Thursday, September 4, 2008
Indians fall in coach’s debut
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians took to the gridiron last Friday night to start their season. They had a tough 5A opponent to contend with at home.
The Horn Lake Eagles brought a large contingent of players and supporters. There was also a huge crowd of Byhalia fans on hand. This was the Indians’ debut game under new head coach Markeith Washington.
The Indians kicked to the Eagles and the ball was received by wide receiver Tremayne McKinley. McKinley was met by a host of Byhalia defenders and stopped cold at the 28-yard line. The next play was a fake delay which was read perfectly by the Indian defense. Brent Mayo was back to pass, and Terrico Myers burst through and dropped him for a big loss. The Eagles were forced to punt. It took an Eagles’ bounce and skipped to the Indians’ 37.
The Eagles defense was also keying on the ball. They stymied Byhalia’s first offensive attempts and forced them to go three and out. Patrick Malone got off a good punt which carried to the Eagles’ 30. Horn Lake’s first play was a hand-off to Kenny Collins. He ran for a 35-yard gain after a blown tackle out of the backfield. The quarterback was stuffed for a loss on the next play.
The Eagles made a first down but Roderick Hardaway caused and covered a fumble at the 15 to stop the Horn Lake scoring threat. The Indians found no breathing room and were backed up deep into their end zone. They were forced to punt and Travis Woods leaped up, grabbed the ball out of the air and ran to the goal line. After the extra point, it was 7-0 in favor of the visitors.
Darrell Malone fielded the kick for the Indians and returned for 36. Quarterback Patrick Malone handed off to Jeremy Sessom for a straight buck up the middle. P. Malone kept on the next play but couldn’t move the chains. The Indians were penalized for illegal motion and had to punt. P. Malone hit a booming punt just as the quarter ended.
Early in the second, Mayo faked a hand-off, skirted right tackle and was stopped out of bounds at the 9. Jay Jones was given the ball and the 170-lb. running back took a pair of defenders across the goal line with him. With 9:38 left in the first half, the Eagles were up 14-0 after the extra point was booted.
Byhalia’s next possession was short lived. They turned the ball over on downs and Jeffrey Carlyle, a 190-lb. running back, built a head of steam and would not be stopped. Horn Lake tried for two but the attempt was thwarted by an alert Indian defense. The visitors were ahead 20-0.
The Indians were stopped on their possession but got the ball right back after creating another fumble at the 25 with 3:32 left in the half. The Indians tried a pitch out that went wrong and ended up in the Eagles claws. Jones took it 20 yards and the QB pushed it in from there. It was 27-0, Eagles.
D. Malone bulled his way to a first down after a couple of plays. The Indians picked up a delay of game penalty after losing a few yards. They couldn’t make them up. The half ended 27-0.
The Byhalia defense held the Eagles in the third, allowing a field goal near the end of the quarter. The Indians were still finding it hard to get past the Horn Lake front line. However, QB P. Malone kept for a score in the fourth. They tried for two but failed. The final score was 33-6.
Head coach of Horn Lake, John Cooley, told Coach Washington that he was impressed by the Indians’ efforts against a 5A program.
Coach Washington said after the game that he was also pleased with his team’ performance.
“We just don’t have very much experience at this point,” he said. “We have a big roster and a lot of excitement. We are trying not to have our players go through the season with the ‘iron man’ mentality. Our bench needs to be prepared to show up and contribute as the season progresses. There are a lot of things which please us, but at the same time there are things which will change.”
Washington named Patrick Malone as the most valuable player for the game.
The next contests for the Indians will be a pair of road games – this Friday, Sept. 5, at DeSoto Central and Friday, Sept. 12 at Bolivar Central.
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