Thursday, September 6, 2012
Hawks rally in Choctaw territory
By BARRY BURLESON
The Holly Springs Hawks were once again the comeback kids Friday night.
For the second consecutive week, they rallied to win – this time 24-14 over West Tallahatchie on the road.
“I felt like we grew up a bunch,” said coach Chris Rankin, whose squad improved to 2-1 in his first season as head coach. “This group didn’t quit (after falling behind).”
Tevin Jones was once again the workhorse for Holly High. He carried 22 times for 210 yards and three touchdowns.
“Tevin did it all,” Coach Rankin said. “We have to find more offense than Tevin.
“Defensively, we’re swarming to the ball. I think that first game (a 52-20 loss to Coldwater) was a wake-up call. We’ve played really hard the last two weeks.”
Tyjae Jones had a pair of sacks and forced a fumble. Kordairus Crane and Jones had fumble recoveries. And Jaleyonne Young had a 6-yard interception return in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The Hawks took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on Jones’ 24-yard run.
Later in the quarter the Choctaws completed a short pass and the receiver got loose for a 70-yard touchdown play. They added the two-point conversion for an 8-6 advantage.
West Tallahatchie increased its lead in the second quarter. Holly High got off a short punt and a Choctaw picked it up on the bounce and returned it 55 yards for the score. The point-after try failed. Holly High trailed 14-6.
Two drives later, Jones picked up 33 yards and followed that with a 1-yard scoring plunge. The Hawks were down 14-12.
Late in the half, the Choctaws punted, and after two Holly Springs incompletions with less than a minute left, Coach Rankin said he decided to call a running play and run out the clock. Instead, Jones found running room and darted 54 yards for the go-ahead points. The Hawks led 18-14.
The second half was all defense.
“We went back and fourth, moving some and punting – nothing consistent by either team,” Coach Rankin said.
Early in the final quarter, Holly High drove to the West Tallahatchie 1-yard line but couldn’t cross the goal line and turned the ball over on downs.
The Choctaws tried to pass its way out of trouble, but the Hawks’ defensive pressure forced an errant pass, which was picked off by Young for a quick six and a 10-point victory.
Holly High did not convert any point-after attempts in the game.
Next up is a Marshall County rivalry. The Hawks visit non-district Class 3A foe Byhalia (1-2) this Friday night for a 7:30 kickoff.
“We know it’s going to be tough,” Rankin said. “Hopefully, we will be more competitive than the last couple of years (30-8 and 32-0 losses), and I believe we will be.
“A win is a goal every game. But ultimately, it’s about district play and trying to get to the playoffs.
“I know it’s a big game when we play Byhalia. I know I won’t have any problem getting the kids pumped up.”
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