Thursday, November 3, 2011
Byhalia wins 28-0; playoffs next
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians took another step in the right direction last Friday night at the home of the North Panola Cougars.
They improved to 6-5 overall and 3-2 in Region 3-3A and move on to the state playoffs.
The Indians started the game over the ball and right away things began to go their way. Andrey Collins scored on their first possession and Byhalia had the early lead without the PAT, 6-0.
The Cougars racked up a first down but on their next play the Indians jarred the ball loose and took over on the 44-yard line. They suffered two penalties before Collins broke away for a long gain down the left side. They then benefitted by two flags and Devonte Norman carried to the 15 for a first down. Collins burst through on a third and 15 for a first at the 8. The buzzer killed the quarter with the score at 6-0
After the change in directions, Norman was convoyed into the end zone for another six. The quarterback, Markeise Rodgers, faked and then followed two blockers around right end for the deuce. That put the visitors up 14-0 early in the second quarter.
Thanks to the Byhalia defense, the Cougars folded after three and the Indians took over. However, they were bitten by the same defensive bug and also went out on a fourth and five. The Cougars took over at their 18. Their quarterback couldn’t get anything going so they again went out after three.
The Indians were operating off of a first at the 38 when the ball carrier was hit near the sideline and he armed the ball out of bounds. Two Cougars covered the ball out of bounds and the line judge ruled in favor of the Cougars. With a little more than four minutes left in the half, the Cougars were trying desperately to get into the end zone and off the zero side of the scoreboard. They turned consecutive first downs to the 18. They lost back to the 25 and went back farther on an off side call.
Their QB then threw a pick to Chris Rayford, who picked up good blocking and ran for 45 yards. Collins got the call and he didn’t disappoint. He ran it in on the left side and came back for the two-point conversion. The half ended with Byhalia leading 22-0.
North Panola received to start the second half. It had a pair of incompletes and a draw play which went no place so the home team had to punt.
On their next drive, Terence Phinessee carried twice and put the Indians on the 5 for a first and goal. He blew in over the line from there but couldn’t convert. The score was 28-0. The third quarter expired on that mark.
The Cougars, still determined to avoid the shutout, built on a Byhalia penalty and moved down to the 1-yard line. The Indian defense, which had been racking up big plays all evening, hurled them back and took over when they couldn’t convert the fourth.
The Indians grabbed consecutive first downs but more importantly they were burning the clock and still pitching a shutout with seven minutes left in the game. They were slowly and methodically moving the ball downfield but a slight mix-up in the backfield ended in a fumble which was recovered by the Cougars.
The Byhalia defense really stiffened this time and held the Cougars at bay. Byhalia’s Kenneth Wilson signed the last page for the Cougars by sacking the quarterback for a big lost.
The final score was 28-0, avenging a season-ending loss to the Cougars from the year before.
Head coach Markeith Washington said, “The Cougars were a challenge, but we were ready for them. Now we have to get ready for the first round (of the playoffs) at Booneville. We have been planning for this all season.”
The Indians, third in Region 3-3A, will travel to the home of the Blue Devils, second in Region 1-3A, this Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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