Thursday, October 14, 2010
Byhalia falls victim to Lewisburg’s second-half rally
By BARRY BURLESON
Byhalia let a halftime lead slip away Friday night at Lewisburg.
The Indians, up 8-7 at the break, were outscored 28-8 in the second half and lost 35-16 to the District 2-4A opponent. It was Byhalia’s fifth straight loss after starting 3-0.
“We started (the season) off great when we had everybody healthy,” coach Markeith Washington said. “Now we have a lot of young guys getting a lot of experience and we’re trying to make the best out it. I’m not disappointed with the guys. These young guys are continuing to fight.”
Lewisburg’s first points came on a 50-yard touchdown run by A.J. Rayford. The home team added the extra-point kick.
Byhalia’s first-half score came on a 35-yard pass from Markez Saulsberry to Kevin Wilson. The Indians added the two-point conversion.
The Indians had a kickoff return for a touchdown called back on a flag and a Lewisburg fumble, recovered by Byhalia, was overruled because of an inadvertent whistle.
“We didn’t get any breaks,” Washington said.
Scoring touchdowns on offense for the Patriots in the second half were Ryan Dunlap, Colby Sappington and John Taylor. Lewisburg’s Jeremy McMahon also returned an interception 10 yards for six points.
Byhalia back-up quarterback Markeise Rodgers, a ninth grader, recorded the Indians’ only touchdown of the second half on a 40-yard run. The visitors also added the two-point conversion.
Coach Washington said his younger players are “getting thrown into the fire” because of the rash of injuries.
“Our goal is to finish strong,” he said. “We have to coach these guys up - keep their spirits up.
“We should not be in a rebuilding year, but we’re having to deal with injuries. We have to be realistic, but we’re going to fight through it.”
The Indians (3-5 overall and 0-4 in the district) will host district foe Center Hill this Friday at 7 p.m.
It is just Byhalia’s second season to compete in 4A. Washington said the school could possibly drop back to 3A starting in the 2011-12 year, based on recent enrollment figures.
“We’re getting a reality check in 4A,” he said.
The Indians’ district includes Lafayette, the number one team in the state in Class 4A, plus other “very strong and physical teams,” Washington said.
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