Thursday, October 6, 2005

Hawks drop close one to district foe Devils

Sports Editor

Holly High head coach Clifford Brown knew this was going to be one of those tough ones.

“From the film, we saw that we were pretty evenly matched,” Brown said.

The Hawks dropped a nip-and-tuck 21-20 contest Friday night to Region 3-3A foe Water Valley on the road.

The Blue Devils won the toss but deferred possession until the second half.

The Hawks went to work immediately with Marcus Isom calling the shots. They moved the pigskin to the 17-yard line and turned it over on a fumble.

The Blue Devils ran their first turn over the ball deep into their own red zone.

The Hawks’ defense held, thwarting Water Valley’s every move.

“We thought that we had a safety,” Brown said, “until the officials ruled against us.”

Holly High got the ball with decent field position but could not mount a productive offensive drive. The ball went over on downs.

The Blue Devils didn’t have any luck either, and the first quarter ended 0-0.

Water Valley succeeded in getting on the board first in the early part of the second quarter via a pounding run by their big fullback.

The Hawks were still stymied by Water Valley’s defense, so they had to give up the ball.

Then Holly Springs got its first break. The nose guard, Chris Bridgeforth, picked up a fumble and trucked it into the end zone. The Hawks were not able to convert the extra point, so the hosts still led 7-6.

The Holly High offense later started to show some muscle, first connecting on a 35-yard pass play from Isom to Earick Carter. This placed the ball on Water Valley’s 3-yard line. Loren Coleman punched it in from there. Keeping the ball on the ground, Isom made the two-point conversion by sneaking across. The Hawks went into the halftime recess with a 14-7 lead.

Holly High opened the second half with a short kick that left the ball at the 35. The Blue Devils executed a good drive, aided by a pair of face mask penalties. They moved the ball into the end zone and tied the score with the extra point kick.

But the Hawks retaliated with a Coleman 3-yard run, and they held a 20-14 lead until almost midway through the final quarter.

The Blue Devils made their final score shortly thereafter, and pulled off the one-point win.

“We made some mistakes at a critical part of the game which went against any progress,” Coach Brown said. “Two of the games we’ve lost now have been by two and one points. We have to stop making these errors.”

He named Marvin Lucas as the game’s most valuable player. He had 15 solo tackles, two sacks and eight assists.

Brown said, “Marvin (Lucas) kept charging and pursuing the entire game. He never let up.”

The Hawks (1-4 overall and 1-1 in the district) have their work cut out for them this week. They face the defending Class 3A state champions, the Warriors of Senatobia, this Friday night at Sam Coopwood Park. Senatobia beat Heidelberg 20-8 last week.

The next week, Friday, Oct. 14, Holly High hosts Rosa Fort (Tunica) for homecoming.

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