Thursday, October 8, 2009
Hawks fall to Wildcats
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly High Hawks met the Wildcats of Independence last Friday night before a large crowd at Sam Coopwood Park. It was also homecoming night for the school and marked the first game in district play for the Hawks.
The Wildcats elected to receive and Tyrone Miller’s kick was taken at the 20-yard line by Antonio Burton. The running back sped down the left sideline virtually untouched for the Wildcats’ first score. The extra point was booted for a 7-0 score.
Demetri Oliver and Dean Bridgeforth were alternating under center for the Hawks, operating from the “power I.” The Hawks went three and punt.
London Parker was the field general for the visitors. He hit Corey Miller on a crossing pattern to get a first down. They were set back by a penalty and Parker was picked on his next pass play by Lachez Faulkner, who returned to the 30. The Hawks advanced to the 43 and went for it on a fourth and two. Myron Crittle moved the chains on a fullback draw. Holly High had crossed mid-field and went on a fourth and three. Oliver’s pass was picked off by Morris Malone, who returned for a Wildcat TD. Justin Holt kicked his second extra point and the score was 14-0.
The Hawks lost ground on the ensuing kick but got some help from a pass interference call which set them up at the 35. The offense sputtered and the ball went over on downs.
The Wildcats used the “hurry up” offense, got a pair of first downs then had a TD run nullified on holding call. But Parker was shredding the Hawks’ pass defense. He connected with one of his wide receivers, who made it 20-0. The extra-point try was botched.
The teams traded possessions and nearing the end of the second quarter, the Hawks forced the Wildcats to punt. The Hawks moved the markers on a run by Oliver, but Bridgeforth was sacked on the next play. Seemingly trapped in the backfield, Bridgeforth got the ball away, hitting Brandon McKinney for 33 yards. The Hawks were inside the red zone at the 9. This time their screen over center to McKinney worked perfectly and he put the Hawks on the board. Oliver kept for the PAT and the halftime score was 20-8.
Crittle gave the Hawks a morale boost by returning the second half kick 55 yards. Oliver, with a little fake and shake, gave them another first. A mix-up in the backfield stalled their offense. However, the Hawks’ defense was shutting down the Wildcats’ progress. The Hawks had a TD voided on an offensive pass interference penalty. During the third and fourth quarters, the Hawks could not sustain a productive offense. Their defense sacked the Wildcats quarterback thrice and they had one last chance to score in the closing minutes of the fourth but fumbled the ball. The 20-8 score stood.
Head coach Clifford Brown named Crittle the game most valuable player.
“He had close to 100 yards rushing and blocked well,” Brown said. “He has been consistent the last two or three games.”
The Hawks dropped to 0-7. Their next game, also a district tilt, will be at Ruleville this Friday.
The coach said he plans to go with Bridgeforth and quarterback and Oliver at tailback.
“I think we have the right combination,” he said. “We will stay with it and see what happens. Win three out of the next four, and we’re in the playoffs.”
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