Thursday, October 28, 2010
Lions come up short vs. Houlka
By BARRY BURLESON
The H.W. Byers Lions tried to scratch back Friday night versus another bunch of cats.
Trailing 13-0 entering the fourth quarter, they rallied for one touchdown but couldn’t get another and lost 13-6 to the Houlka Wildcats.
“We almost came back and won,” said coach James Kimbrough, whose Lions complete their first varsity season at 2-6. “We couldn’t get any momentum going until the fourth quarter, and then we just ran out of time.”
Byers got the ball back with about a minute left, 50 yards from the end zone, but came up short.
“Our kids did not quit,” he said.
The first quarter was scoreless.
The Wildcats took the lead in the second period, thanks to R.J. Johnson’s 6-yard touchdown run. Marquis Vance kicked the extra point.
A Byers mistake deep in its own territory resulted in Houlka’s next touchdown, this one in the third quarter. Ondre Tittle returned an interception 3 yards for the score. The point-after try was no good.
“It was a tipped ball that one of their defensive lineman caught and ran in,” Coach Kimbrough said. “We played backed up on our own end of the field much of the night.”
The Lions’ only points came in the fourth when Ladarrius Jones caught a 10-yard touchdown toss from Christopher Echols. A pass attempt for the two points fell incomplete.
“Houlka dominated field position and time of possession,” Kimbrough said. “Our defense played exceptionally well.”
He said his Lions made outstanding progress while getting their initial taste of “real high school football.”
“It was a major step up for us, and the kids improved,” Kimbrough said. “There was frustration, because we wanted to win more, but we also realize it was our first season.
“The kids were glad to have the opportunity to play football - win or lose. We’re happy to have football at H.W. Byers. We have created an opportunity for the young people at our school. It’s a big accomplishment.”
Almost his entire team will return next season, when the Lions will join a district race in the Mississippi High School Activities Association.
“We played a lot of freshmen and sophomores, and we have a good nucleus to work with next year,” Kimbrough said.
“They’ve already asked when we can get go back to work and continue to get better. We’re excited about the district competition, and I believe we will be OK. We have a good group of younger players.”
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