Thursday, October 27, 2011
Hawks’ rally comes up short
By BARRY BURLESON
A loss last Friday night at Belmont puts Holly Springs in a must-win situation this week to assure itself a state playoff spot.
The Hawks fell behind 21-0 in the first half and almost rallied for the win, falling short 21-13. They go to 4-6 overall and 2-2 in Region 1-3A. A road trip to unbeaten Kossuth awaits. The top four teams in the district advance to the postseason.
“We have to win,” coach Marcus Autry said about the challenge ahead this Friday. “There might be some tiebreakers and stuff that could go our way, but we can’t depend on that. We have a big challenge ahead of us, and we have to go play a good football game and win.”
Holly High had two touchdowns called back due to penalties in the eight-point loss to the Cardinals. One came in the second quarter and another in the third.
“It’s always tough on the road,” Autry said. “That’s just part of it. We have to learn to work through all that and keep playing.
“It’s hard for us, coming back when a team jumps out on us. We have to be fundamentally sound and protect the football and we’re not doing that.
“We have to keep getting better as a football team.”
Belmont’s first score was set up by interception return to the 5. Alexander Fancher got the touchdown on a 3-yard run. Jesus Romero kicked the first of his three extra points.
In the second quarter, the Cardinals added two more scores – the first on Jordan Powell’s 63-yard run and the next on a 2-yard pass from Colin Harris to Fancher.
“In the third and fourth quarters, we played well,” Autry said. “We kept them out of the end zone and our passing game picked up some momentum.
“Peter (Thigpen) stepped up and completed some big passes.”
The Holly High quarterback was five of six passing for 80 yards and ran five times for 61 yards. He also had six tackles on defense.
The Hawks’ first points of the game came on Tevin Jones’ 13-yard run in the fourth. Calvin James kicked the extra point.
Later in the quarter, Thigpen threw to Dehendra Brown on a quick-slant route, which resulted in a 35-yard touchdown. The point-after try failed.
Holly High then recovered an onside kick, but Belmont was flagged for offsides and the Hawks had to re-kick, a call Coach Autry did not understand. The next time the Cardinals recovered and were able to run out the clock.
“Bottom line, Belmont is a good, fundamentally-sound football team, and we can’t make the mistakes we made in the game,” he said. “Defensively, we played well at times, but we gave up too many big plays.
“We have to learn from the experience and go on.”
The Cardinals improved to 5-4 overall and an equal 2-2 in the district.
The Hawks’ game Friday at Kossuth starts at 7 p.m.
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