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Redskins get first win
Bryan County downs Wheeler 35-29 in OT
Bryan County held off Wheeler County 29-26 in OT to pick up their first win of the season. - photo by Time Traywick
The Bryan County Redskins traveled to Wheeler County Friday night to take on the Wheeler County Bulldogs in a class 2-A match up between two winless football teams.
Like the past four Redskins’ games, this one was a nail biter to the end with Bryan County winning 35-29 in overtime for their first win of the season.
When asked if he prepared his team any different this week in preparation for this game , Coach Ron Lewis said, “ We got a little more physical in practice this week than normally, trying to get players ready for tonight’s game, and that seemed to help”.
The Homecoming crowd at Wheeler stadium saw their Bulldogs take the ball after the opening kickoff and march down the field for the game’s first touchdown. The extra point was good and Wheeler County took a quick 7-0 lead.
The Redskins’ first possession ended with a punt that pinned the Bulldogs on their own 2-yard line. The Bulldogs’ next offensive series was unsuccessful and a punt gave the Redskins’ the ball on their own 43 .With only a few minutes left in the first quarter the Redskins’ offense started a consistent drive that marched them down to the Bulldogs’ four yard line. Justin Bostick then punched it in for six points, and the extra point kick by Taylor Lucas was good to tie the game 7-7 with 10:54 on the second quarter clock.
After the kickoff, Wheeler County had the ball on their 34 yard line, but the Redskins’ defense, led by Bostick, Deandre Walker, Lucas and D.J. McElroy, once again held them after several short gains and forced another Bulldog punt.
  Bryan County took over with the ball on their 18-yard line, and that is where the ground attack, led by Ivey Mutcherson, and some improved offensive line play produced a sustained drive down to the Bulldogs’ 42. That set up Mutcherson’s 42-yard scamper on the next play for the first of his four touchdowns of the game.
The extra point was no good and the first half ended with Bryan County up 13-7.
The third quarter started with Bryan County taking the second half kickoff and starting on their own 48. The Redskins’ offense continued to grind it out on the ground with Mutcherson carrying most of the load. With the ball now on the Bulldogs’ 1-yard line, Mutcherson took it over the top for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion by Walker was good. With 8:42 left in third quarter score was 21-7 Redskins’.
 Wheeler County took their next possession and proved that they were not going to roll over and die and mounted a sustained drive that produced their second touchdown with 3:18 left in third quarter. The 2-point conversion was no good, making the score 21-13 in favor of the Redskins.
The fourth quarter started with Bryan County going head to head between the tackles with their running game, not deviating from their gameplan of run, run, run.
Beginning at their own 28, the Redskins continued to get chunks of yardage on the ground and that produced another Mutcherson touchdown run from the Bulldogs’ - yard line. A lateral pass from McElroy to Winston Johnson was run in for the 2-point conversion and Bryan County had a 29-13 lead.
The next two Wheeler County offensive possessions resulted in touchdowns, as they mixed in more passing to their playcalls, to tie the game 29-29. The fourth quarter ended with Bryan County unable to score before seconds ticked off in regulation play and send the game into overtime. 
 In overtime, each team gets to start at the same 15 yard line on offense and this continues alternately until one team wins.
Wheeler County took their first overtime possession, but the Redskins’ defense stuffed their first two running plays and then recovered an attempted pitch to the running back to give them the ball.
 The Redskins’ continued to run in overtime, but were faced with a fourth down and two from the 7 yard line. Declining to attempt a field goal to win the game, they went for the first down and got it. Continuing to play smash-mouth football, the Redskins’ offense punched a third down play into the endzone with another run by Mutcherson from the 2 yard line. This gave the Redskins’ their first victory in five games and sent home a dejected Bulldog team that had also played their heart out in search of a win.
Mutcherson said he knew he was expected to carry much of  the load for the Redskins.
“Coach told me all week to be ready for about 40 carries and I was ready,” he said. “I get stronger as the game progresses and I wanted the ball all night , especially on that last touchdown.”
 Mutcherson finished the night with 32 of the 50 running plays for 214 individual yards -- the second time this season the junior has rushed for more than 200 yards in a game.
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