Thursday, October 14, 2010
Hawks still seeking first district win
By CLAUDE VINSON
Holly High played its homecoming game Friday night against Ruleville Central High School, a District 2-3A opponent.
The Tigers received to start the game but had trouble getting the offense in a productive mode. They went four and out.
Holly High followed suit when its primary signal caller, Brandon McKinney, tried to sprint out on a third and 17 from the 10-yard line.
After the punt, Cedric Coleman, leading the Tigers from the power “I”, got his team a first and ten at the Hawks’ 2. He lost a couple of yards when the Hawk defense rushed in and broke up the play. Coleman then pulled a quarterback sneak to paydirt. Roderick Womack booted the extra point to give the visitors a 7-0 edge with 4:27 left in the first quarter.
Then it was the Hawks’ turn to go marching. They turned a first-and-five into good position at midfield on strength running by Peter Thigpen. McKinney hit David Bridges in the right flat for another first at the 40. Aided by a penalty, Holly High was approaching the red zone as the first quarter ended. The home team turned the ball over shortly after the change in directions.
Cedonius Harris put the Tigers in scoring position again with a long trek down the right side line on the second play from scrimmage. After a penalty, Coleman used a fake delay and then hit Antonio Townsend with a scoring strike. Again the extra point was booted and Ruleville padded its lead with seven more to make it 14-0.
The Hawks got a big play through McKinney to Dimariggio Austin, who beat all defenders but lost his footing at the 25. McKinney called his own number and was brought down at the 9. But the Tiger defense really stiffened and Holly High went out at the 6-yard line on a fourth and 5.
Ruleville went conservative, trying to hold the ball, run the clock and preserve their two-touchdown lead before halftime. The Hawks were putting on the pressure and made the Tigers punt with 49 seconds left in the half. It didn’t give them much time to mount an offense and the second quarter ended with the score 14-0.
Holly High received the ball to begin the third quarter after the activities at the intermission. A stalled offense sent the pigskin to Ruleville in quick fashion. Carlton Archer went long, out an all Hawk defenders and made a diving grab of a Coleman aerial just inside the pylon for six. The Hawks blocked the extra-point attempt and the score stood at 20-0.
The Hawks went four and out. They then held the Tigers at the 24. Marquaveus Walton, named player of the game by head coach Marcus Autry, picked off a Tiger pass and returned it to the 9. McKinney trailed a vanguard of blockers as he sneaked it into the end zone. Brandon Galloway followed it up with a extra-point kick and the Hawks were on the board at 20-7. There was 4:07 remaining in the third.
The TD was a shot of adrenaline for the Hawk defense, as Holly High players began attacking the Tiger offensive formation with renewed purpose. Coleman began mixing plays between the air and ground. He marched the Tigers to the 14-yard line as the third quarter expired.
Holly High stopped them and took over, however, they had to punt after a couple of penalties. But the Hawk defense was still pushing and reclaimed the ball on a fumble recovery with about eight minutes left. They went to a hurry-up offense but still went four and out.
The Tigers had sent in Ontario Smith at quarterback and the wiry, cunning sophomore used a fake delay and hit Archer for paydirt. He came right back, kept on a smooth option and added two more points. It was 28-7.
Holly High’s gamble didn’t pan out on a fourth down try and it left the Tigers with good field position at the 19 with just seconds left. Smith kept again and recorded another six as the horn sounded, giving the Tigers the winning score of 34-7.
The Hawks (1-6 overall and 0-2 in the district) will host another district game against Cleveland Eastside on this Friday, Oct. 15. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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