Thursday, November 5, 2009
Hawks end year with loss to Palmer
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly Springs Hawks took to the gridiron one last time in the ’09 season Friday evening in a steady downpour against district foe Palmer from Marks.
There were a lot of games played at a later date because of field conditions. There were probably no fields in North Mississippi which were not bleeding mud.
Holly High received first and Tarik Pegues returned to the 20. Dean Bridgeforth was taking snaps for the Hawks. The sloppy field conditions added to the no-progress offense. Tyrone Miller’s punt didn’t travel far. The Dragons gained one first down and then fumbled at the 10. Holly High recovered. The Hawks were flagged and pushed back half the distance to the goal line. Holly High didn’t find anything that worked and Miller punted again.
The ball was taken at the 35-yard line and Palmer’s return man evaded all defenders and scored down the left sideline. The Hawks prevented the two-point conversion.
The Hawks took the kick and were still trying to rush on a mushy surface. They went out facing a fourth and 13. Miller’s punt traveled farther this time but the Dragons made a good return. A play later they scored on a reverse. The Hawk defense didn’t allow the point-after try but the score was 12-0 still in the first quarter.
Holly High picked up a first down and the quarter ended. After the change of direction, the Hawks fumbled and Palmer took over. The Dragons moved well on the ground but failed to turn a fourth and four. But the Hawks fumbled the slippery pigskin and Palmer scored again. There was no extra point but an 18-0 score.
After the kick, Bridgeforth gave the Hawks some life, running to the Dragon 35. Myron Crittle gave them another first at the 19. Holly High then moved inside the red zone on a flag. Bridgeforth kept and scored by outracing the field around left end. The Hawks converted for a pair and made it 18-8. The half ended a half-minute later.
Holly High honored its senior athletes at halftime. This would be their last time to dress out in the Hawks’ football uniform.
Palmer received to begin the third quarter and it appeared as though the entire period would be played between the 40-yard lines. Neither team was having any success with the rush. The horn sounded with the score still 18-8.
The fourth was a continuation of the mud fight in the third. No uniform escaped. Even the referee got a mud bath. With 1:33 left in the game, the visitors scored again, this time with a successful two-point conversion, making the final score 26-8.
Head coach Clifford Brown named Curterius Jefferies as most valuable player because of his consistent defensive play. He had two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and three sacks.
Coach Brown said it has been a tough season. The Hawks finished 0-11.
“But we have seen some growth,” he said. “We are returning an experienced offensive line. We are losing both of our quarterbacks so we have to look for another one. We’ll take some time off and then evaluate the entire season.
“I love our kids. They kept their heads up and showed character and integrity in a tough season.”
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