Drew Central blasts Woodlawn

It’s finally over—again.
Few people at Drew Central’s Mike Pennington Stadium likely were even born when Terry Jacks climbed to No. 1 on the pop music charts in 1974 with his one-hit wonder “Seasons In the Sun,” but all could have have sung along with the line “We had joy, we had fun …”  
The Pirates stood out on the football field Friday night, broke a 17-game losing streak and gave second-year head coach Rob Cox his first victory as DC pounded Woodlawn 41-13.
On Sept. 15, 2015, seniors on this team were sophomores and well remember breaking the state’s longest high school losing streak (43 games) in similar fashion, dominating Cutter Morning Star 42-20 on the same field. The streak that was  halted Friday was not nearly as long, but breaking it was every bit as sweet.
In the process, DC made history. Only twice before (on the weekends of Oct. 10-11, 2008 and Oct. 15-16, 2010) had the three football teams in Monticello—Drew Central and Monticello high schools and the University of Arkansas at Monticello—won on the same weekend.
They have again.
Combined with Monticello’s 28-27 squeaker over Magnolia and the University of Arkansas at Monticello holding off Northwestern Oklahoma State University 37-35, Drew Central joined its area neighbors at 1-1.
All three schools are at home this weekend and Drew Central is poised to post its second consecutive victory. Hermitage, which lost to DC’s fellow Class 3A, District 6 member Fouke 78-0 last Friday, visits Mike Pennington Stadium for the Pirates’ final non-conference test.
Fouke remained undefeated with its blowout of the Hermits, who are starting their football program again after not having a team last fall. In other 6-3A games, Star City blasted the DC’s first conference opponent, Lake Village Lakeside, 52-26; Dumas won the annual Desha County rivalry with McGehee 22-20; Genoa Central topped Lafayette County 41-27; Harding Academy spanked Smackover 49-21; Hampton slipped by Fordyce, the preseason pick to win the conference, 14-12; and Junction City won its second game of the season in convincing fashion to remain unbeaten, downing England 50-0.
Friday night, though, belonged to Drew Central. The Pirates, who were the only show in town (the other two games were on the road) did their part in that by outgaining the Bears 397-170, including 356 yards on the ground—on only 29 carries. Drew Central basically had its way with Woodlawn, which gained the majority of its yards late in the game when the outcome had already been decided.
“Our team played very well on Friday,” an elated—if drenched—Cox said after reaping the spoils of his, his coaching staff’s, not to mention the players’, efforts over the last two seasons for the first time. “We didn’t have too many mistakes and we executed on both sides of the ball. Across the board, there were many standout performances to name. Too many individuals to point out.”
And, he added with a big smile: “My only concern Friday was finding some dry clothes after the game.”
There were big Pirate plays galore. One of the biggest, Cox said, was when sophomore Travarus Shead scooped up a fumble and raced 60 yards for a score that, with senior Silvino Tinajero’s extra point, made the score 27-0 Pirates at the 9:28 mark of the second quarter.
“When we scooped up that fumble and returned it for a touchdown, we knew the game was in our hands,” Cox said.
In fact, Drew Central posted its 41 points by halftime while its defense shut out the Bears for the first 32 minutes. Woodlawn finally found the end zone in the fourth quarter but the celebrations on the DC sidelines had already begun.
Actually, they could have started early in the first period while the game was still scoreless. Sophomore Justin Ferrell recovered a Woodlawn fumble with just a hair more than than three minutes gone that led to senior Montiel Daniels’ first of two scores, a 20-yard run moments later that put Drew Central on the scoreboard.
An eight-yard pass from senior Ansin Lattimore to Ferrell at with 6:45 remaining in the first period gave DC a commanding 13-0 lead (the extra point was missed). The Pirates only added to the advantage in the second quarter.
Before Shead’s fumble return for a touchdown, Ferrell found the end zone again on an 18-yard run. Afterwards, senior Zayne West recovered yet another Woodlawn fumble that led to Daniels’ second score—a 34-yard run. Lattimore drove the final nail in the Bears’ coffin when he scored from 27 yards out with 44 seconds remaining before halftime.   
“In order to be successful,” Cox noted, “we will have to execute what we do. We have to take care of the football and not have too many penalties. Woodlawn prepared us for Hermitage in a great way. They run similar style offenses and have similar talent.
“Hermitage is a tough team with some tough players. I think they will play hard all night, no matter the score.”
Kickoff for the Friday night’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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