Thursday, November 3, 2005

Hawks win third straight, eyeing playoffs
• County rival awaits Friday

Sports Editor

The Hawks hosted the Wildcats of Independence for their next to last regular game of the season. It was senior night and the game also held playoff implications.

The Hawks had a chance to get a third-place ranking in Region 3-3A going into the impending postseason.

During the Hawks’ first possession, they had to punt from the 35. The snap went high over the punter’s head. He immediately picked it up and launched a long throw downfield. The ball was caught, but by an ineligible receiver.

The defense held the Wildcats and when the Hawks were again over the ball, Loren Coleman carried for two consecutive first downs. Marcus Isom was the quarterback, calling from the power “I”. Marcell Johnson converted a fourth and one. The Hawks lost the ball later on downs.

The Hawks got the ball back shortly but threw an interception.

The first quarter expired with the score 0-0.

The Hawks were still battling hard in the second quarter. They had some big plays, including an interception by Pierre Thomas, first down runs by Jeremy Boyd and Coleman. They even missed a field goal from 28 yards. The half expired on a 0-0 score.

The beginning of the second half was a different story. Johnson took the Wildcats’ kickoff and returned it to the 50. Winded not a bit, he came right back swept right end and ran for 46 yards.

Although at the 4-yard line, the Hawks could not penetrate the end zone. A pass play was batted away at the one.

But the Hawk defense caused a fumble and Holly High was back in business.

Isom called a fake-delay, lost his receiver, broke right and then with a Fran Tarkenton scramble, reversed the field, twice, and scored. Chris Bridgeforth booted the extra point. It was 7-0, Hawks.

Holly High stopped Independence and on the punt, Johnson broke another long run that went to the 38 of the Wildcats. Boyd and Johnson both picked up first downs. The Hawks faced a fourth and 12. Isom was in deep trouble, but pulled off another defense-baffling scramble and scored again. After the extra point by Bridgeforth, the Hawks led 14-0.

The Wildcats found some offense. Otis Mayes hit Devin Riley and the Wildcats made it to the red zone for the first time. They scored when Riley found Deundrick Newsome in the end zone. They had Mayes pick up the extra points on a run up center.

Johnson took the kick again and ran 84 yards for another Hawk score. He then converted for a pair, giving the Hawks the 22-8 lead.

They kept pouring it on and getting the big breaks. Isom took a ball from a Wildcat receiver and ran 50 yards for another touchdown. The extra point was kicked to make it 29-8.

The Wildcats’ Mike Collins (fullback) and Lacey Jackson (wide receiver) turned in some big gains for their team, but the Hawks continued to stop them. The score ended 29-8.

Coach Brown said he would have to select the entire offensive line for most valuable player honors.

“They have really carried us all season,” he said. “They have repeatedly bailed us out. You can't say enough about how well they have played.”

Coach Brown said the Hawks (4-5 on the season) would probably enter the playoffs in the number three slot. The Hawks have one game left, an away contest at county rival Byhalia this Friday, Nov. 4. It, too, is a district contest.

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