bruce Lamb was wondering what he could tell his team that would fire them up for a game that would either end the season or send his Wildcats to the second round.

“Somehow, I wanted to get across to them that if they won, they kept on playing and if they lost, it was the last game a lot of them would ever play,” Lamb explained. “So I told them the story of the Vikings and how they conquered other places.

“When they pulled up on the shore of a country, the first thing they did was burn their boats,” the coach went on. “Now, with no way off the place, they had to either conquer or be killed. That’s the situation I wanted our kids to be in. Either win or else.”

It worked and perhaps even better than Lamb envisioned. With everything on the line, the steadily improving Wildcats rolled over the visitors 41-0 and advanced to the second round of the TSSAA playoffs, where they will host Whites Creek this Friday night.

“I thought we played one of, if not the best game of the season,” the coach pointed out. “When we played the first time back in the season opener, we had to fight for our lives to get out with a 35-31 win. Our kids didn’t forget that and tonight, they left little doubt who was moving on and who was moving out. It was a total team effort and I am so proud of the way these young men performed. It says more than you can imagine about this team.”

Back in late August, the two teams met in Crossville and played each other on even terms almost the entire night. Livingston had 16 first downs that night to 14 for the Panthers. The Wildcats produced a total of 358 yards and SM answered with 341.

After Livingston moved out to a 12-0 lead, the Panthers roared back to tied the score at halftime, 18. It was a late 33-yard field goal by Jake Huitt that followed an 11-yard run by Brannon McCoin that pulled out the win.

A rematch could go either way.

“We didn’t believe they could beat us,” lineman Talon Sircy smiled after the win, “but we didn’t want to take any chances. We remembered the first game and we came together tonight so well. We didn’t want to leave any doubt.”

And they didn’t.

After winning the toss and moving the ball from their own 15 to the Stone 23, the Wildcat drive stalled. Seven plays later at the Stone 42, Tracy McDonald and Jake Huitt converged on the Panther ball carrier creating a fumble that Huitt eventually fell on. LA was back in business in Panther territory.

On the very first play, McCoin found Jon Ledbetter in the clear and connected on a 31-yard pass. Four plays later and with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Paul Daniels bulled in from the one and Livingston led 7-0 after Huitt kicked the extra-point.

Then things went downhill for the visitors.

In the second quarter, Livingston scored quickly on an eight-yard run by McCoin to go up by 14 after Huitt nailed the point-after. Then things really got out of hand.

Stone was forced to punt on its first possession of the quarter and a 17-yard kick left LA in great field position at the visitor’s 41. A 29-yard run by Creed Hayes, then a fine 12-yard scamper by McCoin put seven more points on the board.

Livingston’s defense refused to give any ground and Stone had to punt again on a three and out series. McCoin took the 31-yard kick and returned it 32 yards, setting up shop at the Stone 29. On the very first play, McCoin found Huitt cutting across the middle in the endzone and hit him with a perfect strike. Huitt’s point-after left Livingston in charge, 28-0.

Scoring finally came to a halt late in the half after LA took a third punt from the visitors and marched 67 yards, the final four a lob pass to Huitt in the corner of the endzone. Big plays in the drive included a 17-yard run by Hayes, a 14-yard scamper by Dillion Roberts, and a 14-yard pass from McCoin to Huitt.

At intermission, Livingston was in total command and headed to the second round of the playoffs, 34-0.

Livingston’s final score of the night came late in the game with all the starters on the sidelines and the bench getting in on the action. Corey Hamilton knocked the ball loose from the Stone runner at the 45 and five plays later, Heath Thompson went in from the five to give the Wildcats their final touchdown of the night. Huitt’s PAT posted the score at 41-0.

“I like 41 on the scoreboard,” defensive coordinator Shane Qualls said to the team minutes after the win. “And I like 0 just as much. That was a great game guys, offensively and defensively. Can’t ask for much more.”

And later, after much of the celebrating was over in the dressing room, a quiet but confident offensive coordinator Danny McCoin reflected on the game, the season, and the past seasons.
“This group has come a long way,” the knowledgeable McCoin pointed out. “They
took some hard beatings over the past several years, but they never gave in. There were times when Brannon (quarterback and son Brannon McCoin) got hit so hard I didn’t think he would get up. But he did and he and the entire team has had a fine season from lessons learned.

“Tonight, Stone put nine men on the line and dared us to run on them. We tried a few times but decided to throw the ball and that worked well. The receivers got open and Brannon had a good night throwing. This team can do more than one thing and that makes it a good team,” McCoin added.

Offensively on the night, McCoin connected on nine of 17 passes for 192 yards. Huitt caught six for 94 yards, Ledbetter had two for 92 yards, and Roberts had one for six yards. Hayes ran the ball three times for 59 yards, McCoin 12 times for 37 yards, and Roberts carried four times for 19 yards.

Defensively, the Wildcats were led by McDonald with six tackles, Zack Green, Huitt and Ty Eldridge each added four. Seth Kilgore, Daniel Robinson, and J.W., Lee were credited with three. Dylan Harris, Kevin McGregor, Morgan Mayberry, David Winningham, and Lucas Dailey each had two while Ashlock, Hayes, Roberts, Ridge Harris, Daniels, Talon Sircy, Jacob Beu, and Daniel Miller each were in on at least one.

Huitt, Ashlock, and Jared Hogue each recovered a Panther fumble.

“We got to play everybody tonight and that was a very good thing. All these players work hard and it is gratifying when we can get everyone in the game. Now we have to get ready for Whites Creek, which is a very athletic team and will be a very tough opponent,” Lamb concluded. “We’ll take them one at a time and work hard to make sure everybody is ready to give his best. That’s what it takes and we all know that.”

The Yardstick
LA SM
19 1st downs 9
186 yards rushing 130
192 yards passing 40
17/9 Pass Att/comp 17/4
0 Pass Int. By 0
0 Fumbles lost 3
4/25 Punts/Avg. 3/39
30 Yds Pent. 35

Score by quarters:
LA – 7 27 0 7 – 41
SM – 0 0 0 0 – 0

Scoring:
LA – Daniels, 1 run. Huitt kick.
LA – McCoin, 8 run. Huitt kick.
LA – McCoin, 12 run. Huitt kick.
LA – Huitt, 29 pass from McCoin. Huitt kick.
LA – Huitt, 4 pass from McCoin. Kick failed.
LA – Thompson, 5 run. Huitt kick.


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LA Baseball holding fundraiser
Livingston Academy Baseball is selling smoked turkey breasts for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday at $25 each.

The turkey breasts will be cooked on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and will be available for pick-up from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. that day.

Anyone interested in purchasing a smoked turkey breast in this fundraiser should call the high school at (931) 823-8626. Deadline for orders is Monday, Nov. 23.


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Westmoreland inducted into Hall of Fame


Bobby Westmoreland, of Celina, is presented a plaque by EMCC President Rick Young commemorating Westmoreland’s induction into the Sports Hall of Fame.

Celina’s Bobby Westmoreland will was inducted into East Mississippi Community College’s Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday Oct. 10 during homecoming festivities on the EMCC campus. EMCC’s 10-member 2009 Sports Hall of Fame inductees were honored on the Scooba campus with a Friday night, Oct. 9 reception and banquet.

Westmoreland played end in high school in his hometown of Celina, and enrolled at East Mississippi Junior College after writing a letter to Coach Bull Sullivan at the urging of fellow Tennessee native Ken Waddell, who also played football for the Lions.

Putting on needed weight after high school, he reported to Scooba weighing in at 230 pounds and started on the offensive and defensive lines as a freshman in 1959. He also participated in track and field at EMJC, throwing the shot put and discus.

Westmoreland went on to letter three seasons at Western Kentucky University, where he was a part of Hilltopper teams that posted a composite 3-year record of 21-6-1, including an undefeated (10-0-1) season his senior year, 1963. He helped anchor a solid offensive line for a potent WKU offense that produced a then-school record of 35 touchdowns and outscored the opposition by nearly 21 points, a game en route to claiming the 1963 Ohio Valley Conference championship and beating the Coast Guard Academy in the Tangerine Bowl.

Following his football playing career, Westmoreland spent 13 years coaching in the high school ranks in Tennessee and Kentucky. During his professional career, he has also worked as a regional supervisor in field operations for an employment service.

Through the years, he has also been active in the development of apartment complexes, trailer parks, and assisted-living facilities. Has also vested time in oil-drilling operations in Pennsylvania.

Now retired in his hometown of Celina, Westmoreland and his wife of 47 years, Mari, have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.

The 2009 class of the EMCC Sports Hall of Fame consists of James “Cubby” Harris (Starkville), the late Larry “Rock” Cohen (Columbus), Stan Malone (Sturgis), Carter “Dikki” Dyson (Fort Campbell, KY/Meridian), Dennis Morgan (Toomsuba), Charlene Stokes (Preston), Roy Simpson (Tuscaloosa, AL), Houston Harrison (Fort Walton Beach, FL/Greenville, AL), Bobby Westmoreland (Celina), and Don Cunningham (Elizabethtown, KY).

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Overton County News
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