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Choctaw Central takes victory

By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
September 14, 2003
CHOCTAW Choctaw Central head football coach Willie Coats has been around long enough to know bread and butter beats going to bed hungry. His team also learned that lesson Saturday night.
In the fourth quarter, Coats' Warriors turned to their bread and butter to put together a 15-play scoring drive to knock off Cherokee, N.C., 14-7 in the eighth Battle of the Nations.
Choctaw Central's win trims Cherokee's lead in the series to 5-3.
Down 7-6 with 10:22 remaining, the Warriors marched 73 yards in 15 plays, all on the ground. On the drive, Geno Mack had eight carries for 41 yards.
Facing third-and-4 at the 10, quarterback Shaun Jimmie bootlegged around left end for a first down at the 1. Jimmie was injured on the play and backup quarterback Eric Hickman scored on a 1-yard sneak on the next play.
Jimmie returned to throw a two-point pass to a wide open Michael Morris. Jimmie, however, was re-injured on the play and did not return.
Choctaw Central outgained Cherokee 138-53 in the second half after the visitors held a 173-138 advantage in the first half.
Choctaw Central, 2-1, finished with 276 total yards with 260 coming on the ground. Mack had 26 carries for 132 yards with Dustin Wallace adding 70 yards on 10 rushes.
Cherokee, 1-4, had 226 total yards with 154 coming on the ground. Michael Slee gained 83 yards on 13 rushes, while Micah Swimmer picked up 61 yards on
The Braves went 68 yards on their opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. After Slee ripped off a 50-yard gain to the 13, Stan Ledford scored on a 2-yard run with 7:31 to go in the opening period. Drew Grant added the extra point.
The Warriors responded with a 14-play, 80-yard drive to pull to within 7-6 with 1:19 showing in the opening period. Mack had eight carries on the drive for 33 yards. Jimmie turned a broken play into a 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Sean Ahshapanek in the end zone. A two-point pass fell incomplete.
Cherokee reached the Warrior 9 early in the second quarter only to have Ahshapanek end the drive with an interception of a John Davis pass at the 6.
The Braves also came away empty just before halftime when a 20-yard field goal attempt by Grant hit the crossbar and ricocheted harmlessly to the turf.
Choctaw Central threatened just before intermission when Rodgrick Anderson got behind the Cherokee secondary, but was unable to hang onto a long pass from Jimmie.
The Warriors reached the Cherokee 20 early in the third quarter, only to turn the ball over on downs on fourth-and-1.
With the Braves facing fourth-and-10 from their 29, Wallace and Aven Isaac sacked Davis for an 11-yard loss with 2:22 to play and the Warriors ran out the clock.