|Top 5 WM games of all time
This is, in my opinion, the 5 greatest games ever played by the WM Rebels. This EXCLUDES state championship games because they would be too obvious. Here goes:
5: WM vs BR Catholic (1996) Major Applewhite and Travis Minor brought their high powered offensive to Rebel Stadium with a trip to the Dome on the line. Travis Minor was the USA Today Offensive Player of the Year and Catholic was ranked #9 in the USA Today. The Dome was in their sights. There was only one problem: Tommy Banks and an overachieving bunch of Rebels were in the way. Controlling the clock with Banks and an underrated defense were two components the Bears could not handle and WM took a hard fought victory from the highly ranked Catholic squad. Tommy Banks had well over 200 yards rushing and the defense contained Minor and Applewhite for most of the night. The atmosphere in Rebel Stadium, in my opinion, has not been surpassed since. WM rode the momentum of that game to the state championship. Final: WM 21 Catholic 14
4: WM vs Ouachita (1997) Ouachita holds a 7-0 lead midway through the 4th. An option pitch ran to perfection by Lane LaBorde to Kenny Robinson brought the score to 7-6 with the xtra point pending. An unsportsmanlike penalty meant the xtra point would be from 30 yards out. Eric (The Toe) Griggs nailed it. A few minutes later, after a ferocious defensive stand, WM blocks a punt and gets it deep in Ouachita territory. After burning time off the clock, Griggs kicked the game winner. Final: WM 10 Ouachita 7
3. WM vs Natch. Central (1996) Having lost to NC earlier in the year by double digits, WM knew they had their work cut out for them. Playing ball control and keeping the ball out of NC's great back, Jesse Burton, WM beat NC at Northwestern Staduim in the 2nd round of the playoffs. It took a goal line stand to do it. NC had the ball inside WM's 10 and had 4 shots at scoring and couldn't do it! This win gave WM huge momentum throughout the playoffs. Final: WM 13 NC 6
2. WM vs Moss Point, MS 2000 WM traveled to Moss Point, MS with MP having revenge on their minds. WM had beaten MP the year before 56-28. But Darius Bilbo, the very talented QB for MP got hurt early in that game so MP felt they would have won in Bilbo would have been around. They started the game wanting to prove it too. Domination every facet of the game, MP took a 14-0 lead into halftime that could have been much worse if not for some key turnovers by MP. WM came out a different team in second half and tied the score early in the third. WM had a chance for the lead in the 4th but missed FG. On the next play, Bilbo hit his wide receiver for a long TD pass to take the lead, 21-14. WM drove right down the field, much of the yardage coming on a Tucker to Barfield pass play inside the 10. A few plays later WM tied the score. After a turnover yet again by MP, WM scored to take the lead for the first time. WM gave up a safety to avoid a mistake being so deep in their own territory and then stopped MP at midfield as time expired. Final; WM 28 MP 23
1. WM vs St. Thomas More (2008) Playing a team from District 2-5A in the second round of the playoffs for the third year in a row had the word "jinx" in everyones mind. With ST. Thomas More jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter didn't do anything to change anyones mind. However, WM fought back to draw with 28-21 before the half with a KO return for a TD by sophomore Paul Turner. Holding STM to only 2 first downs in the second half, both coming with almost 4 minutes left in the game, WM took over and won going away. However it was not as easy as it sounds. WM finally tied the score on a punt block returned for at TD. Then WM scored two more TD's to put the game out of reach. Ladarius Abrams had 227 yards rushing on 17 attempts and DJ Banks added 107 yards. But, by being there in person, I can attest that WM was never at ease until the final horn sounded. The second round "jinx" is officially over. Final: WM 41 STM 28
Honorable Mention: WM vs ECA (2001) WM dominated ECA at Independence Stadium. The high flying Eagles, I believe overlooked WM, whom they had much success against and it cost them. I can't tell you how many times ECA's defense would stack up the line only to see Ed Dade run right by them and head for the endzone. WM defense played as well as I have seen them play in a long time and kicked the Eagles butt. Final WM 38 ECA 13
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