Thursday, August 27, 2009
Byhalia Indians drop opener in Memphis
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians crossed the border Friday to war with the Warriors of Booker T. Washington High School.
Booker T. received first and the kick was bobbled but quickly picked up by Greg Mosley. The speedy back raced down the sideline, taking the ball all the way, but the play was nullified by a blocking in the back penalty. Jaquan Smith set up under center for BTW’s first play. The Indians’ Reggie Richmond blasted through and threw Smith for a 7-yard loss. The Warriors punted on fourth down.
The punt was fielded on the 35 by Patrick Malone. Malone then set up as signal caller and faced a third and 7. He hit Kelvin Fitzpatrick for a big gain and a first down. Malone faked a handoff and picked up another first on a keeper at the Warrior 32. Byhalia was penalized which resulted in a second and 10 at the 20. Malone hit Andre Collins on a crossing pattern which went for six. The extra-point kick made it 7-0.
The Warriors fumbled the kick but recovered. They eked out a first down under heavy defensive pressure from the Indians. Richmond, Terrico Myers and Brandon Bougard ganged up on Smith and threw him for a huge loss. It was now a second and 23. On the snap, Richmond again rushed through and hogtied the QB. The added negative yards made it fourth and 42 with 36 seconds left in the quarter. BTW called time and punted at the beginning of the second quarter Byhalia was still leading 7-0.
The Indians were still moving the ball well, picking up consecutive firsts. Then they had two broken plays. The offense stalled and the ball went over on downs. The defense for the Indians began to show cracks. Anthony Clark broke through the line and was brought down inches from the goal line. Smith sneaked it in on the next play and the score was tied 7-all after the kick.
The Indians incurred three penalties in quick succession. Malone found Fitzpatrick open in the flats and he held on for a first and goal at the 3. BTW denied the TD but Byhalia booted a three-pointer to make it 10-7.
Byhalia was holding the Warriors until Clark broke away again. They kept hammering at the Indians’ stubborn line making a first and goal at the three. Tavaris Shegog went over the middle for six. The kick made it 14-10.
The half ended with Byhalia in possession but trailing by four points.
The Indians had the ball to begin the second half but the offense stalled. Likewise the defense made some mental mistakes which allowed the Warriors to score again. It was 21-10 after the kick.
Byhalia was still being plagued by errors of eagerness. A fumble led to a 13-yard line recovery by the Warriors. They scored again but Byhalia denied the point-after try. However, the Warriors had padded their lead to 17.
The Indians were in scoring position again with seconds left in the third. They blew the down on a fourth and 12. Malone had tossed two back-to-back strikes over the middle. On a first and goal at the 1, Labradford Rayford followed the line in for the TD. They converted for two making it 27-18.
Neither team would score again.
Coach Markeith Washington selected Andre Collins as the MVP.
“I feel that we played well,” he said. “The mental mistakes which we made gave away the game. I didn’t chew them out because we are young and inexperienced. The jamboree at Independence (versus Hernando) and this game, both against established programs, have been good for us. We just have to learn to play for four quarters.”
The Indians will play at home this Friday, Aug. 28, against Obion County of Tennessee.
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