Thursday, September 25, 2008
Holly High drops district opener
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly High Hawks played their fourth game of the season against the Cougars of North Panola. This was the first game versus a divisional foe for the 2008 season. Both teams were coming off of losses from the previous week.
The Cougars had primary possession and tried an on-side kick. The Hawks, playing at home, picked up on the stunt immediately and covered the ball with good field position. After a couple of misfires, the Hawks picked up a first down. They had a pair of dropped passes and had to give up the ball.
The signal caller for the Cougars, Don Ellis, came out flinging, hitting a receiver in the flats. A 15-yard penalty moved North Panola into Hawks’ territory at the 30. The Hawks held and the Cougars had to punt. It was a good kick and sailed to the 6. Two plays later Holly High coughed up the ball at the 19. The quarter ended at 0-0.
The Hawks suffered a 10-yard penalty after which Demetri Oliver sent Dean Bridgeforth on a long pattern, connecting on a 70-plus yard pick-up and a first and goal. Oliver came back and hit Darryl Kinkle for the touchdown. Tyrone Miller booted the extra point and the Hawks led 7-0.
Holly High was penalized on the kickoff but held the Cougars. However, subsequent infractions backed the Hawks deep into their own end zone. Then, disaster struck – mishandled ball fumbled in the end zone. The Cougars covered for an easy TD. The extra-point try failed. Holly High led 7-6 with 5:42 left in the half.
Holly High was again on the move. Oliver picked up a first after spotting trouble and sprinting out. He ran out again for another first. They were on their own 48 but couldn’t manage the 1:15 left. Time expired with the half time score still 7-6.
Miller’s kick was taken by Panola at the 10 and returned to the 20. Ellis found Vernon Jones with a screen just over center. It was good for a first at the 45. The Hawks’ defense set them back twice. The Hawks got the ball at the 5 and Kinkle picked up a first down at the 25. There were some resounding “thuds” as the Hawks tried to grind it out on the ground. Kinkle converted a fourth and three but the third quarter ended with the score still 7-6.
The Cougars’ Jones scored within one minute of the fourth but their try for two failed; however, they had the lead for the first time at 12-7.
The Hawks had an offensive breakdown but dodged the old bullet when North Panola bobbled the punt. The Hawks were threatening again when Jamorris Holts was hit hard at the 13 and lost the ball.
Holly High stopped the Cougars once more and were in the same position again. William Jones had to battle a pair of Panola defenders for the ball at the goal line. Oliver’s pass, a high spiral, was tipped by one of the defenders and it landed in Jones’ hands. He stepped into the end zone. The try- for-two failed. Holly High led again 13-12.
The Cougars had some help on their next score. The Hawks were cited for pass interference and set up the Cougars well inside the red zone. Their setback Ricky Hunt, skipped through for the TD. The PAT failed but time left was only 2:16.
Holly High try some last ditch efforts that went nowhere. The Cougars took this one, 18-13.
Coach Clifford Brown said penalties hurt Holly High.
“We racked up 185 penalized yards,” he said. “We put the ball on the ground a few times and we have to address that. (Dean) Bridgeforth is going to be out for awhile with a leg injury. But we are going to be all right.”
Coach Brown named Demetri Oliver as game most valuable player.
The Hawks have another divisional foe this Friday night at Independence. The Hawks are 1-3 on the season and 0-1 in 3-3A.
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