Thursday, September, 22, 2005

Hawks fall to Raiders

Sports Editor

The Holly High Hawks dropped their third consecutive game last Friday night, falling victim to the running and passing game of the Red Raiders at Shannon. Two of these losses were on the road.

The Raiders deferred their first possession, giving Holly High the ball to open the contest.

The Hawks’ offense had to give up the ball after three downs with Marvin Lucas getting off a hurried punt which had a lot of loft but little distance. The Raiders took over on the Hawks’ 45.

Using his wide receiver, Phillip Johnson, south paw Raider quarterback, Michael Ledbetter, moved the ball well but faced a second and five. Rasheed DeBerry and Chris Bridgeforth rushed through and set Ledbetter back on his heels. The Raiders gambled early and sent the ball over on downs.

Marcus Isom was operating at quarterback and sent Marcell Johnson in motion. The play was broken and Isom kept the ball but lost a couple of yards. A pair of broken plays later, the Hawks were left with a fourth and 31 at the 2-yard line.

The punt went out of bounds and the Raiders started their operation at the 17. Leonard Dixon took the ball to the 4 and punched it in a play later. The extra-point kick went wide left but the Raiders led 6-0 with 4:31 remaining in the first.

Pierre Thomas returned the kick to the 47 for the Hawks. Then Johnson carried to the Raiders 45. Jeremy Boyd picked up the first on a second and three. Johnson got another first. On a swing out, Isom slipped and was ruled down in the backfield, suffering a 21-yard loss. They had to punt.

Shannon made it to the 16 and gambled on a fourth down which misfired.

But the Hawks couldn’t move the ball either. Lucas got off a 39-yard punt. The Raiders were waiting for this one. They went to the air and Arceto Clark picked up 34 big yards on a screen. The set back, Jonathan Bass, took it in. Shannon led 12-0. The Raiders went for the two point conversion, and were successful using a fake handoff.

The Hawks were still incurring penalties and had to send the ball over after three. The short punt gave the Raiders great field position. They brought eight men to the line.

Running back Dixon crunched through center, making it 21-0 after the extra point. The Raiders were poised to score again when Cortney Rayford intercepted one in the end zone. It killed the immediate threat but the Raiders scored a field goal just before the half ended, making it 24-0 at the half.

The Hawks didn’t show any effective offense in the second half, but the defense stepped up. They held the Raiders scoreless for the biggest portion of the third. DeBerry intercepted one and set the Hawks up at at the 23, but the progress fizzled.

Shannon didn’t score again until the last last 31 seconds, going to 31-0. Play was held up because of some type of altercation. It took about 15 minutes before the game resumed.

The Raiders tacked up another seven, and the Hawks still had not scored. They were still being hurt by penalties. It was late in the fourth quarter when the offense began to click. Johnson picked up a pair of first downs.

On a fourth and 4, Isom kept and made it first and goal. The Hawks called time with 1:47 left. They set the play and Isom hit LeCorey Jones for the score. A two-point conversion try was fruitless. And the horn sounded on a 38-6 ending.

Coach Clifford Brown stated that the team has to work on pursuit.

“We can’t let up,” Brown said. “We are making progress, but we must learn to pursue the ball at all times.”

Brown named Marvin Lucas the most valuable player for the week. Lucas had four solo tackles, a sack, broke up pass plays and had five assists.

The Hawks (0-3) will host the North Panola Cougars this Friday night, Sept. 23. North Panola is 1-2 after suffering a 12-8 loss last week to Tunica Rosa Fort.

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