Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007
Hawks deny Lions’ comeback try
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly High Hawks got back on the winning track last Friday evening in the land of the big ships.
The win at Tunica gave the Hawks a district victory and also renewed their purpose. It was not easy. Although the Hawks got off to a quick start, they had to fight off a resurging Lions squad in the second half.
The Lions received first at their 28. The offense sputtered and they punted. The Hawks had to do likewise.
On their next possession, the Lions gained only nine yards and had to punt again. Holly High took the ball at the 10. They finally got the first down but had to punt away three plays later. However, this time, James Echols kicked a good long one.
The Hawks’ defense blitzed the Lions, rushed the quarterback and caused him to throw a pick to Darryl Kinkle.
The Lions roughed Demetri Oliver on the first play and the Hawks were at the 25. Kinkle was sent on a deep slant and made a diving catch at the 5. Oliver then sent Clif Brown over center for six. The extra-point try failed. The first quarter ended with the score 6-0.
The Lions got their first first down but couldn’t stretch it. They sent the ball over.
The Hawks passed off to Desley Brown, who moved the chains. They came back with the same play and Brown put them on the 35. Oliver then used a mix for the next score. First there was a short flare to Kinkle for a first, then a slant to Daniel Burton in the end zone. Echols hit the mark and the Hawks were up 13-0.
On the kickoff, the Hawks missed coverage on Courtney Vaughn, who returned the pigskin 90 yards for the Lions’ first points. Their kick was good and the score was 13-7. There were 4:20 left in the half.
The kick was fielded by Cliff Brown, who was stopped at the 47. He went around right end on the next play but the ground was littered with yellow hankerchiefs. They were pushed back for holding. But the Hawks kept pushing.
Kinkle made a reception, coughed it up, but teammate Brandon Thomas covered. Thomas then hit Brandon for 15 yards. The Lions were penalized a few times, one for pass interference at the 7. Thomas then hit Burton for another scoring strike. The PAT try was wide right. The half ended with the Hawks ahead 19-7.
The head coach at Rosa Fort, Lynord Cruthfield, in his second season, had released a story to “The Tunica Times” stating the Hawks had embarrased the Lions last season, spoiled their homecoming and beat them 35-0. Cruthfield also stated the Hawks had laughed at them after the game and they had to pay.
Coach Brown had shown the article to his players. It was clear that the Hawks got the message.
They received to start the second half and although they made a hand-full of errors, they kept focused. When the Lions moved to the 10 and threatened, the Hawks’ defense caused a fumble to stop the drive.
After that, play became rough and more physical. The officiating crew passed out a couple of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties to settle things down.
The Hawks used a handoff to Desley Brown, who ran for 88 yards and a score. Echols’ kick was true and the score was 26-7 with 6:07 left in the third quarter.
There was a long pick by the Lions in the fourth quarter which set up a chance for Vaughn to slip through and score again for the Lions. They missed the try for two and the score was 26-13.
The Hawks’ offense stalled and they had to punt from the 14.
Rosa Fort was threatening at the 5 but was pushed back by the Hawks. They kept the ball for two downs and then fumbled. This set up the third TD for the Lions and the final score of the game. The PAT try failed.
The Lions tried an onside kick but the Hawks covered it at the 50. The Lions tried every gamble to support their coach’s statement but to no avail. The Hawks had embarrased them for a second time with a score of 26-19.
Coach Clifford Brown named Burton the most valuable player.
“We made some mistakes in the second half that we shouldn’t have,” he said. “We just got a bit too conservative. But they held it together for the win”.
Next up for the Hawks (2-5 overall and 1-3 in the district) will be a non-region road game at Broad Street this Friday night.
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