Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007
Indians drop division tilt to Cougars
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians’ season thus far has been highlighted by shootout after shootout.
Game total scores have flirted with the century mark on occasion. This is testamentary to the high-flying offense which the Indians have brought to their games.
The Indians faced North Panola at home Friday night, seeking their third win of the season and second division victory.
The Indians marched down the field on their second possession of the game and scored on a 7-yard pass play from Marcus Thomas to wide out Chris Hill. They lined up for a two-point conversion try, which failed. They had the early lead at 6-0.
But the Cougars showed that they had come to play also. They struck back for six and added the two points which gave them the lead at 8-6.
The first quarter was costly for the Indians. Marquise Green, the linchpin of the Indian offense, and a great contributor in the defensive scheme was lost after the third play. He did not return. Marcus Thomas, quarterback for the Indians, was also shook up in the first quarter and saw only limited participation after that.
Chris Hill was inserted as signal caller on most plays for the remainder of the game. The Indians scored once more, on a 12-yard pass from Thomas to Zacarian Rayford, but again failed to get the extra point and trailed 16-12 at intermission.
The Cougars had first possesion to begin the second half and the Indians stopped them.
After that, according to head coach Devin Rutherford, “We were not in it. When you lose two key players to injuries at the beginning of the game, it has to hurt. The rest of our team’s veterans have to step in and pick up the slack. We had just one player who played his heart out on offense and special teams.”
For that performance Patrick Malone, a freshman, was named most valuable player of the game.
North Panola would go on to score 31 unanswered points in the second half to make a final score of 47-12.
Burce Wilbourn scored four of the six Cougar touchdowns in the game.
Coach Rutherford said his team (2-3) still has playoff potential and is optimistic that Green and Thomas will be 100 percent for Friday’s game with the Independence Wildcats, which is a district road contest. Independence (3-2) beat Holly Springs 26-7 last week.
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