Quitman wins in OT

By Larry Tucker
Posted 10/7/21

These Quitman Bulldogs have left past football fortunes behind. After Sara Cross and Brandon Jimenez were crowned homecoming 2021 queen and king, the canine gridiron warriors made the night a big success.

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Quitman wins in OT


These Quitman Bulldogs have left past football fortunes behind. After Sara Cross and Brandon Jimenez were crowned homecoming 2021 queen and king, the canine gridiron warriors made the night a big success. The Bulldogs’ last homecoming win was 2010 as Quitman beat Harmony 35-21, led by running back Devonte’ McNeal who became the top runner for Division I Louisiana Tech in his college days.

This Quitman team, under the direction of a dedicated and determined coaching staff, has shown grit and determination regardless of the odds as they scored a come-from-behind 36-30 double-overtime victory over Winona in a game the Bulldogs simply refused to lose. A packed house was on hand for the thrilling win, and the 43-game losing streak in district play was erased and this time, no one left after the halftime show.

Former Quitman athlete and Coach Charles Swann spoke to the team Friday morning. 

“He did a great job with what he said to the kids. It meant a lot to our team. He talked about what’s best for your teammates and playing for them instead of yourself,” Head Coach Shane Webber said.

Swann was head coach in the mid-1980s when Webber was one of his top players. With the win, the Bulldogs have placed themselves in the playoff hunt going into the final four games.

Over the past seven years the Bulldogs became the automatic win for opponents, but this year’s Bulldogs continue to amaze even the staunchest of non-believers. They used ball control and a rugged, determined and opportunistic defense to move their record to 4-2 on the season and 1-1 in district play going into Friday’s game at Harmony. 

After Winona had taken an early 9-0 lead, the Bulldogs stayed true to their ground game and defense which caused three interceptions.

Quitman just kept coming. 

Webber’s pre-season pro-mise that opposing teams will know they played a tough Quitman team has come to pass. Just ask Winona.

“We might not be a great team to some people, but we play on heart and toughness and that is what our staff strives for and we preach to the kids. It always helps to have the community, the band and cheerleaders all doing their job to support us and help us win games,” Webber added. “We appreciate everyone’s support, we couldn’t do it without them.” 

Despite an injury to quarterback and defensive back Ford Tannebaum, his offensive replacement, sophomore Kameron Crockett, stepped up in the fourth quarter and the Bulldogs never missed a beat. All Crockett did was intercept a pass in overtime followed by leading the offense to the game-winning score in the second overtime. Earlier, Crockett’s first varsity pass went for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Once again a dominating performance of the Bulldog offensive line spelled the difference in the game. Quitman running backs were able to gain yardage behind the great wall of Bulldog linemen. The line regularly beat the Winona line off the ball on offense and defense.

Things started out slow as Winona scored a safety early in the opening quarter. The Wildcats added a score to make it 9-0 in the first stanza. The Bulldogs came back with an 11-play drive on all running plays ending with a Ford Tannebaum score from the one yard line. Mason Reynolds ran for the two-point conversion making it 9-8 with just over six minutes to go in the half.

Winona struck back with a 31-yard pass for a score with just 44 seconds left in the half to take a 16-8 lead at intermission. The Bulldogs dominated the clock in the third quarter, running 22 plays to four for the Wildcats, but the score remained 16-8 headed to the fourth quarter and overtime heroics. 

The Bulldogs tied the game at 16-16 at the 10:15 mark on a pass from Crockett to Thomas Sebedra. Another Reynolds two-point conversion was successful.

Quitman took their first lead in the game on a huge 58-yard interception return by Mikey Pickering. This time Jack Tannebaum ran for the conversion and Quitman led 24-16. Winona came back to score on an 18-yard run followed by a successful conversion making it 24-24 and that was all the scoring in regulation.

In the first overtime, it took Winona just four plays to make it 30-24 after the conversion failed. Quitman came right back taking six plays to score on a run by Reynolds, but the conversion failed leaving it 30-30 going into the second OT.

Crockett intercepted a pass on the Wildcat’s second play. A 17-yard run by Wyatt Hightower put the ball on the six-yard line. A false start penalty moved the ball back to the 15-yard line. From there a 12-yard run by Crockett and a short run by Reynolds put the ball on the one. Crocket followed his line into the end zone for a score and the 36-30 win.

“Our kids are showing they have the mentality to do what we as coaches have asked of them. That drives us to do what we do to be successful,” Webber noted. 

Reynolds rushed for 101 yards of 20 carries, Ford Tannebaum went for 73 on 16 carries in three quarters, Hightower 81 yards on 17 totes and Jack Tannebaum added 49 rushing yards.

The Bulldogs continue their season at Harmony Friday against a rugged Eagles team that is 6-0, coming off a 42-0 win over Grand Saline.