Thursday, May 22, 2008
By CLAUDE VINSON
Head coach Clifford Brown of the Holly High gridiron Hawks put his teams through a final prep test in the spring with a three-game set versus the 5A Horn Lake Eagles.
The ninth graders took the field first with Peter Thigpen calling signals for the freshmen. They went three and out. The Horn Lake Eagles had one miscue and then called a single reverse which sent their quarterback, Freddie Benson, into the end zone standing up. They kicked the extra point and went up 7-0.
Holly High could not get the offense to click and went out on downs again. The Eagles started from their 30 and pitched out to Tremanye McKinley, who skirted the right end and ran 43 yards before being brought down. Chavis Hampton got the call and went in for the second touchdown. The kick was good and the first ended with the Eagles up 14-0.
After the Hawks went three and out, the Eagles faced a third and 19. They pitched out to Clint Stone who made it 20-0 after a failed point-after try.
The Hawks’ defense later rose to the occasion, causing a fumble which was scooped up by Xavier Hankins, who got the Hawks on board with six.
The Eagles retaliated and scored again to end the half 267-6.
The Hawks tried in the second half but couldn’t prevent the Eagles from putting up 13 more points.
Cardarius Faulkner made some impressive carries for the Hawks and Ernest Black caught some yard gaining passes but they could not mount any game-changing threats and lost 39-6.
The junior varsity took the field next with Dean Bridgeforth under center. The Hawks’ pass attempt was picked off by Dalvin Booker. The Horn Lake quarterback, Mac Cooley, then called on Brent Mayo, who trotted in for the score. The extra-point attempt failed.
The first quarter played out with neither team making any impressive gains.
The Hawks caught a break when William Jones covered an Eagles’ fumble and went to the 20. The Hawks had a first and goal at the 9-yard line with 44 seconds left but time expired before they could punch it in. The half ended 6-0.
Horn Lake had possession to begin the second half and Freddie Benson carried it from the 45 to the 9. Theo Summers went in and the Eagles kicked the extra point to make it 13-0.
The Hawks got into trouble deep in their own end zone and gave up a safety.
They denied the Eagles any scores after that but failed to improve their offense and lost 15-0.
It was now up to the varsity to salvage the trip into 5A land. The Eagles had the ball first and their quarterback came out slinging. Brent Mayo hit a receiver for a big gain and picked up a first down. The next play he was thrown for a loss by a tight Hawk defense. The Hawks kept stopping the Eagles, but committed some infractions along the way that allowed the Eagles to keep the ball for eight minutes of the opening quarter.
Demetrius Oliver was calling signals for the Hawks. They picked up a first but then faced a fourth and eight and sent the ball over on downs. The Eagles took over at the 42 and Jay Jones burst out of the backfield, outran all Hawks and made the score 9-0.
The Hawks started to move the ball. Oliver found Chris Scales with a flare and came right back and hit Brandon Thomas for another first at the 42. The Hawks went for it on a fourth and two. They made it. The Eagles intercepted the next pass and time expired, ending the first half.
The third quarter was a stalemate. Each team held the ball about equal time and each punted away. The score was still 9-0.
The Eagles’ Mac Cooley and Jackie Bingham teammed up for a long bomb and after the kick led 16-0.
There were 5:11 left in the game and the Eagles picked off a long pass by the Hawks and took it to the 15. They were penalized back to the five. Cooley was back pedaling deep into his end zone when he launched a long one which was intercepted by Darryl Kinkle. He sped down the left and put the Hawks on the board. But time quickly ran out and the score was 16-6.
Bobby Barksdale showed huge for the Hawks on defense. He and Scales constantly rushed the Eagle backfield the entire game.
This spring outing probably proved that the 3A Hawks can run with the big boys.
“We played very well,”
Coach Brown said. “We were up and down the field but just couldn’t punch it in. Defensively, we played well. I’m real proud of our kids. We’re ahead of the curve.”
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