Four Down Territory: WC and Madison play another close one; NFL ties overtime record

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, October 9, 2018

You’re in Four Down Territory. Each week we’ll spotlight four notes, nuggets, stats or trends from the weekend that was in Mississippi high school football, college football, and the NFL.

Warren Central and Madison Central have had quite a run of memorable finishes in recent years. Friday’s added to the collection.

Madison Central’s Hayes Bufkin returned a fumble 16 yards for a touchdown with 56 seconds remaining to give the Jaguars a 24-17 victory. It was their fourth win in a row in the series, with the winning points in the last three coming in the final minute of regulation or overtime.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Seven of the last eight meetings between the teams have been decided by a touchdown or less, including two playoff games.

Madison Central has largely dominated the series, winning 13 of 15 times since 2006. The Vikings did manage to be on the right side of one of the fantastic finishes, however. Back in 2014 they won 16-14 when Marcus Ragan caught a deflected pass at the goal line on the final play for a walk-off victory.

No. 1 Alabama’s offense continued to look sharp in a 65-31 victory over Arkansas on Saturday. More impressive than the overall output, however, is the speed with which the Crimson Tide is putting points on the board.
Through six games, Alabama has 15 touchdown drives that lasted less than a minute and seven of those took less than 30 seconds. Against Arkansas, it had scoring drives of 21, 50 and 12 seconds.

Alabama is also exploding out of the gate to take command of games. It has scored on its first possession in all six games, and on its first offensive snap twice. It has scored 10 touchdowns in the first six minutes, and the deepest it has gone into a game before scoring is 3 minutes and 35 seconds against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Alabama has been so productive in the first half that its first half average of 39.7 points per game would rank 26th nationally in scoring offense.

“Whenever we can do that, it really brings a lot of energy at the start of the game,” Alabama tight end Hale Hentges said Monday. “Obviously, everyone was all pumped up and excited to play right off the bat, but whenever we can go and execute exactly what you wanted to do right off the bat, it brings a lot of confidence to the game plan.”

It’s been a largely forgettable season for Porter’s Chapel Academy (1-7), but one of its players achieved a noteworthy milestone on Friday night.

Junior wide receiver Michael Tod Andrews tied a school record with 10 receptions in a 56-7 loss to Central Hinds. Chris Marshall also accomplished the feat in 2010 against Prentiss Christian, in a game in which he also set the school record with 203 receiving yards.

Andrews had 148 yards on Friday. He now has 19 receptions this season, for 324 yards and one touchdown.
Andrews’ effort marked the 19th time in Warren County history that a receiver has caught at least 10 passes in a game. Former Vicksburg High star A.J. Stamps set the county’s single-game record for receptions (19), yards (285) and touchdowns (five) in a 2011 game against Northwest Rankin.

The Houston Texans’ 19-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night was the second overtime game of the day and tied an NFL record.

It was the eighth overtime game this season, matching the most through Week 5 since the NFL added overtime for the regular season in 1974. There were also eight overtime games by this point in the season in 1983 and 2002, according to

There have been an average of 14 overtime games per season, with a low of two in 1974 and a high of 25 in 2002. There have only been 20 or more overtime games five times — in 1995, 2002, 2003, 2012 and 2015.
At the current pace, the record set in 2002 could be challenged by the end of the season.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest