BASSFIELD, Miss. (WDAM) _ Some things these days are just tough assignments to tackle.
The national debt.
Columbia High School senior running back Kendal Bullock.
Bullock ran for five touchdowns and a pair of 2-point conversions Friday night in the Wildcats’ 36-22 victory at Jefferson Davis High School, but politely deflected the credit away from himself.
“I can’t just say I do it by myself,” Bullock said. “I give all the credit to my offensive line because we’ve worked since the summer, just over and over, and we’ve worked as hard as we can. I give it all too my offensive line.”
Bullock accounted for 28 points in the first half as Columbia built a 29-7 halftime lead, scoring on runs of 58 yards, 5 yards, 25 yards and 55 yards and two conversion runs.
He added a 48-yard score in the fourth quarter to rebuild the Wildcats’ comfortable cushion as the Jaguars tried to mount a second-half comeback.
All told, Bullock’s five scoring runs covered 191 yards
Jefferson Davis County freshman Malcolm Hartzog scored three touchdowns for the Jaguars (2-6, 0-2 Region 8-3A), two in the second half, including a 45-yard effort that got Jefferson Davis within two scores with about six minutes left in the third quarter.
“We could have folded our tents at halftime, but a break here, a break there, and we could have gotten right back in it,” Jefferson Davis County coach Lance Mancuso said. “I was proud of our guys and the defensive stands a couple of times in the second half.
“We could have let them punch it in the end zone, but we didn’t.”
But Hartzog’s final touchdown came on a 1-yard run with less than two minutes to play and Columbia (7-0, 2-0) safely in front.
“Jefferson Davis, I don’t care what (its) record is, (it is) a good football team,” Columbia coach Chip Bilderback said. “They’ve had some bad luck here, but those kids aren’t going to quit.
“I was really proud of our team and the effort we had.”
JDC came into the game wounded, still rearranging lineups after the loss of five starters in a game against Hattiesburg High School three weeks ago. Some of the injured are back, but starting quarterback Lyric Hall was lost for the year and standout wingback Keyser Booth remains sidelined.
“Right now, we’re fighting ourselves more than we’re fighting anybody else,” Mancuso said. “We made a lot of mistakes in the first half, but they’ve got a good football team. You’ve got to give them credit.”
Columbia’s win sets up a showdown between unbeaten Region 8-3A Marion County rivals, with West Marion High School (8-0, 2-0) visiting the Wildcats at 7p.m. Thursday. The Trojans handed Magee High School its first loss of the season with a 12-7 decision Friday in Foxworth.
“There’s going to be four (region) teams left standing that are going to be battle-tested, and it’s probably too early to say who those four teams are,” Bilderback said.
Jefferson Davis will visit Seminary High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Bulldogs (5-3, 1-1 region) snapped a two-game losing skid Friday night with a 46-6 victory over Tylertown High School.