Thursday, September 2, 2010
Indians get road win; Hawks next
By BARRY BURLESON
Byhalia is 2-0 with rival Holly Springs coming to town Friday night.
Head coach Markeith Washington’s squad went on the road last week and returned to Marshall County with a 28-22 win over Okolona.
“It feels good (to be 2-0),” he said, “but we can’t get wrapped up in that. It’s one game at a time.
“It’s good for the community. Maybe it will get more folks to come out for our games.”
Indian fans will get that chance this week when the Hawks (1-0) visit for a non-district contest.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Coach Washington said. “They have an excellent new coach (Marcus Autry) and they’re coming off a season-opening win over H.W. Byers.
“They’re coming to Indian nation, and we need to take care of business. It should be a good one.”
Byhalia indeed took care of business at Okolona - thanks in large part to players like quarterback Markez Saulsberry, running back Andrey Collins and receiver Pat Malone.
Coach Washington named Malone the player of the game.
“When we needed him most, he came through,” he said. “When we needed a big play on third down, he delivered. He’s amazing. He’s the leader of this team.”
Saulsberry threw for 203 yards and three touchdowns - two to Malone and one to Collins. Collins also rushed for a score.
“He (Saulsberry) got the opportunity to control the game and grasp the concept of what we’re trying to do,” Washington said. “He played well.”
The two teams combined for 26 points in the first quarter.
Collins scored first, on a 38-yard dash around end, to give the Indians an early lead. Lemuel Hardaway carried for the two-point conversion.
The Chieftains bounced back to lead 10-8 on a safety by Nathan Bailey, a 12-yard touchdown run by Everett Brooks and a two-point carry from Lavon Jones.
But the home team’s advantage did not last long. Malone, in the corner of the end zone, snagged a 30-yard pass from Saulsberry late in the first period. Hardaway’s run for two gave Byhalia a 16-10 advantage.
Okolona tied the game in the second quarter when Jordan Ivy threw to Antwain Grady for 22 yards and six points. A try-for-two was stopped short by the Indians.
Byhalia then took a 22-16 halftime lead when Collins scored his second touchdown of the night - this one a screen pass from Saulsberry covering 22 yards. A two-point attempt failed.
“We were scoring, and they were scoring,” Coach Washington said. “It was a great game. Okolona was very prepared and they made us work.”
Saulsberry and Malone padded the Indians’ lead in the fourth on a 12-yard connection. The conversion try was not successful.
Okolona added a late score to cut the final deficit to six. Brooks reached the end zone on a 27-yard run, and a try-for-two failed.
“Okolona is a tough team,” Washington said. “We knew it would be a challenge and it was. Hopefully, the guys are coming together and playing the game like it should be played.
“Our guys came through. They fought to the end and got the win.”
Kickoff for the Indians’ home game versus Holly High is set for 7:30 p.m. this Friday.
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