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Key Takeaways From Football’s Season-Ending Loss
Choctaw football season ends with a 56-21 loss to West Florida.
Football season came to a close for the Choctaws Saturday, as they dropped their season-ending contest to the West Florida Argonauts. The loss gives them a 4-7 overall record on the season with a 3-4 mark in Gulf South Conference play. On a cold day in Clinton, the Choctaws were beaten soundly by the GSC co-champions on the back of a dynamic passing offense and stout defense. Here are three takeaways from that game and the season.
Starting with their win at West Georgia on October 1, the Choctaws went on a three-game winning streak, all against Gulf South competition. However, following their win over Valdosta State they fell in their first contest against West Florida which snowballed into a four-game losing streak to end the season. In three of those four games, they faced ranked opponents and played West Florida twice.
Throughout their winning streak, the Choctaw offense averaged 41 points and never scored less than 35. However, during the losing streak, they averaged just 23 and only scored over 21 once when they put up 38 against Delta State.
The defense also struggled to end the season as they gave up 40 points or more in three of the last four games. This was often due to an inability to stop the run as both Delta State and West Alabama outgained Mississippi College on the ground. However, the pass defense also saw its own struggles, especially in the second matchup against West Florida.
Throughout the 2022 season, the Choctaws suffered multiple injuries at the quarterback position and had three different players see significant time at the position.
Week one starter DeAnte Smith-Moore suffered a knee injury during the game against West Georgia and would miss the remainder of the season as it would require surgery. In the five games he appeared in Smith-Moore accounted for 420 total yards and five total touchdowns before giving way to John Henry White.
White took over during the West Georgia game and never looked back as he had immediate success running the offense and leading the team to its three-game win streak. He accounted for 1,096 yards of total offense and eight total touchdowns. However, during the second to last game of the season against West Alabama, he suffered a shoulder injury that would bother him for the final two games. He played the first drive of the game for the Choctaws this week and scored a touchdown, however, he would not be available for the rest of the game. Devlen Woods came in in his place and rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown and threw for 71 yards in the loss.
Throughout much of this season, the Choctaw defense has struggled to contain the run, however against the Argos it was the passing attack that the Choctaws could not stop.
Peewee Jarret only threw the ball 11 times however he completed 9 of those attempts and went for 246 yards and threw four touchdowns. Jarret was relieved of his duties late in the third quarter and Argos’ backup quarterback Michael Rich Jr. picked up right where he left off. He went 4-5 for 80 yards and a touchdown during the late stages of Saturday’s contest.
The Argos’ rushing attack was spread out as six different players got multiple carries with none going over 60 yards. They total 157 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.
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