Thursday, November 2, 2006
packing for playoffs
By CLAUDE VINSON
With a trip to the Class 3A state playoffs looming on the horizon, the Holly High Hawks welcomed their intra-county rival Byhalia with glee. Both teams were gearing up for this renewed rivalry.
The Hawks were first over the ball and Marcell Johnson, fresh from the injured reserve list, was making his debut this season and against his former team. Johnson took the kickoff and returned it to the 39.
Then Marvin Lucas Jr. carried twice, moving the ball into Indian territory. His third try netted a first down at the 34. Johnson got the call again and was brought down at the 2.
The Byhalia defense, which has been formidable all season, stopped the next runner for no gain. Then Lucas built a head of steam and scored off left tackle. The extra-point attempt was no good.
The Indians went to the 48 on their possession, but Joshua Robinson rushed in and caused a fumble, which the Hawks recovered. Their break didn’t pan out. Facing a fourth and five they sent the ball over on downs.
Byhalia had better luck on the next possession as Marcus Thomas hit Rod Johnson for a big gain. He then threw into a host of Hawks and lucked out with a pass interference call. It was excellent field position but lost on huge negative yards on the next play. Johnson fell short by two yards on the next carry and the Indians had to send the ball to the Hawks on downs.
After Chris Bridgeforth picked up a first at the 15 on a pass from Trayven Howell, Howell put Johnson in the slotback position, and he broke into the end zone, giving the Hawks a 12-0 lead. The try for extra points was stopped by Noreko Harvey.
The Indians continued to have difficulty in handling the ball. They bobbled the kick and Holly High grabbed it on the 22. However, Edwin Valencia threw Howell for a big loss.
Both teams went four and out, even after Johnson gave the Hawks a first inside the red zone. But the Indians had to punt deep inside their end zone. The Hawks blitzed, blocked the kick and covered the ball for a touchdown. Again they failed to convert and settled for an 18-0 halftime score.
Within the first minutes of the second half, both teams traded possession through interceptions and fumbles.
However, Clifford Brown moved the chains for the Hawks. He came back and got a couple more yards. The Hawks faced a fourth and 12 and gave the ball to Johnson, who picked up the first and more. Kendrick Duncan took it from there. And the Hawks finally converted on a sweep by C. Brown, making the score 26-0.
Holly High went to the single wing formation and was moving the ball steadily with Howell mixing the plays.
Time was running out in the fourth quarter with the score still 26-0. It appeared that Byhalia was about to be shutout, when they blocked a punt in the end zone and picked up six . They did not convert. The final was 26-6.
The most valuable player for Holly High was Marvin Lucas.
According to head coach Clifford Brown, he had a “complete game, on offense and defense”.
The Hawks (5-5) move on to Amory (6-4) on Friday night for a first round playoff game. Amory beat Caledonia 10-9 last Friday night.
“Amory has great tradition,” Coach Brown said. “It’s a storied program with state championships. We must play very well.”
The Indians finished their season at 2-8. First-year head coach Devin Rutherford said he was pleased with the progress made by his Indians and looks forward to the next season.
“We have a good nucleus returning, and we plan to build on that,” he said.
He named Edwin Valencia as his most valuable player.
He also paid tribute to his assistant coaches – Trevin Dixon, Melvin Norman and Vargus Clark.
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
managed and maintained by