Thursday, October 16, 2008
Injuries, mistakes costly for Hawks
By BARRY BURLESON
The problems added up for the Holly Springs Hawks Friday night at Sam Coopwood Park.
Atop the list was injuries to both of their quarterbacks. Plus there were three lost fumbles and a couple of 15-yard penalties that helped Tunica Rosa Fort go ahead 24-12 in the second half. The Lions held on for the 24-20 win.
“It’s frustrating,” coach Clifford Brown said. “When it rains, it pours.”
Starting quarterback Demetri Oliver and back-up Dean Bridgeforth were injured. Darryl Kinkle moved to quarterback. Later he got banged up, and Chris Scales was taking snaps.
“This is homecoming week coming up, and I have two or three on crutches,” Brown said. “These are key injuries and they make the coach more nervous, but we’re not making excuses. Our kids are still upbeat. It’s not like we wanted, but we still have a chance to get in (the playoffs).
The Hawks (2-5 overall and 1-3 in the region) led 12-11 at halftime Friday night.
Oliver hooked up with Brandon Thomas on a 70-yard pass for an early score. The extra-point try was blocked.
The Hawks’ other points in the first half came on Kinkle’s 60-yard run on a reverse. Holly High went for two and a pass attempt fell incomplete.
Tunica Rosa Fort grabbed the momentun in the second half. The visitors rallied and went ahead 18-12.
Then, thanks in large part to two flags on Holly High, the Lions upped their lead to 24-12.
With Kinkle behind center, Brown said, “We had to change our whole game plan.”
That included lots of quarterback keepers, and the senior scored from 15 yards out on a QB draw and also carried for the two-point conversion.
“Darryl (Kinkle) made some nice throws, too,” Brown said. “He’s an outstanding athlete.”
The Hawks got the ball back with about 43 seconds left but had no timeouts and couldn’t rally. They reached as far as the Tunica 40.
“It was an outstanding defensive effort by our team,” Brown said.
He selected linebacker Sam Hawkins as the most valuable player, praising his “huge tackles, crushing hits.”
“But offensively, we’re just not making the plays when we should be making them,” Brown continued. “Miscues here and there turned the game.”
This Friday the Hawks host Broad Street, a non-district opponent, for homecoming at 7 p.m. Then they wrap up the season with district opponents Byhalia, a Marshall County rival on the road, and Lewisburg, at home on “Senior Night.” Brown said his team can finish still finish .500 and in a best case scenario be the number three seed from the district in the playoffs.
“We need to take a look at ourselves this week, regroup, win this homecoming game and then get the job done in those last two division games,” he said. “We have to motivate our kids and find a way. We still have a shot, and anything can happen once you get into the playoffs.”
Brown said he will also be keeping his “fingers crossed” concerning the health of some of his key football players.
“I just hope we have a quarterback this Friday night,” he said.
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