Thursday, November 13, 2008
Hawks battle, come up short in round one
By CLAUDE VINSON
In a 3A state playoff game which had a final score that really didn’t reflect how the entire contest went, the Holly High gridiron Hawks lost the bid to advance.
They earned a measure of respect in standing up to the 10-0 Warriors last Friday evening.
The Hawks won the toss but deferred reception until the second half. The Warriors’ Diante Curlee fielded the ball and was immediately downed at his own 11. Quarterback Parks Frazier called his number twice and picked up a pair of first downs for Corinth. Holly High’s defense tightened and forced the Warriors to a three and out.
But the Hawks incurred a penalty and had to send it over after two failed passes.
It was a see-saw the rest of the quarter with Jordan Parker booting a 36-yard field goal to give the hosts the 3-0 edge.
Brandon Thomas returned the Warrior kick to the 38, but the Hawks went three and out. Tyrone Miller got off a good punt and the Hawk defense pressured every move. They held the Warriors to a fourth and 12. But the Hawks fared no better in their time over the ball. They lost on every down and had to punt on a fourth and 22.
The Warriors hit on a long pass and then a quarterback keeper gave them a first and goal at the nine. Hubert Crawford, the lone setback, scored on a straight buck up the middle. The Parker kick made it 10-0 and the Hawks went into the break trailing 10-0.
The Hawks received to begin the third quarter and after a second first down picked up by Chris Scales, Demetri Oliver threw a golden strike to Thomas which covered 56 yards to put the Hawks on the board. Miller’s kick made it 7-10.
Holly High was penalized on the ensuing kick but they made the Warriors fumble which they recovered. A few seconds later the Hawks fumbled and the Warriors recovered. As they had done all evening, the Holly High defense held and the Hawks took over.
This time the long arm of Oliver reached Thomas on a 63-yarder and the wide receiver went in untouched. Miller hit it again and the Hawks had stunned the Warriors by taking a 14-10 lead.
The Hawks’ kick was taken by Curlee who slipped a trio of Hawks tacklers and ran 95 yards for a score. The Warriors regained the lead after the extra-point kick at 17-14.
The Hawks had backed the Warriors up to a first and goal at the 25 when the back judge called a Hawk defender for a pass interference. The call, dubious at best, set off a vocal protest from coaches and fans. It gave the Warriors a new life practically on the goal line. Frazier tossed a quick flare to Curlee on the right who scored. That put the hosts ahead 24 -14.
Holly High tried to reach the end zone during the remainder of the fourth but couldn’t.
The Corinth team went to 11-0 and will face Amory in the next round. Holly High fell to 5-6.
Coach Clifford Brown praised his team for their performance throughout the season and especially the way they played versus the Warriors. He named Thomas as the most valuable player of the game.
“Our kids played to the end,” Brown said. “We were disappointed (with the loss) but our kids gave it their all. We gave them (the Warriors) all they wanted.”
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