August 23, 2012
Braves to start new season
A couple of Indian chiefs were sidelined Friday night for the season-opener but the adversity made the effort even stronger.
Byhalia, without star players Davion Johnson and Curtis Akins, journeyed to Tishomingo County and beat the Braves 26-14.
Johnson, a preseason Dandy Dozen player who has committed to Ole Miss, did not play while the school awaits a decision from the Mississippi High School Activities Association on his eligibility. The question surrounds his legal guardianship.
Akins sat out due to a knee injury.
“Our best offensive lineman (Johnson) and our best defensive player (Akins) were not suited up,” coach John Danley said. “But our guys rallied around the problem. We still went out and had a great performance.”
The Indians unveiled a new offense versus the Braves and executed well on the ground and through the air. They had 313 yards rushing and 136 passing.
Andrey Collins carried 14 times for 131 yards and two touchdowns. His scoring runs covered 85 and 5 yards.
Devonte Norman ran the ball nine times for 123 yards.
Markeise Rodgers was four-of-seven passing, including two long touchdowns. Kenneth Wilson had two catches for 73 yards, one of those a 40-yard touchdown. DeAndre Buchanan reeled in a 42-yard scoring toss.
Coach Danley team’s presented him with a win in his first game as head coach.
“I had been anticipating this game for a long time,” he said, “and personally, a lot of pressure was relieved.
“The kids deserved to win. Defensively, we controlled the game. We certainly have big-play potential, but I believe our defense is what we will hang our hat on this year.”
He named quarterback Rodgers the most valuable player for the night.
“He played a heck of game,” Coach Danley said. “His whole role has changed, and he ran the offense well.”
Word from the MHSAA about Johnson not being able to play in the season-opener did not come down until Wednesday, two days before the game.
“We were moving guys around on the offensive line,” he said. “And we had some mistakes there Friday night, but our guys pushed through. They played a heck of a game, with just two days of practice.
“And our running backs ran well behind that line.”
Danley expects both Johnson and Akins to be in action this week.
The Indians welcome Senatobia to town this Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The Warriors lost 23-21 last week to Winona.
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