Thursday, September 6, 2007
Hawks lose opener to 4A Lafayette
By CLAUDE VINSON
This was not the opener which the Holly High Hawks had planned and hoped for.
About mid-week the Class 3A Hawks received word that there would be a change of venue in their opening game. The Hawks’ field was deemed unsuitable for the contest with the 4A Lafayette Commodores due to ruts created by a vandal in a vehicle and the game was moved to Oxford.
Holly High was over the ball first after after the kickoff reception by Cliff Brown. The first play from scrimmage was a lateral which was lost and scooped up by Lafayette. They quickly turned the possession into a safety.
The quick kick was fielded by Bubba Toles and missed tackles allowed him to travel to the 17. Darryl Kinkle stopped the next runner at the 11. But the Commodores pushed it in on the next play and went ahead 9-0 after the extra point.
The Hawks lost ground on their possession and faced a fourth and 14. A delay flag moved them back to the 10. The Hawks’ kick was a high one with very little distance.
It gave the Commodores excellent position at the 21. Toles took the handoff and put the ball on the 2. D.J. McChristian took it over from there. The extra point try was wide right but Lafayette had a 15-0 lead.
Desley Brown took the Commodores’ kick at the 16 and blasted through the defenders for 60 yards. The Hawks’ offense stalled and sent the ball over on downs.
Martin Phillips was still calling signals for Lafayette. He took the ball in the shotgun, pitched it to the tailback who tossed it back to Phillips. He hit McChristian at full gallop who scored with little opposition. Blake Threlkeld, kicker/punter for Lafayette, booted another one and the score was 22-0.
The Hawks went nowhere. Their kick was fair caught at the 40. The horn signalled the close of the first quarter. After the change of direction, the Hawks caused and recovered a fumble at the 33 but had to punt away.
The Commodores kept the ball for the biggest portion of the second quarter until Toles ran in for another score. The tally was 29-0 with the remaining time less than two minutes.
The Hawks picked up a first down and got a real break when a Demetri Oliver pass was tipped into the hands of Brandon Thomas. He scored as the horn sounded and with the Echols kick avoided the first half shutout. It was 29-7.
The Commodores scored again on their first possession of the second half to make it 36-7.
On the ensuing kick off, Cliff Brown returned it to the Lafayette 37, stopped there by the Commodores’ kicker. Oliver then launched a bomb from the shotgun, intended for Thomas but picked off by Tyree Wilson. He took it to the 30. Phillips saw a hole and went in. Threlkeld booted another and made it 43-7.
The Hawks turned a smooth reverse which went from Oliver to Desley Brown to Kinkle, but it was fumbled at the end to the hosts. The Hawks got another break though, when two plays later Chris Scales picked up a fumble and rambled to the 10. Desley Brown bulled his way through to the 6. The Hawks fumbled it away on third down. The horn ended the third quarter with the Hawks still in the hole 43-7.
Holly High caught a few more breaks in the fourth. One was a recovered fumble after an Echols punt. The ball was placed in Commodore territory at the 44. But they could not capitalize. The Commodores hit paydirt on their next possession and Threlkeld booted another extra point to make it 50-7.
The Commodores would have the ball for one last time with the quarter closing. Two clusters of ballpark lighting malfunctioned and the Lafayette quarterback took a knee to run the clock down.
“Our morale was down,” coach Clifford Brown said. “Our kids were pumped up to play at home. The kids were shellshocked and it snowballed. We will rebound.”
Coach Brown named Desley Brown the most valuable player of the game for his strong effort on defense. Next up for the Hawks is a contest against Water Valley this Friday night, Sept. 7, at 7. It is scheduled to be a home game.
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