Thursday, November 3, 2011
Hawks’ season ends with loss
By BARRY BURLESON
A gritty Holly Springs team put up a fierce fight versus unbeaten Kossuth Friday night.
The Hawks scored first in the second half and only trailed 14-13. But the Aggies responded with 19 points to claim the 33-13 Region 1-3A win.
Holly High, in the playoff hunt until the final game of the season, finishes 4-7 overall and 2-3 in the district. Kossuth, 10-0 overall and 5-0 in the district, advances to the state playoffs.
“Our kids played hard,” coach Marcus Autry said. “We almost tied it up but then we had some of the problems we’ve had all year.
“We stopped the run, but then we gave up some big passes. We have to be able to stop the big plays.”
Kossuth went up 7-0 in the first quarter on David Gibson’s 6-yard run and Austin Emerson’s extra-point kick.
Holly Springs answered. Tevin Jones scored from 7 yards out. Calvin James split the uprights with the kick.
The Aggies carried a 14-7 lead to the half after Tyler Pittman caught a 7-yard pass from Jay Vanderford and Emerson booted the point-after.
The Hawks then grabbed the early momentum in the third when Jones got loose and raced 53 yards to the end zone. The extra-point try was no good.
Kossuth struck back with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Vanderford to Heath Wood. The Hawks blocked the extra-point try.
The Aggies went up 26-13 with 2:28 to go in the third quarter, thanks to Vanderford’s 2-yard keeper for six. A try-for-two failed.
Kossuth scored again in the fourth quarter on a 19-yard toss from Vanderford to Gibson. Emerson kicked the extra point.
The Aggies were driving again in the closing minute, when Coach Autry, surprisingly to some, called two timeouts.
“I wanted a positive going to the off-season,” he said. “We fought hard there and kept them out of the end zone.
In Autry’s second season at the helm of the Holly High football program, the Hawks improved from one win in 2010 to four in 2011.
“We’re pleased with the season and the improvements of this team,” he said.
“But based on Friday night, it’s obvious that we have to go to work in the weight room. If we’re going to compete against these established football programs, we have to prepare like them.
“The offseason is so very important, and I think next season will be better.”
He loses 13 seniors, who he praised for their leadership.
“We have a good group coming back,” Autry said. “It’s going to turn around. It’s a slow process, but it’s coming. Everybody is excited going into the off-season.”
But winning is not everything.
“We’re raising kids,” he said. “No matter the outcome, we’re trying to make them better men.”
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