Thursday, October 26, 2005
District-leading Warriors down Indians
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians staged their homecoming last Friday night after a two-week postponement. The festive occasion was marred by a defeat at the hands of the district-leading Warriors of Senatobia.
The Warriors elected to receive and V.J. Street took the kickoff and returned it for 29 yards. With Chad Garrett calling the shots from the power “I,” the Warriors were poised to strike when Terrion Smith rushed in and sacked Garrett for a two-yard loss. The Indian defense was following the ball well but the Warriors were setting an early ground game that put them in the red zone. They were using Ivan Sandridge as the primary tailback and he punched his way in on a second and goal straight over center. Travis Baird kicked the extra point. Senatobia had held the ball for almost six minutes.
The Indians went three and out.
The Warriors kept using the ground, still feeding Sandridge as the lone setback. Spotting an opening in the secondary, Garrett threw his first pass of the game, hitting Street for a touchdown. He beat one defender in the end zone. The extra point made it 14-0.
Marcus Thomas brought the Indians out, found Brandon Rayford, but it was not enough to move the chains. The first quarter ended just before Byhalia punted away.
The Indians’ defense stopped the Warriors and brought up a fourth and 13. It was Senatobia’s first punt of the game.
Thomas went to Chris Hill for a first down. Then a personal foul by the visitors gave the Indians their best field position thus far. They were on the Senatobia 40. They moved the chains again with a toss to Noreko Harvey. Thomas called the option, faked and handed off to Marquise Green who turned the corner for six. The extra-point try was unsuccessful.
The Warriors slipped the ball to Street again on a third down and the wingback went in standing up. Another extra point and it was 21-6.
The Warriors got the ball back in speedy fashion and Street reprised his role, again into the end zone, unscathed. Baird was true again and it was 27-6.
And old number 19 wasn’t finished. After the Indians’ Jeraldo Lesuer returned to the 45, Gary Bell picked a Thomas pass, and Street took off again on a 57-yard gallop for his third consecutive score. This time Baird missed. But it was 33-6.
Harvey came close to breaking into the opening but was pulled down. Then the Indians fumbled on the 13-yard line. The Warriors had the ball when the half ended. The scoreboard read 33-6.
If the Indians were discouraged by the three touchdown mark of Street, it didn’t show. Thomas rushed for a first down, then called his number again. This time the keeper put the ball on the 3 for a first and goal. Thomas kept again, then gave it to Green for a left end sweep. No extra point, but the deficit was trimmed to 33-12.
The Indians tried an onside kick and recovered the ball after it was touched by a Warrior. They had excellent location at the 37. But Thomas was picked again just before the horn signaled the end of the third.
The Indians kept pushing. Green rushed inside the red zone to the 14.Harvey gave them another first, but Thomas was sacked for a huge loss on the next play and they had to punt.
They held the Warriors without gain and were back on offense a short time later. Thomas was running the option well, going to Cordell Harris for a big gain. A long pass to Zacarian Rayford put them in scoring position. They ran the reverse for a first down, then hit Hill with a buttonhook for the touchdown. They still did not convert, and the tally was 33-18.
Byhalia had one more shot at the end zone with 1:10 left on the clock when Thomas was picked by Garrett. Garrett immediately went on offense and handed off to Jonathan Chapman who ran it in for the final Senatobia score. The extra-point attempt was unsuccessful. The final was 39-18
Head coach Devin Rutherford had only praise for his team.
“We didn’t tuck tail and run when we were down at 33-6,” he said. “Those guys showed that they can play this game. They came back. With the exception of a few errors, that score could have been much different.”
He named Green as the most valuable player of the game, lauding his two touchdowns and rushing yardage.
The Indians close out their season this Friday with a road game to rival Holly Springs.
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