Neshoba Central quarterback Joseph Willis attempts a pass in an earlier game against Yazoo City. Willis was injured during the Rockets' 26-25 loss to Callaway Friday night and is not expected to play this week when Neshoba Central plays host to Canton High School.
Neshoba Central quarterback Joseph Willis attempts a pass in an earlier game against Yazoo City. Willis was injured during the Rockets' 26-25 loss to Callaway Friday night and is not expected to play this week when Neshoba Central plays host to Canton High School.
Neshoba Central will be trying to get back on the winning track Friday night when they play host to Canton High School in Region 2-5A prep football game.

The Tornadoes are coming off a disappointing 26-25 loss to Callaway in Jackson Friday night on Belhaven College's field. During the game, junior quarterback Joseph Willis suffered a concussion and is not expected to play in their week's game.

"He'll have to sit out until the doctors feel he is ready to play," coach Chuck Friend said. "Losing him hurts us but others will have to step up."

The loss dropped Neshoba Central to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the region standings. Canton, which started the season with two victories, has lost the last four including a 6-0 decision to Yazoo City last week.

"They are very athletic, but they seem to be struggling on offense right now," Friend said. "We are going to be tested, that's for sure. We'll try to keep them from getting anything going."

Friend said that he was pleased with the Rockets' effort but added that improvement was needed on the part of the offensive line.

"We struggled all night," Friend said. "We played hard as a team and never gave up but we just couldn't pull it out in the end."

The Rockets had 56 yards in total offense. They had minus-35 yards rushing on 29 carries and completed 6-of-17 passing attempts for 91 yards. Callaway rushed for 79 yards on 25 carries, and completed 7-of-13 passing attempts for 218 yards, giving the Chargers 297 total yards.

Neshoba Central led 13-12 at the half. Callaway scored a touchdown in the first quarter and one in the second quarter. Caleb Crenshaw kicked two field goals in the first half, including one for 40 yards.

Willis scored on a five-yard run to tie the game in the second quarter. This was the play he was injured on. Crenshaw kicked the extra point and the Rockets led 13-12 at the half.

Callaway went up 26-13 in the second half, scoring on a pass and a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown.

But Neshoba Central did not give up as the Rockets came back with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

First, defensive lineman Lamont Donald recovered a fumble and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown. It was one of two fumble recoveries for Donald. Crenshaw kicked the extra point and the Rockets trailed 26-19.

Then freshman quarterback Kavante McCarty connected Darrion Burnside on a 38-yard touchdown pass to bring the Rockets within one point. But the extra point kick bounced off the goal post and the Rockets fell one point short.

"If we would have been playing on a high school field, it would have been good," Friend said. "The college goal post aren't as wide. But that's they way it goes. We have chances to win and couldn't get it done this week."

The Rockets had a busy night on defense. Thomas McCool led the defense with 13 tackles and an interception; Kendrick McKinney had nine tackles; Tyler Spears had six tackles and blocked a field goal; K.D. Monroe had six tackles; Christian Steele had five tackles, including a sack; Tanner Seales had an interception; Edrick McClendon recovered two fumbles and Burnside recovered one.