Thursday, October 29, 2009
Indians sting Hornets
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians appeared poised and ready as they welcomed the Hornets of Montgomery County to their homecoming game at Indian field.
The Hornets received the ball and right away it looked like an Indian night. The Hornets fumbled on their second play and Byhalia recovered it at the 28.
Dustin Smith, calling the offense for the Indians, used a pass play for his opening, hitting Tavaris Neal over right guard for a TD. But it was recalled on a holding penalty. Smith then set up in the shotgun flanked by a pair of backs. Jeremy Sessom broke out of the backfield and gave Byhalia first and goal at the 1. On the next play he was convoyed over by the offensive line. Patrick Malone took a handoff, bobbed and weaved around right end for two more.
The Indian lead didn’t stand long because the Hornets scored on a pass play and also ran the extra points. It was 8-8 in a matter of minutes.
Andre Collins fielded the Hornet kick and returned it to the 4-yard line. He bucked over center for another tally but the referee ruled a “helping the runner” penalty and brought the ball back to the 6-yard line. Smith sneaked it over and Randy Holt’s line-drive, extra-point kick just cleared the crossbar. Byhalia had the lead again at 15-8.
The Hornets converted a pair of first downs and then went out trying to convert a fourth and 11. The Byhalia offense misfired but caught a break on a roughing the kicker call and the Indians were awarded a first at the 49. But they fumbled again and the Hornets covered. They scored and then converted for two.
The Indians were still having problems holding on to a slippery pigskin. Montgomery County picked up the ball and returned for another TD. The point-after try failed but the Hornets were in control as the first quarter ended on the 22-15 score.
Byhalia opened the second quarter with a fumble. But the home team’s defense took the sting out of the Hornets and got the ball back on downs. Byhalia held the ball for a large portion of the second quarter. After two hard-fought, consecutive first downs the Indians fumbled again. They allowed three first downs for the Hornets before Malone intercepted for Byhalia. But they fumbled again, giving Montgomery the ball at the 32. A stiff Indian defense forced the Hornets out on downs with 32 seconds left in the half.
Smith pitched a “flea flicker” to Malone, who found Collins at the 8-yard line. A penalty was incurred by Byhalia and then the Hornets intercepted to end the half at 22-15.
During halftime activities, Octavia Rayford was crowned homecoming queen .
The Indians received to open the third quarter and methodically moved down field, this time taking better care of the ball. Inside the red zone Byhalia was on the good side of a pass interference call but went out on a fourth and goal at the 3. They didn’t make it but the defense kept the gate closed and the quarter ended 22-15. After the change of direction, a quick hitter from Malone to Neal and a booted extra point tied the score.
Byhalia used Sessom and Holt to constantly hit the Hornets’ line and Sessom scored on a handoff. Holt’s kick was again good and the Indians had the lead at 29-22.
The Hornets came back with a scoring pass play which had a lot of luck, but they couldn’t convert for two.
The Indians worked the ball down the field, made a handoff to Sessom and he picked up another TD. That score would prove to be the nail in the coffin.
With time running out, the Hornets dropped the ball and Byhalia recovered at the 40. Byhalia held on for the 36-28 victory, winning one in the mud.
Coach Markeith Washington named Jeremy Sessom as most valuable player, citing his consistent play on both sides of the ball.
Byhalia will finish the season with a home game against North Panola on this Friday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.
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