Thursday, November 5, 2009
Lions survive in muddy battle versus Cardinals
By CLAUDE VINSON
The junior varsity squads from Potts Camp and H.W. Byers met at the Eddie Dixon Sportsplex Thursday to play their last game of the season.
It did not take long in the first quarter to see that it was going to be a dirty mud battle from start to finish. Each team had its turn over the ball but there was not a lot of ground gained because of the slippery conditions. On their second possession, the Cardinals lost the ball on a fumble.
The Lions used a handoff to Trelorenz Stephens on their third possession and he kept his footing on a mushy track to give the Lions the first score of the game. They couldn’t convert the two-point try and the quarter ended with the 6-0 score.
The Cardinals went to work with Zach Mayer calling the signals. They turned one first down and then were put in a hole by the Byers defense. They sent the ball over on downs after a 10-yard run by Brantley Harris.
Stephens got the call again and took another handoff from Anthony Rubin and raced down the right sideline for a first down. Aided by a face-mask penalty, Stephens picked up another first at the Cardinals’ 29-yard line. The running back then took his team inside the red zone but the ball was lost on the next play via a mix up in the backfield. Potts Camp took over on its own 18 and went out after three.
The Lions completed a perfect reverse handoff and Ladarrius Jones made it back to the 19. The smartly executed play was nullified by a holding penalty against Byers. A play later, Stephens erased the 10-yard assessment and added enough for a first. Two plays later Byers tried a pass which was picked off by Potts Camp deep in its territory. The Cardinals completed one down before the horn sounded the end of the first half. The score was still 6-0.
Potts Camp started the third quarter with the ball but went three and out. Byers moved the ball downfield but was stopped for a big loss trying to convert a fourth and two. Both defenses were showing up big even with the trying field conditions. The teams swapped possessions throughout the third quarter. With time running out, Byers’ Chris Echols hit Ronnie Dennis on a fake delay for a first but the horn ended the third quarter.
Early in the final quarter, Harris took a handoff in heavy defensive traffic and trotted 35 yards for a Potts Camp first down. The Cardinals’ offense worked its way down to the 8-yard line. They faced a fourth and goal from the 3. The offense drew an illegal procedure flag which added 5 yards to their distance. The coaching staff took a timeout to set the play. The pass attempt fell incomplete.
The Lions just couldn’t crank out a productive offense and were eventually pushed back to their own 10. The Potts Camp offense was determined to avoid the shutout. The Cardinals lost about 15 yards but made up a big piece of it on a handoff. They also got a pass interference call which netted a first down but their clock of opportunity was winding down. They had 57 seconds left to work with. They ended on a third and 13. The score was still 6-0 in favor of Byers.
Both of these young teams deserve a lot of credit. They slugged it out under very sloppy conditions, neither showing signs of giving up.
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