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Oring leads Wynne to key conference victory

WYNNE — On the first play from scrimmage Helena-West Helena Central completed a 60-yard wide receiver pass that put the ball inside Wynne’s 10-yard line. From that point on nothing went right for the Cougars.

Wynne dominated the Cougars in nearly every aspect of the game on its way to a 26-0 shutout on homecoming night. Senior fullback Okie Oring scored all three of the Yellowjackets’ touchdowns, while the defense forced Helena-West Helena into six turnovers, forced a safety and held the Cougars scoreless for the first time all season.

Okie Oring

Wynne fullback Okie Oring breaks loose for a big gain during Friday night's victory over Helena-West Helena Central. (Photo by Chris Graddy)

“Defensively we played well,” Wynne coach Ray Shempert said. “We played like we were alert. If they would fumble it we had kids diving on it and getting the ball. Our kids came out and played hard. I heard pads popping tonight and that isn’t something I have heard in a while.”

Wynne’s defense was on notice from the very first play. The Cougars opened with a spread formation and immediately caught the Yellowjackets (2-4, 1-3 5A-East) napping. Quarterback Markeith Jacobs completed a wide receiver screen pass to Jawun North who then chunked the ball to a wide-open Aubrey Garner who raced down to the Yellowjacket 8-yard line.

Unfortunately for the Cougars (2-4, 1-3 5A-East) it would be the only time the Wynne defense would bulge all night. Wynne kept Helena-West Helena on four straight plays from inside the 10 to force a turnover on downs and swing the momentum back in favor of the Yellowjackets.

“The offense really hurt us in that situation,” Helena-West Helena coach Russell Smith said. “I think we had five or six turnovers in the first half and that really hurt us, especially when we got into the red zone.”

Wynne carried the momentum of the goal-line stand to the offensive side of the ball. Oring busted loose for a 35-yard game on Wynne’s third offensive play and later capped off the drive with an 8-yard touchdown to give the Yellowjackets the early 7-0 edge.

Delta Swarm

Wynne saftey Josh Purnell (left) lays a hit on Helena-West Helena Central receiver Jawun North during Friday night's game. (Photo by Chirs Graddy)

Oring was a workhorse for Shempert all night. The senior carried the ball 30 times for 108 yards and three touchdowns. Oring returned to action last week against Greene County Tech after missing the first four games of the season with a hamstring tear.

“I had to step it up for my team,” Oring said. “I felt like I had to carry them on my back a little bit and I did.”

Added Shempert: “He is a horse. We knew once we got him back we would be able to move the football better than we had been. He runs well and has much better feet than most people think he has.”

Oring did most of his damage in the first half and scored all three touchdowns off Cougar turnovers. Helena-West Helena fumbled the ball on four straight possessions that three of which turned into Yellowjacket points.

Oring scored on touchdown runs of 2 and 3 yards on two of the drives, while Chris Hansen connected on a 36-yard field goal on another drive to give Wynne a 24-0 lead at halftime.

The Cougars also continually hurt themselves with penalties. The squad was penalized 14 times for 96 yards. One penalty resulted in an 81-yard touchdown run by Antonio Hughes being called because of an illegal formation penalty.

“The penalties were certainly disappointing,” Smith said. “We had one bring back a touchdown and when you combine that with the penalties it was a rough night out there.”

Antonio Hughes

Helena-West Helena Central running back Antonio Hughes looks for room to run as Wynne defenders Eric Davis (left) and Ethan Dollar give chase. (Photo by Chris Graddy)

Wynne picked up a safety in the fourth quarter when Jacobs threw an illegal forward pass from his own end zone. The Yellowjackets also picked off Jacobs once.

Wynne ran the ball 59 times for 221 yards and attempted just two passes on the night, both of which resulted in sacks. For West Helena Jacobs was 8-of-18 for 143 yards and one interception.

“The defense and the team played so well tonight,” Oring said. “It feels good to get the win over these guys.”

The injury bug has bitten Wynne several times already this season. Oring was injured in the team’s scrimmage game with West Memphis and last week against GCT senior quarterback Grant Smith went down with an injury. Smith did not dress for Friday night’s game, but the Yellowjackets did not miss a beat.

Junior Zach Trail filled in most of the night, before going down with an ankle injury late in the fourth quarter. Shempert said he thought he tweaked his ankle and was not sure about his status for next week’s game. If Trail cannot play third-string quarterback Josh Purnell would get the starting nod against Batesville

article updated on 10/10/09 08:34

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