October 20, 2005

Happy homecoming at Holly High
• Hawks knock off Rosa Fort

Sports Editor

The Holly High Hawks got a very important win last Friday night.

They won their homecoming game and added another victory before starting the last part of their schedule which involves all divisional teams.

Years ago when the Hawks were riding on one of the longest losing streaks in the nation, they broke the trend by downing the Lions of Rosa Fort.

This time the Hawks were just looking for a second win of the season to please the hometown fans on homecoming day.

The Lions received first and crashed into the Hawks’ territory on the third play with a pass from William Dunn to Steven Washington. The Lions went for it on a fourth and nine, using a flare pass. The Hawks’ Pierre Thomas had a chance at the interception but couldn’t hold on.

The Hawks’ first series ended with a third and 22. A high snap landed the ball on the 1. The punt was high but without distance. It grounded seven yards outside the Hawks’ red zone, giving the visitors excellent field position.

The Lions’ offense was stuck and the ball went back to the Hawks. The Hawks also had trouble in escaping their own end zone. They had to punt.

The Lions again had made it to the Hawks’ front porch. Jhujuan Milan moved the chains before he was escorted out of bounds by Elijah Thigpen. But Milan came back and put the Lions on the board on the next play. The extra point made it 7-0.

The Hawks’ offense finally got things rolling when, after a penalty, Marcus Isom hit Earick Carter for a first down. They came back with the same play, same pattern, different receiver. This time it was Courtney Bowen who took it in for the 35-yard score. The extra point try was blocked so it was 7-6 early in the second.

Chris Bridgeforth’s kick had plenty of punch. It took a Hawks’ bounce and was downed at the 3. The defense held and the ball went back to the Hawks at Rosa Fort’s 27-yard line.

But it would appear that both teams were not having any luck moving the ball. Then Bridgeforth made another good punt and kept the Lions at their 11.

The Hawks tried hard to take the lead with 3:11 left in the half. They converted three third downs but failed to crack the barrier. The score was still 7-6 at the half.

When play resumed, Milan rushed for another touchdown and came right back to convert for two. The Hawks were down 13-6.

The breaks started to happen for the Hawks. Marcell Johnson returned a kick to the 30. A pair of penalties put it on the 49. A quick flare to Alex Anderson in the flat and the Hawks were back in it thanks to the 32-yard score. The point-after-try failed but they had closed the gap to 15-12.

The Lions kept the ball for almost five minutes before giving Holly High decent field position at the 30. Bowen gave the Hawks a first. Jeremy Boyd rescued his team twice, first by making up a big deficit, then a first down before the third quarter ended.

It was Isom to Bowen again, this one for 20 yards, to put the Hawks ahead for the first time at 18-15.

The Hawks went to a conservative mode. Boyd took an option and beat everyone except the cornerback. He made it first and goal, but the Hawks lost the ball and the Lions recovered. However, the Hawks scored a safety to make it 20-15.

After Rosa Fort’s kick, Johnson took the handoff and scored on a 40-yard run. They kicked the PAT and that is how it ended, 27-15.

The Hawks improved to 2-5 on the season.

There was a huge crowd on hand to witness the win and also attend the crowning of the homecoming queen, Vashaundra Brown. Whitney Snow was the first runner-up, with Whitney Bell as the second runner-up.

The Hawks’ next opponent is Marks Palmer on the road this Friday night, Oct. 21. It’s an important Region 3-3A matchup. The Hawks are definitely in the playoff hunt. The top four advance.

“If we take care of business we could finish as high as two,” coach Clifford Brown said. “We’ve got a lot to play for. If we do what we’re capable of doing and play as well as we played Friday, without the early mistakes, I like our chances.

“The kids are excited. The win elevated us to another level. Even when we got down, the kids kept fighting.”

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