Thursday, October 7, 2010
Hawks lose district opener
By BARRY BURLESON
It was a frustrating night flag-wise for Holly High Friday at Independence.
The Hawks were penalized 16 times in their district opener but kept battling, only to lose 27-19 to the Wildcats.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that many penalties,” coach Marcus Autry said. “But we’re not going to make excuses. You still have to score more than the other team. Independence played a good ball game and won.
“We made mistakes and didn’t capitalize when we needed to.”
The Hawks found themselves pinned deep in their own territory all of the first quarter.
Independence, which had only five penalties in the game, cashed in a 44-yard drive at the 5:10 mark of the first. Courtney Wilkins scored on a 5-yard run. The extra-point kick was no good.
Later in the opening period and early in the second quarter the Holly High defense came up with big stands.
The Wildcats, after an interception had a first and goal at the 8. A run, accompanied by a face-mask flag on the Hawks, moved the ball to the 2. Holly High pushed Independence back to the 5 and held on fourth and goal from there.
On the Wildcats’ next possession, they decided to go for a first down on fourth and inches at the Holly High 11. But the Hawks’ Curt Jeffries hit the ball-carrier for a 1-yard loss.
Midway through the second quarter Holly High cranked up an 86-yard scoring drive, thanks in large part to the play of quarterback Brandon McKinney. He ran for 13 yards and a first down early in the possession. Two plays later Jaren King broke free and sprinted for what looked to be long scoring run. But it was called back for holding. McKinney then kept for 17 yards and a first and later threw to Dimariggio Austin for 12 yards and another first. McKinney’s hot hand continued with a 22-yard strike to Nick Walker and a throw to Lexter Mull, who broke a couple of tackles and scored on the 20-yard pass play. Brandon Galloway’s kick put the Hawks up 7-6.
The lead did not last long. Morris Malone returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for an Independence touchdown. A try-for-two failed.
The Hawks had a good shot at more points to close the half. McKinney found an open Walker over the middle for a 52-yard gain to the Wildcat 25. Holly High reached the 16 but couldn’t convert on a fourth and 1.
The Hawks did regain the lead early in the second half. From the Independence 30, McKinney kept the ball up the middle, broke some tackles and dragged a Wildcat a few yards into the end zone. The extra-point kick missed the mark, and the Hawks were up 13-12 with 11:24 to go in the third.
The Hawks got the ball back quickly, thanks to a big hit and an Independence fumble on the kickoff return which Marquaveus Walton recovered. But they couldn’t cash in - hampered by two 15-yard penalties.
Late in the third, Wildcat quarterback Shane Tutor tossed to Malone, who got loose for a 34-yard touchdown. The same two teamed up for the two-point conversion. The Hawks were flagged three times in the Independence drive, one of those declined by the Wildcats on the touchdown strike.
Independence padded its lead with 1:02 to go in the game. Denicko Simmons picked off a pass and returned it 46 yards for six points. Malone kicked the extra point.
But the Hawks did not die.
McKinney scrambled and launched a bomb for Austin, who made the catch for a 66-yard score. A try-for-two was not successful.
Holly High then attempted an onside kick which the Wildcats recovered.
“Our kids fought hard,” said Coach Autry. “I’m proud of them. We’re getting close to turning things around. We just have to keep working.”
McKinney, who the coach selected as the Hawks’ most valuable player for the game, rushed for 91 yards and passed for 212.
Walton and Jeffries “played well” on defense, Coach Autry said. Walton had 12 tackles and Jeffries 11.
The Hawks (1-5) play district opponent Ruleville Friday night at Sam Coopwood Park for homecoming.
News: (662) 252-4261 or email@example.com
Questions, comments, corrections: firstname.lastname@example.org
©2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.
Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter
Back | Top of Page