Thursday, November 1, 2007
Indians knock off rival Hawks
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians visited Holly Springs last Friday night and solidified their grasp on the Region 3-3A championship.
The Indians had the ball first, taking it at the 30. The quarterback for Byhalia, Marcus Thomas, saw running room and went to the 40. That would be their only first down on the initial position. Marquis Green got off a good punt with an Indian bounce. It rolled to the Hawks’ 10.
The Hawks kept the ball on the ground and in the hands of Desley Brown. They, too, had only one first down. However, they were fortunate enough to get the ball back on a pick by Chris Scales.
D. Brown took it across midfield but it evolved into a fourth and two at the 40. D. Brown converted the first and three plays later they were facing a fourth and eight. Flags littered the field. The Hawks were slapped with a 15-yard penalty. The Indians took over on downs, and the quarter ended at 0-0.
After the change of directions, the Indians went long on the arm of Thomas, but a pair of Hawk defenders spoiled what would have been a perfect strike. Thomas tossed the first down pick-up to Darrell Malone. He put them in the red zone with a quick screen to Green, who was stopped at the 7. The next play saw a wide open Warren Taylor in the end zone. No PAT, but the Indians went up 6-0.
The Hawks were knocking at the door after a pass put them on the 7 with 5:22 left in the first half. The Hawks couldn’t turn the trick on the next play, but a few plays later Brandon Thomas scored under heavy defensive opposition. James Echols booted the extra point and Holly High went up 7-6 at the intermission.
The Hawks went to the 50 on the second half return. A pass interference call moved them to the 25. They had to give up the pigskins on downs.
The Indians wasted no time. They gave the ball to Green, who started at his own 30 and showing great athleticism, jumped over one defender and evaded all other would-be tacklers and ended the 70-yard jaunt in the end zone. The PAT failed.
The Indians then tried an onside kick which netted them the ball at the Hawk 45. Green slipped everyone for his second TD. No PAT, but the Indians had the lead at 18-7.
After a holding penalty, Cliff Brown put the Hawks in the red zone but couldn’t go any farther. They went out on downs. The third quarter ended with the Indians still leading at 18-7.
In the fourth, Thomas was using the option to move the ball all over the field and keep the Hawks’ defense off balance. A handoff to Green saw the speedy back pick up a key block, turn the corner and skirt the left side for his third TD. No PAT, and the score was 24-7.
The Hawks returned the ball to the 50. But again they had no offense. The ball went back to the Indians.
It was de ja vu all over again. Green again danced around the left side and into the end zone for his fourth TD. That would be the last score of the game.
The Hawks had one last shot. They moved the chains once on a catch by Darryl Kinkle. The next play, a pass, was picked off by Green. That stopped the drive and Byhalia took a knee to end the game at 30-7. This was the first time the Indians had defeated the Hawks.
The Hawks selected Chris Scales as their most valuable player for the game. The Indians chose Corderio Burford.
The Hawks have one game left on their schedule, an away division tilt at Lewisburg on this Friday, Nov. 2. The loss to Byhalia probably killed the playoff hopes for the Hawks.
The Indians will celebrate their homecoming this Friday, Nov. 2, with a game against the New Albany Bulldogs. They will then enter the post-season on Friday night, Nov. 9, at home.
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