Thursday, October 23, 2008
Indians fall by 18 at Tunica
By BARRY BURLESON
It was Byhalia’s air attack versus Rosa Fort’s ground-it-out effort Friday night at Tunica.
And in the end, the home team won 40-22, thanks in large part to star runner Shaviea McKinley.
“He’s a major running back,” said Byhalia coach Markeith Washington, “the best we’ve played. He was tough – a one-man show.”
The Indians’ air show included Patrick Malone throwing touchdown passes of 60 and 15 yards, the first to Tavaris Neal and the latter to Darrell Malone.
The other touchdown came after the Indians forced Rosa Fort to punt from its own end zone. It was blocked, and Randy Holt caught the ball and ran it across the goal-line for six points.
Holt also kicked one extra point and added a 14-yard field goal.
The field goal came late in the first half. The Indians pushed the ball down the field in the closing seconds, managing to get out of bounds with one second on the clock and set up for the three-pointer.
Byhalia trailed 22-16 at the half-time recess.
Patrick Malone passed for 185 yards in the game. Neal caught three passes for 120 yards and Darrell Malone snagged four for 65.
“They couldn’t cover us,” Washington said about his team’s offensive performance. “We were able to pick them apart.”
But defensively, the coach said his Indians just “have to get stronger.”
“We have to hit the weight room in the off-season,” said Washington, who took over the guidance of the Byhalia program about a month before the first practice this season. “And we have to get a JV (junior varsity) team playing games. We have the athletes here to compete. Our system just has to be put into place.”
Some mistakes continued to plague the young Indians, too, Friday night. Washington said those included a roughing the punter penalty on a fourth and 20, plus some “falling asleep” in the defensive secondary.
“We played hard,” he said, “and my guys are getting better.”
He said the Lions’ coach told him after the match-up that it was “one of the most physical games we’ve played.”
“He gave us high praise,” Washington said.
Tunica improved to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the district.
The Indians (0-8 overall, 0-5 in the district) host in-county and district rival Holly Springs this Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Hawks (3-5 overall, 1-3 in district) are coming off a 27-20 win over non-district foe Broad Street.
“Holly Springs is a senior ball club,” Washington said, “and that’s scary.”
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