photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL
Mountainburg’s Samuel Copeland continues to run after catching a pass from Josh Skattebo as Jeff Sage tries to bring Copeland down during Friday’s 2A-4 Conference contest at Mountainburg. The Dragons had the lead, but Johnson County Westside came back in the second half to gain a two-point advantage with 6:07 remaining in the game. Mountainburg rallied back for the 29-16 win. Copeland rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 30 yards.
Mountainburg’s offense had one possession for less than two minutes in the second half as Johnson County Westside rallied from behind to take a small lead with 6:07 left in the game.
Then the Dragons scored and capitalized on a turnover to run out the remaining clock and won its second consecutive game this season to beat the visiting Rebels 29-16 in 2A-4 Conference play.
Mountainburg evened out its overall record (2-2) and improved to 2-1 in conference. Westside (1-3, 1-2) dropped it’s second straight game.
The Dragons trailed for the only time after quarterback Seth Stewart hit Charlie Yates in the end zone for a 27-yard strike on a fourth-and-17. Jeff Sage added the two-point conversion and Westside led 16-14 with 6:07 left in the game.
Mountainburg regained the lead on a 13-yard run by Samuel Copeland, who finished with a game-high 96 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Quarterback Josh Skattebo added the his second two-point conversion of the night and the Dragons led 22-16 with 3:28 remaining in the game. The drive got a huge lift when Copeland made a four-yard gain, but was hit a second time after he was out of bounds. The ensuing penalty gave the Dragons a first-and-10 at the Rebel 20. Copeland scored two plays later.
The Dragons’ defense came up with its biggest stop of the night as Bobby Copeland intercepted Stewart’s pass on the Rebels next possession.
Moutainburg began on the Rebel 38 and found the end zone one more time with a one-yard keeper by Skattebo with :17 left. Skattebo added the PAT for the final margin. The stalwart quarterback (5-10, 300) gave his team the needed boost during this drive as he cleared 24 yards to the Rebel 3. Skattebo broke three tackles and even had three defenders on him at once, as he continued to gain ground.
Skattebo had 63 yards on nine totes with one touchdown and completed 5 of 10 passes for 69 yards.
Westside trailed 14-0 to start the second half and executed a 14-play drive to eat 7:52 of the clock and got points on the board with a five-yard run by Bryan Kinman. The Rebels overcame three bad snaps and converted two fourth downs to sustain the drive.
After forcing the Dragons to go three-and-out, Westside got the ball back, but eventually had to punt after six plays. Mountainburg had intended to let the punt roll, but one of the players accidently touched it, and the Rebels pounced on the punt to regain possession at the Dragon 39 with 10:21 left in the game.
This time Westside needed just eight plays to score and survived two penalties, including one that pushed them back fourth-and-17 before scoring the touchdown.
The Dragons scored on its first two possessions of the game as Clayton Stephenson reached on a four-yard run and Copeland scored from the Rebel 1. Skattebo’s first PAT went wide, but he added the two-point conversion to give the Dragons a 14-0 lead to carry into the second half.
Westside converted 3 of 4 fourth-down conversions including two in the first drive of the second half. Mountainburg benefited from decent starting field position all night, beginning a drive no further back than their own 39.
Westside was paced by Quintin Addis for 74 yards on 14 carries, as he rushed for 56 yards in the second half. Stewart completed just two passes for 53 yards including one touchdown and had two interceptions.
Next week, the Dragons are back on the road to Hartford while Westside hosts Decatur.