Thursday, May 27, 2010
Indians end spring practice on high note, rout Cougars
By CLAUDE VINSON
Head coach Markeith Washington was all business Thursday evening as he talked about his 2010 Byhalia football team.
The coach said the team will still be short on experience, having about four seniors on the returning squad. He identified Kevin Fitzpatrick as the primary signal caller, backed by Marquise Rogers. Pat Malone, who quarterbacked the team last season, will return but in a different role.
“Malone could see some action under center but his greater role will be that of utility player,” the coach said. “Wherever or whenever we need a big play, you will find Malone.”
Concerning his coaching staff, Washington said he has added Germane Johnson as the new receivers coach. The coaching staff from junior high will be moved up to join the varsity. They will use the same plays and same system.
“This way we’ll have continuity,” he said.
On this day the Indians were closing out spring training with a controlled scrimmage against Coldwater. The Indians took the field chanting, “What are we going to feast on today? Cougar meat! What are we going to drink? Coldwater!”
Fitzpatrick started at quarterback and his first few plays were a bit shaky, but he did have one completion to Malone before the ball changed directions. The possessions started without kicks or punts from the 40-yard line. The Cougars made no progress with their possession.
When the ball came back to the Indians, Fitzpatrick was still operating from the shotgun. He used options to get two first downs. The third was a direct motion snap to Malone. He gained a lot of ground and another first. Devontae Norman broke out of the backfield and set up the TD toss to Andrey Collins. The conversion try failed but the Indians were up 6-0.
The Cougars faced a hard-hitting Byhalia defense and lost the ball on the first play. The Indians made good on their prophesying chant by scoring quickly on a pass to Malone and a two-point conversion by Fitzpatrick. The Indians were up 14-0.
The Cougars again sent the ball over on downs. Byhalia was still picking up long and valuable yards on the legs of Collins. After a penalty, Collins rushed for another first inside the red zone, but a third penalty moved them back. A sure TD pass was dropped and a subsequent pass was picked off by Coldwater at the ten.
The Indian defense stopped the Coldwater offense cold. After a productive quarterback sneak, Norman skirted left tackle for six. He came right back for two to make it 22-0.
Cordell Anderson sacked the Cougar quarterback for a huge loss. Deandre Buchanan picked off the next Cougar aerial and returned it 40 yards. Norman broke out of the backfield and weaved through heavy traffic for six more to make it 28-0 with no conversion.
The Indians got the ball back in quick fashion and were moving again when the ball was bobbled, bounced and pushed until it landed in the end zone for a safety for the Cougars. And the half ended 28-2.
Coldwater would threaten just once in the second half. After having a spectacular run by Collins nullified on a holding call, the Indians fumbled a few plays later and a Cougar claimed it and took it to the 5-yard line. This set up a great opportunity for Byhalia to flex its defense, a first real test thus far. Even after incurring a holding penalty, the Indian defense denied the TD. The third quarter ended 28-2.
The Indians went back on the offense again in the fourth. Rogers burned the Cougars, after a fumble recovery, on a stellar run off of right tackle. They added two more for 34-2.
Later in the same quarter, Lemuel Hardaway put the Indians in scoring position again and Fitzpatrick took it in on a QB sneak.
By then the Cougar defense appeared to be completely worn down and the Indians won the game 40-2.
Coach Washington said the contest would give them some building blocks for the fall.
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