Thursday, August 23, 2012
Cardinals open stadium with win over Lions
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Potts Camp Cardinals and a multitude of fans christened their new stadium last Friday night with a convincing victory over cross county rival H.W. Byers.
This was the first sanctioned high school football game played in the city in decades.
Witnessing the historic coin toss for Potts Camp were Brantley Harris, Alex Beard and Jamarquis Foster. For Byers it was Trelorenz Stephen, Marquis Moore and Xavier Gorman. Making the coin flip was referee Patrick Carr, backed by umpire Terry Wortham, head linesman Victor O. Tutt, line (side) judge Darrell Clements and back judge Undra Todd.
The historic kick went to Stephen of the Lions. He was met almost immediately by a host of Cardinals who downed him at the 22. The Cards drew an offsides penalty and Stephen moved the chains on the next carry. Dominic Jones ran for 13 and then on third and five, Stephen grabbed the first at the 27. So far the Lions were making the ground their power. The Cards were having trouble with their defense. Byers tried a quick pass to Quantario Stigger which was good but not enough. The Lions turned it over on downs after controlling it for 6:45 of the first quarter.
Potts Camp’s signal caller was Jordon Harris. Right away the Cards’ offense stalled and they punted away from their own 42. The visitors didn’t fare any better. They came upon a third and 14 and had to punt after an incomplete pass. The punt was a good one and sailed to the 3-yard line of Potts Camp.
J. Harris came out of the backfield for 9 yards. The next play was an aerial which was picked by the Lions. There was no return. The horn sounded on the second play, and after a change of directions, they picked up a first down and Stigger gave them another at the 9. Moore broke away to the 4 and on the next call Stephen went in standing up after a Cardinal penalty halfway to the goal line. The try-for-two failed but the Lions had drawn first blood in this historic game.
Potts Camp received and started from its 35. Byers was called for roughing the passer and the big penalty gave the Cards a first at the 48. However, the offense sputtered again and Brantley Harris got off a booming punt to the Lions’ 10. The Lions began having more problems with the offense. An illegal procedure call backed them into a second and 12 at their 12. After a series of failed downs, their punter sent it to the 40.
The Cardinals had little luck on their time over the ball, and with about two and a half minutes left, they threw on fourth down. The Lions incurred a pair of penalties while still trying to find running room. They punted on a fourth and 14 just as the horn sounded. They still had the 6-0 lead at intermission.
The Cardinals received to start the second half. Jarvis Jones went to the 43. Foster made a 25-yard run for a first down and came back and skirted right end for another 6. Potts Camp was flagged for illegal man downfield, which was declined by Byers. The Harris boys (Jordon to Brantley) teamed up to put the home team on the pristine scoreboard. There was a penalty on the conversion attempt, which was declined, so the score was 6-6.
The Cardinals’ defensive players were getting their game legs under them and they held the Byers offense. The defense blocked the punt and Jesse Shaw grabbed the ball in mid-air and trucked it in for a Potts Camp score. Byers blocked the extra-point try and the score had tilted to the Cardinals at 12-6.
Byers was now facing a stiffened Cardinal defense and still stumbling. The visitors were being hurt by infractions. They punted on a fourth and 21. Potts Camp’s Foster made a spectacular run but had most of it nullified by a block in the back. J. Harris went to Ray Maxey with a flare right and he stepped out of bounds at the Byers 27 after picking up the first.
J. Harris called his own number on the next play and bounced to the 20. He did it again, getting the first at the 4-yard line. Foster took it over from there. J. Harris knocked over the pylon on the two-point try and the side judge ruled the conversion invalid. The hosts were ahead 18-6.
The Lions’ problems continued and they had an aerial picked and were trying to defend at their 10. A flurry of flags for unsportsmanlike conduct against both squads followed and the ball ended up on the Byers 20. Another personal foul put the ball on the 10. The Cardinals were penalized but it didn’t really matter because the Harrises collaborated again, Jordon finding Brantley all alone at the back of the end zone for the gold strike. The point-after try failed and the score was 24-6 as the third ended.
The final quarter didn’t favor the visitors. They lost the ball on an interception by the Cardinals’ Jones. Potts Camp controlled the ball and Jones scored to up the tally to 30-6. Jesse Shaw added the last two for a final of 32-6.
The Cardinals had pleased their huge crowd with a first win on their new field.
The Cardinals will go to DeSoto Central Friday and Byers will host Strayhorn on that date, August 24.
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