Thursday, October 19, 2006
Hawks snatch big district win
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly High Hawks celebrated homecoming last Friday night at Sam Coopwood Park, crowned a queen and moved their program a game closer to returning to the 3A District playoffs.
However, they had a scare from M.S. Palmer before it was all over.
The Dragons had the ball first but couldn’t penetrate the Holly High defense and went three and out.
The Hawks got the ball at the 24 and Chris Bridgeforth picked up a first down, but a hefty penalty and Desley Brown being tagged for a loss, coupled with a couple of incompletes, and the Hawks were done on their first possession. Jamie Echols got off a high booming kick which Palmer fumbled but recovered.
The Dragon quarterback, Anthony Twilley, was operating from a version of the old split “T” but was still having trouble with the Hawks’ defense. They punted.
Kendrick Duncan got the call and gave the Hawks their first down. Treyvan Howell was lining up from the power “I” with Duncan and Marvin Lucas as the setbacks. Lucas got a first but the Hawks still had to go on fourth and seven. Howell converted on a screen right to Daniel Burton.
They were penalized and faced a second and 20. Howell hit Jamal Porter for 10 of them but was sacked on the next play. The lost ground was saved by a penalty. Howell then hit Bridgeforth for the score down the right side. The extra-point attempt was blocked. The quarter ended with the Hawks leading 6-0.
Larry Hall rushed for 15 and a first for the Dragons, making it almost to midfield. Then their fullback, Jacques Crawford, got them another first. They tried a bomb on third and 25 but it was effectively defended by Burton and Porter.
The Hawks didn’t move during their possession and fumbled the ball, which the Dragons recovered. That set up a 36-yard scoring jaunt from scrimmage by Hall to even the score. The extra-point try was not successful.
The Hawks went three and out but got the ball back once more before halftime. They moved to the 35 and Duncan, who would prove to be “Mr. Utility” over the course of the game, rushed it inside the red zone with 1:54 left on the clock but they turned it over and at intermission it was tied 6-6.
After the halftime activities, the Hawks fumbled the kickoff return which gave the Dragons good field position. Crawford made another run of 21 yards but fumbled. The Hawks recovered, made a pair of firsts and were on a roll when Hall picked off the ball. The interception was good for a score. The extra-point try failed (a fullback draw). The visitors had the lead 12-6.
This turn of events evoked a huge sigh from the Homecoming crowd.
The Hawks stormed back with the answer, with Courtney Bowen running to the 37. Lucas caught one in the flats for a first. Duncan moved it to the 15. The Hawks caught a break on a pass interference call which set up a first and goal. Jeremy Boyd twisted, bucked, turned and broke tackles and fell into the end zone. The extra-point attempt was no good but Holly High had drawn even.
Porter intercepted a Dragon aerial on their first throw of the fourth quarter. Lucas and Brown moved consistently, then Duncan finished it off with a 28 yard trek. An unsportsmanlike conduct call made the extra-point try an 18-yard effort which failed. However, the Hawks had reclaimed the lead 18-12.
Play had become more aggressive and intense and the Hawks offense had started to misfire. Duncan broke another long run placing the ball on the 13. The quarterback was called for intentional grounding and was sacked. They just couldn’t get it into the end zone.
Time expired with the Dragons trying a last effort via a long pass that missed the mark.
The Hawks had dodged a major bullet with the 18-12 victory.
Coach Clifford Brown selected Kendrick Duncan as the MVP, praising his 120 yards rushing.
“He had a total game,” Coach Brown said. “He showed up on defense as well as he did one offense. He helped achieve our game plan. We had hoped to run the ball and contain their fullback.”
The Hawks travel to Independence to face the Wildcats next Friday night in another district contest. Independence (3-5) fell to Senatobia 28-14 last week.
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