Thursday, September 20, 2012
Indians coast to victory
By BARRY BURLESON
It was homecoming week and Byhalia was facing a winless foe. But there was no letdown for the Indians.
Quarterback Markeise Rodgers ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more as Byhalia blanked Coahoma County 39-0 Friday night.
The Indians are 3-2 overall with one more non-district game this week versus Lewisburg before entering Region 3-3A play.
“It’s important for us to go into district competition playing our best football,” coach John Danley said. “I’m constantly reminding them of that.”
Rodgers continues to adapt well to a new offensive scheme in 2012.
He was five of 13 passing for 93 yards and two scores. He connected with Kenneth Wilson for touchdowns of 43 and 24 yards. The signal-caller also had seven carries for 46 yards, including touchdown runs of 25 yards and 1 yard.
“He’s becoming the offensive leader of this team,” Danley said. “Each week we give him more, and he handles it.”
Running backs Andrey Collins and Devonte Norman also excelled on homecoming night. Collins carried 14 times for 110 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown. Norman had 10 rushes for 87 yards.
“One of the big keys right now is everybody’s healthy,” Danley said. “As long as we stay healthy, we can continue to build toward what we want to accomplish.”
Juan Hernandez was successful on four of five extra-point kicks. He also drilled a 32-yard field goal.
The defense pitched a shutout, largely due to the efforts of Curtis Akins. He had 23 tackles, including one for a safety.
“I believe Curtis Akins is the best linebacker in the state,” Danley said.
He had 175 tackles as a sophomore and has around 70 in five games this year, according to the coach.
“He’s a tremendous athlete,” Danley said. “He’s always around the football - making play after play after play.”
He said the entire defense has really raised its level of play.
“Those guys are playing together,” he said. “They’ve hit their groove.”
Class 4A Lewisburg stands 4-1 and will pose a big challenge for the Indians.
“They’re a good football team, but we’re looking forward to it,” Danley said.
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