Thursday, September 11, 2008
Hawks dominate Blue Devils
By CLAUDE VINSON
Coach Clifford Brown and his Holly High Hawks probably are still dancing on air.
They went into Water Valley last Friday night and almost perfectly executed their game plan. The Blue Devils, once a most formidable foe in the 3A ranks, now play in 2A but still have a colorful history which includes two divisional and one state championship. That did not seem to matter to the high-flying Hawks who were there to win.
Holly High received and returned to the 30. Demetri Oliver was the starting quarterback. Their second play was a fumble which resulted in a turnover. It didn’t matter because the Hawks’ defense showed up early. The Blue Devils’ plays were for losses. They went three and out.
Oliver went to Darryl Kinkle on the first and third plays of the series. He went 68 yards on his second touch and gave the Hawks their first points. They missed on the point-after try.
Corey Carr received for the Devils and returned for 20. The Hawks’ defense, which blitzed or pressed on each and every play, forced the Devils into a fourth down gambling situation. Oliver picked the Water Valley quarterback and returned the ball to the 20 of the Blue Devils. But the Devils held the Hawks to four downs.
The QB for Water Valley was keeping the ball on the ground. But the Hawks’ defense, led by Bobby Barksdale, was penetrating and getting to the ball carrier. Again they forced the Devils to a four and out. Holly High couldn’t move the ball and the quarter expired with the Hawks on top 6-0.
After the Devils went out again, Oliver dropped back into the shotgun on a third and eight and hit Jamorris Holts for a big gain to the 17. They moved to the 7 but couldn’t punch it in. They attempted a field goal. The ball had the height but not the distance.
The Devils had to punt, and Kinkle took the punt all the way for a Hawk score. They tried for a two-point conversion, failed and were penalized. But they had the lead 12-0 with three minutes left in the half.
The Hawks got the ball back with less than a minute left in the half. Jamaris Isom broke away for a 30-yard pickup, but it was costly. Isom was upended and had to be helped off the field. The injury was not serious and he returned during the third quarter.
The half ended with the Hawks in charge at 12-0.
To start the second half, the Holly High defense caught the Devils’ receiver at the 9-yard line. The ensuing punt left the Hawks with good field position. From the wingback formation, Oliver hit Kinkle on a buttonhook. The wide receiver took the ball 29 yards for the score after splitting two defenders. The extra-point try failed. It was 18-0.
The Devils went no place. Kinkle picked their kick off the turf and weaved his way, being convoyed by a bevy of Holly High blockers, 80 yards for the score. The Hawks kicker split the uprights, giving Holly Springs a 25-0 cushion. That was the first booted PAT by a Hawks’ team in decades. The third quarter expired with the score still 25-0.
The fourth opened with the officials making a questionable call. The Devils’ QB launched a bomb, but the Hawks’ defender looked the ball in all the way. Seeing the receiver had no possible chance at the reception, he went after the ball. The Devil shoved the Holly Springs defender in the back with both hands. The side judge called the play for Holly High but was over-ruled by the referee, who awarded the ball to Water Valley with a 15-yard penalty attached. Although the other four officials sided with the side judge, the decision was not reversed.
The Hawks went right back to work. Operating from the power ‘I’, a quick hitter to Holts put the Hawks on the 32. Then Isom busted the Devils’ line wide open. It came down to a fourth and eight from the 19. Brandon Thomas got the nod and took a tackler into the end zone with him. After a failed PAT try, the Hawks led 31-0.
The Devils made one last threat, which was stopped by Oliver. Water Valley let the clock run down to end the game.
The Hawks had turned in a brilliant performance and shut out an opponent on the road.
“We were clicking on all cylinders, and I hope we keep it up,” Brown said.
Coach Brown named Darryl Kinkle as MVP.
The Hawks are 1-1 on the season and will meet Southaven (5A foe) this Friday in their first home game.
“Hopefully, we will have a hillside full of fans and put on a show,” Brown said. “Please, support these kids.”
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