Thursday, September 15, 2011
Indians tomahawk rival Hawks
By CLAUDE VINSON
Ah! The thrill of a rivalry renewed.
The intracounty contest between two of the oldest football programs in the county was played Friday night at Sam Coopwood Park.
The Hawks, still looking for that elusive first win of the new season, won the toss and elected to receive. Ronnell Boyland took it on the 10-yard line and returned it to the 28. The signal caller for the Hawks, Peter Thigpen, pitched it to the setback, who received a hard pop from the Indian defense and let go the ball at the 26. Byhalia covered it and two plays later, both good for first downs, the Indians were war dancing at the 4. A straight buck over center and a sweep right netted the Indians an early 8-0 lead.
On the kick, Darius Scruggs grabbed it at the 15 and flew for 25 yards. Thigpen then called on Tevin Jones, who burned the defense for 30 odd yards which was unfortunately negated by a holding penalty. Jones carried again but couldn’t make up the huge deficit. Michael Garrett got a solid punt away.
The Hawks picked up their fifth penalty in the first quarter, which gave the Indians another first down. Andrey Collins picked up another one after a handoff from Markeise Rodgers on a third and nine. The Indians had a touchdown nullified by their first penalty. The quarter ended after another first at the 36. The score was still 8-0.
After the change in direction the Indians faced a fourth and 14, then were backed up 5 more. They punted on fourth and 19.
Holly High went backwards for three downs and Garrett got off a 40-yard punt.
Byhalia went to work and had another TD called back on a personal foul. Collins then broke free for six and then came right back with two more to make it 16-0.
With 3:30 left in the first half, neither team had tried an aerial. They traded possessions and the Indians were first to take to the air. The first was an ineffective screen. The next one was longer but was picked by Boyland. Thigpen limbered up his arm and hit Scruggs for a solid strike into the red zone. Suddenly, the Hawks were threatening at the 4-yard line. Jones spurted off right end for six and came right back off left tackle for the deuce. The halftime horn sounded on a 16-8 score.
Byhalia received to start the third quarter and moved steadily downfield. The Indians got into trouble with a stubborn Hawk defense and went out on downs on a fourth and six at the Holly High 9. The Hawks couldn’t find an offense and had to punt from their 15.
Collins fielded the pigskin, turned on the jets and raced 45 for the score. Terence Phinessee iced it with a deuce of right tackle and a 24-8 lead.
The squads traded possessions and then directions to begin the final quarter. It was still very much a ground game with the Indians commanding at 24-8.
Byhalia was threatening again moments later at the Hawks’ six. Rodgers scored two plays later on a QB sneak over center. The Hawks prevented the deuce.
Holly High had the last possession and recorded their fourth loss at 30-8. Byhalia evened its mark at 2-2.
Indian coach Markeith Washington had these comments after the game.
“We want to be known as a running team,” he said. “With consistent ground gainers like Andrey Collins (193) and Devonte Norman (127), the plan is to stay with it. Also Terrence Phineesee is beginning to make his mark.
“Of course, we have a whole arsenal of pass plays and we will be putting them in as our young quarterback (sophomore Rodgers) gains experience.”
Washington named offense lineman Jamal Danley as the team’s most valuable player of the game.
Coach Marcus Autry of Holly High selected Boyland as his team’s MVP. He had nine tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.
The Indians will travel to Coahoma County this Friday and the Hawks will also be on the same road the same night to take on Coahoma AHS.
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