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Mercy Cross spoils Clarkdale's homecoming

By By Robby Atkinson/staff writer
September 20, 2003
Mercy Cross is a virtual unknown this season around the state of Mississippi, but many opinions have changed. The Crusaders used a balanced offensive attack to take a 33-12 road victory and spoil homecoming for the Bulldogs of Clarkdale High School.
The game opened with Mercy Cross on offense and Clarkdale forced a quick series and take possession on offense. The Bulldogs put the first points on the scoreboard on a 31-yard rushing touchdown by Cedric Burns to give Clarkdale a quick 6-0 lead with 7:34 left in the first period.
The Crusaders came right back after a terrible opening series on offense to answer the Clarkdale score. Mercy Cross went on a 12-play, 73-yard scoring drive capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Greg Wilson to Chance Davis to put the Crusaders out in front 7-6 with 2:56 remaining in the first.
The see-saw battle continued moments later with yet another score from the Bulldogs. Burns collected his second touchdown of the evening with a five-yard scamper to give CHS a 12-7 after a failed PAT with 9:54 left in the second quarter.
The lead wouldn't last long for Clarkdale, as Mercy Cross added its second touchdown to take the lead 14-12 with 6:25 left in the second. Steven Pitzer scored on a five-yard run to put the Crusaders out in front.
Wilson found tailback Todd Gollott wide open on a screen pass for a 60-yard touchdown to extend the Mercy Cross lead to 20-12 with 4:43 left until the half.
After a failed series on offense Clarkdale advanced into punt formation. Mercy Cross was able to penetrate the line and come up with a blocked punt and set up the next score.
Mercy Cross only needed two plays, as Gollott scored on a one-yard touchdown run to give the Crusaders a 27-12 halftime lead.
After a quiet third quarter, Mercy Cross added the finishing touches to take the win over Clarkdale. Wilson connected with Gollott for a 74-yard touchdown pass to end the long night for Clarkdale.
Wilson ended the game with 175 yards in the air on 5-of-10 for a pair of scores. Burns led the way on the ground for Clarkdale with 142 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns. Blake Johnson turned in a great night with 128 yards passing on 6-of-9 to round out the offense.
Clarkdale returns home next week against Heidelberg. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.