Thursday, May 17, 2007
Indians shine in jamboree
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians were finishing up a full week in pads and decided to take what they had learned on the road.
They went to Cleveland last Saturday to participate in a “Spring Fling” football jamboree. They had been scheduled to open with a contest with 5A Jim Hill of Jackson, but a schedule change paired them with 5A East Side High of Cleveland.
The Indians gave the Trojans all they wanted. The games were set up with each team playing two complete, 12-minute quarters with a running clock. Each team would also face two different opponents.
The game with East Side was a test of defensive wills with the 3A Indians coming out on top. Marcus Thomas, quarterbacking the Indians, connected with Chris Hill for the lone score of the game that stood. Byhalia had scored once more but the officials called it back.
The fireworks really exploded in the game with 4A Indianola Gentry. The Indians had first possession and Thomas went to work immediately, launching a long bomb, but both of his possible receivers were covered. They then suffered a five-yard penalty.
Next was a long pass to Chris Hill, who picked up about 20. Marquise Green took a handoff at the 30 and just ran through Rams en route to a 70-yard touchdown. Thomas then hit Hill for the two- point conversion.
When the Rams got the ball, Hill correctly read the Rams’ quarterback, stepped in and snatched a broken pass and galloped in for another six. Thomas tried a sneak around left end but was denied. The Indians were up 14-0.
Byhalia held Gentry and they went out on downs. Over the ball, the Indians incurred two penalties and lost the ball on a fourth down try. That ended the first quarter.
The Rams still were not challenging the Indian defense. Warren Taylor broke up a sideline pass attempt to give the Indians the ball. Thomas was still clicking on all cylinders. He hit Hill again for a big gain. Then Green scored again on a right end sweep. Thomas swept the same end for another two pointer and the Indians were way out front at 22-0
The quarter was quickly coming to a close when the Rams finally found some offense. They picked up a pair of first downs through the efforts of their big fullback, Jerry Williams. Williams kept trying to hit the Indian line when had become solid. The fullback was injured on his fourth carry.
The Rams’ Ellis Ivory and Thyree Johnson made a last effort to find the end zone but to no avail. They picked up an additional first down but the clock ran down and left the Indians with their second win of the day at 22-0.
Head coach Devin Rutherford congratulated the Indians for their almost flawless peformance. But he warned them that this was a spring game and they still had work to do.
Coach Rutherford has two new coaches joining his staff, Rob Altman and Trent Adams. His offensive coordinator, Trevan Dixon, is returning from last season.
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