Thursday, September 13, 2007
Hawks down Devils 21-14
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly High Hawks didn’t win the toss of the coin Friday night but they quickly got on the board first.
Water Valley deferred possession until the second half and kicked to the Hawks. Back to receive were Desley Brown and Cliff Brown. Desley Brown took the ball at the 25 and weaved his way through traffic, leaving a pair of defenders to beat. He ran through both for the score. James Echols booted the extra point and the Hawks had a 7-0 lead in the first seconds of the game.
The Blue Devils, who had beaten Coffeeville in their season opener, incurred two motion penalties and their kicker, J.J. Woodard, had to punt away.
The Hawks took the ball at the 20 and quarterback Demetri Oliver went right to work. He sent two men in motion and handed off to Cliff Brown who gained good yardage up the middle before he was halted. Oliver called an option, faked and then handed to C. Brown again who picked up a first down. But their offense stalled and they had to punt.
Water Valley fielded the ball on its 28 but could not penetrate the Hawks’ defense.The punt was fair caught by Datron Johnson at the 22 just as the quarter ended. The Hawks still had a 7-0 lead.
Torry Horton rushed through and dumped Oliver, caused and recovered a fumble. The ball was placed at the Hawks’ 32. The Blue Devils decided to go on a fourth and one. The QB sneaked by for a first and goal and Hosea Bradford swept right end for six. They missed the point-after attempt.
From the 36, C. Brown broke for a first down, then reprised his role on the next play for eight more. He came back with another first. He was wreaking havoc on the Devils’ line.
Holly High decided to go for it on a fourth and 8 from the 22. Oliver called a play-option, threw a long one to Darryl Kinkle in the end zone but Water Valley was there with a prevent defense.
After the punt, the Hawks’ defense dug in and forced the Devils to punt. Coach Clifford Brown called a time out and set a man defense. The Holly High front line leveled the field with Devil bodies and D. Brown had one man to beat. He evaded the kicker and scored. The extra-point try failed but the Hawks were in front 13-6.
Water Valley gambled on fourth down with two minutes left in the half. The QB, Walt McCullough, hit Davidtron Logan for a long gain but the clock ran down before the Devils had a chance to score. The halftime score was 13-6.
The Devils received to start the second half and the ball was returned to the Hawks’ 2-yard line by Logan where he was stopped by Jamaris Isom. A couple of penalties set the Devils back to the 18. They advanced to the 10 and elected to go on fourth down. The Hawks held and took over on downs at their 5.
Looking for distance between them and the goal line, the Hawks kept the ball on the ground. They had to punt on fourth. Echols’ kick was high with very little distance.
The ball stayed in the Holly High red zone for over seven minutes in the third quarter. The majority of that time was in the hands of the Devils. They wore the defense down and sneaked over with 1:53 left in the third. They tried and made a two-point conversion giving them the 14-13 lead at the end of three.
After C. Brown gave the Hawks a huge first down, Holly High faced a fourth and five at 21. Brown called time to set the play. Oliver sent three receivers wide with Kinkle making the catch and the touchdown. A two-point conversion toss was made to Daniel Burton. The Hawks had the lead again at 21-14.
The Devils marched downfield, using Logan relentlessly and successfully. But the Hawks’ defense had figured his moves and stopped him cold on a fourth and 2 try. Holly High then ran out the clock, taking their first win at 21-14.
The Hawks were again forced to play on the road in week two because of a damaged field at Sam Coopwood Park.
Coach Brown said his quarterback was gaining confidence.
“He is going to be able to exercise more options,” Brown said. “We also have to get all our players performing at the intensity level which was shown by Desley and Clifford. I think we will be ready when we go into division play.”
The Hawks take on Class 5 A Southaven in an away game this Friday, Sept. 14. Southaven is 2-0 with wins over Kossuth and Independence.
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