Thursday, September 7, 2006
Miscues costly in Hawks’ loss
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly High Hawks welcomed the Tigers of Ripley to Sam Coopwood Stadium Friday night, eager to try and pick up their first win of the season. The teams had both suffered losses the previous week.
Holly High won the toss but deferred possession until the second half.
The Hawks’ defense showed up early, taking the fight to the Tigers. They put on a blitz that kept the ball inside the Tigers’ red zone.
Trayven Howell was the quarterback for the Hawks, and they failed to get things going on their first possession. They couldn’t force the ball into the end zone and sent the ball over on downs.
The Tigers elected to keep the ball on the ground with LaQuin Williamson calling the shots. He kept feeding the ball to Arlando Johnson, who would prove to be the workhorse in the Tigers’ offensive scheme.
Williamson called his own number and got extra yards for a first. But the Hawks’ defense stopped Ripley’s fullback, John Stephens, and the Tigers had to punt the ball away.
Howell threw the first pass of the game to Courtney Bowen, but progress was halted at the 31. A delay of game backed the home team to the 26. The Ripley defense blew the Hawks’ line apart, blocked the punt and covered it at the 1.
Stephens punched it in from there. Wade Simpson’s extra point was kicked and the Tigers were up 7-0.
The Tigers cradled the kick and the ball never left the ground. Desley Brown fell on it at the 28. A fumble gave it to Ripley at the 21.
Johnson hot footed it to the 5 for a first and goal. The quarter ended as Stephens moved it to the 3. After the change, Stephens scored again, right up the middle and the score was 14-0 after Simpson’s extra point kick.
The Hawks started to move the ball but Howell’s pass was picked off at the 35. Ripley made it to the 30 on a pitch out, but they had to give up the ball on downs.
The Hawks got the ball back but were stymied by two sacks and had to punt away. They would have another possession but time expired for the first half.
Holly High had the ball first to open the second half but met with misfortune again. A fumble inside the red zone gave the ball to Ripley.
Michael Poole broke free and was finally chased down by Jeremy Boyd but not before he had claimed long yardage. The big fullback swept right end and scored again, this time from the 6-yard line. It was 21-0 after Simpson’s extra point kick.
Boyd picked up a pair of first downs for the Hawks, and Chris Bridgeforth caught a Howell pass in the flats. The next play went to the 4. A pass interference placed the ball at the 2. Boyd then trucked it off of right guard for six points. James Echols’ kick was true for the extra point, putting the Hawks on the board.
The Hawks got off a good kick which landed the ball on the 20. Johnson took the ball on the first play from scrimmage and went 80 yards for the last score of the game. Simpson added the point after the touchdown.
The ball flipped flopped between the two teams, each going four and out.
Although the Hawks would make some very good plays in the fourth, time ran out before they could reach the goal line. The final score was 28-7.
Coach Clifford Brown identified Jeremy Boyd as the player of the game.
“Boyd had a complete game. He carried about 17 times and gained 110 yards and picked up one TD,” Brown said.
The head coach also said the Hawks are going to address their miscues.
“We have to cut them down,” he said. “We are gaining great game experience but we have got to learn to decrease our miscues and capitalize on accomplishments in a game. We force a turnover and don’t reap the benefits. We penetrated the 25-yard line about eight times and scored once.”
The Hawks will contest the Red Raiders of Shannon this Friday night at home. Shannon is 1-1, losing to Memphis Mitchell 19-13 in week one and defeating Okolona 28-8 last week.
“Shannon is big,” Coach Brown aid. “They throw the ball a lot and have some good athletes.
“We have to execute our running game and do better in the kicking game, plus we have to improve defensively, too.”
Brown said he hopes to get some injured players back before district play starts on Friday, Sept. 15, at North Panola.
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