Thursday, August 27, 2009
Class 5A Tigers blank Hawks
By BARRY BURLESON
Holly Springs took it on the chin Friday night at Hernando but coach Clifford Brown said his players left DeSoto County upbeat.
The 3A Hawks lost to the 5A Tigers 33-0 in a season-opening match-up.
“Hernando is a bigger school with a lot of good athletes,” Brown said. “I played a lot of kids, trying to get something on film to evaluate them. I hoped we could have been more competitive, but playing this solid competition will help us on down the line.
“I’m not disappointed, and the kids are not discouraged. They understand what we need to do.”
Hernando led 14-0 after one quarter and coasted to the victory.
“I thought we did some good things,” Brown said. “We threw the ball well.”
He said quarterback Demetri Oliver had a good night. Dean Bridgeforth had eight or nine catches, according to Brown. He said offensively, the Hawks just stuck with the basics in game one.
“Demetri put the ball on the money, threw the ball away when he needed to, and ran when he needed to,” the coach said.
The Hawks missed a 36-yard field goal with the ball going just right.
“I think our kicking game will be improved,” Brown said.
Holly High put an all new defensive team on the field in the 2009 season debut and started 22 different players, 11 on offense and 11 on defense.
“We played a lot of kids, several freshmen and sophomores” Brown said. “We wanted to see them in game action, and a lot of them did some positive things. Our young secondary broke down on us and gave up some big plays.”
The defensive star was Roderick Glover, a senior who is a first year football player. He had 12 tackles and “was all over the field,” according to his coach.
Brown said his team forced three turnovers against Hernando’s starting unit.
Holly High was missing two starting linemen who will return this week.
“We’re going to be fine,” Brown said. “We’ve just gotta believe, and it’s all going to come together. Our young kids are not strong enough yet, but I hope before we got to division play, our kids will be ready to compete. I saw a lot of upside Friday night, and I’m optimistic we will have a good year.”
The Hawks will play its home opener this Friday versus another Class 5A school from DeSoto County, Lake Cormorant. The Gators, playing their first full varsity season, beat the Southwind (Tenn.) Jaguars 23-0 in last week’s opener. It was also Southwind’s first varsity contest.
“They love to throw the ball,” Brown said. “We have to sure up our secondary.”
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