Indians up record to 3-1
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Longhorns of Westwood in Tennessee rolled into Byhalia last Friday evening, hoping to better their 0-3 record against a younger, inexperienced team.
They soon found out that their luck probably ran out with the coin toss. They elected to receive but incurred two consecutive penalties. The next play was met with an aggressive sack by Brandon Bouguard and Reggie Richmond.
The Indians took over and were helped by a face mask penalty which put them inside the red zone after a 13-yard run by Pat Malone. The next play was a handoff to Andre Collins and the speedy back zipped around the right end for the Byhalia score. The extra-point try split the uprights and the Indians were on their way at 7-0.
Joseph Smoot, the quarterback for the Longhorns, got his team a first down on a keeper but they still went four and out.
Malone and Collins couldn’t connect on a long pass to the right side. They came back with the same play-action on the left side and Collins scored on a 39-yard trek. It was 14-0 after Kelvin Fitzpatrick booted the extra point.
Westwood gained another first down, its second of the game, helped by an off side call on the Indians. Smoot decided to “air it out.” It was a long ball but incomplete. Two plays later, the ball was back in Indian hands.
Byhalia lost yardage on every play and had to line up to punt. The long snap got away from the punter, but Devonte Norman gathered it up and ran 31 yards. It was not enough for a first down.
Westwood scored on a run by Chris Patterson but it was called back because of a holding call on the Longhorns. The Indians successfully defended on a goal line stand.
Taking over on the 1-yard line, Randy Holts got the call and gave the Indians some space with an 8-yard pick-up. Westwood held and the Indians were in punt formation again. Another bad snap followed and the Longhorns were at Byhalia’s 12. They sent their fullback, Marvielle Pate, up the middle twice, and twice he was stopped by a host of Indians. The ball went to the Indians on a holding call but their offense stalled, however, they got a punt that worked.
The second quarter had turned into a real defensive struggle. Byhalia had the ball again with 3:10 left in the half. Collins made a good grab at the 26, but he fumbled on the tackle and Westwood recovered. Then the Longhorns got a taste of the lost fumble. The hard-hitting Indian line broke the runner away from the ball. There was little time left and Byhalia called for time to set the play. The play, a long ball from the 43, was dropped by the receiver. It would have been paydirt. The half ended 14-0.
Byhalia started the third quarter with the ball. Collins gave them big yards before Malone hit Tavaris Neal. He placed the ball on the 14. Byhalia faced a fourth and 8, but waved off the field goal unit. Malone scrambled for a first at the 4. Then Jeremy Sessom followed his line the short distance. The extra point try was not successful. Byhalia led 20-0.
Byhalia used up the third quarter, keeping the ball away from the Longhorns. Westwood’s backup QB was injured and the injury timeout consumed 25 minutes. The Indians sent the ball over on downs at the inception of the fourth quarter.
The fourth bad snap put the Longhorns in the Indians’ lap a gain and they held. At the 26-yard line, Richmond rushed through and hit the QB, who coughed up the ball.
The Indians took over on downs but had to punt. A fifth bad snap put the Longhorns on the 4-yard line. Patterson then averted the shutout on a short run. The two-point conversion was a pass to Danny Scott to make it 20-8.
There was a little over three minutes left in the quarter when the Indians got the ball again, but they had to send it over on four and out. Before, Westwood could capitalize, Fitzpatrick stepped between the quarterback and his receiver and stopped the threat. The score remained 20-8.
When asked about the bad snaps, head coach Mark Washington said, “Naturally, we are not happy with that, but we can’t beat anybody up over it. Our center is young and in experienced. This is his first try at football. Like most of our young players, we want them to grow into their roles.”
He named Malone as the game’s most valuable player.
“His ability to evade tackles in the backfield and scramble out is great,” Washington said. “We can count on him to make something happen. And he is just as capable on defense at the safety position. He is being looked at by a few Division I schools.”
The Indians will travel to Senatobia to take on the Warriors Friday night. It’s their first district contest.
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