Thursday, November 6, 2008
Playoff bound Hawks
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Lewisburg Patriots were aware that if they defeated the Holly High Hawks it would knock the 3A rival out of the playoffs.
It was obvious to the visitors to Sam Coopwood Park Thursday night that this was not going to be an easy task.
The Patriots had first possession and they fumbled on the very first down but were fortunate enough to recover the ball. However, on the next play their quarterback, Ryne Wammack, was sacked for a loss by the Hawks’ defense. Their punter, Tyler Dunn, lined up for a punt, faked it and picked up a first down.
They fumbled the next play and the Hawks recovered. Demetri Oliver was under center for Holly High. They were facing a fourth and one when Jamaris Isom converted at the 30. Marcus Scales took the Hawks into the red zone on a second and five. Oliver hit Brandon Thomas for six. Tyrone Miller booted the point-after and the Hawks were 7-0.
The Patriots returned the Hawks’ kick to the 35. They received a bonus with a personal foul flag against Holly High. Tavious Johnson broke free and weaved through traffic to the Hawks’ 6 for a first and goal. The quarter ended.
After change of direction, Wammack kept, swept right and scored. Bobby Barksdale blocked the try for the extra point and the score was 7-6.
Lewisburg’s kick was short. Thomas picked it up, took a couple of steps and then left all the Patriots in his wake. Miller’s kick was on the money again and the Hawks moved to 14-6.
But the Pats struck right back, on the third play from scrimmage, when Johnson scored and came right back with a two-point conversion to tie it at 14-all.
On their next possession, Scales put the ball deep into Pats’ territory and with the aid of a pass interference call, Thomas scored again on a pass from Oliver. The try for two failed, but the Hawks had regained the lead at 20-14 at halftime.
The second half was all Hawks. They shut down the Pats’ offense. Despite having two TD’s voided by infractions, the Hawks put up valid scores – one on a fake delay to Darryl Kinkle and another on a 53-yard gallop by Scales. The score was 33-14 at the end of the third.
The Patriots were at a loss to counter the Hawks’ attack even after Coach Clifford Brown put in a new team. The workhorse of the Lewisburg offense, Johnson, gained a few first downs but the visitors fizzled short of the end zone. Holly High scored for the final time on a flare to Jamorris Holts to give the Hawks a 40-14 victory.
Coach Brown tagged Holts as the game’s most valuable player and said he has been a consistent performer thr entire season.
Brown also said he was looking forward to a trip to Corinth, where the Hawks earned their first playoff win ever (19-14) back in 2005.
“We played well against them in a playoff game a few years ago,” he said. “They are 10-0 going into the postseason and we have focused on our game plan. We also have to take care of the ball and cut down on the unnecessary penalties.
“And we are going to continue to rely on our kicking game. Tyrone (Miller) has made marked improvements this season. We hope to shock the Warriors.”
Game-time for the Hawks’ playoff game this Friday in Corinth is 7 p.m.
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