Photos by DeMill DixonHolly High’s Marquise Turnage (6) and Byhalia’s Gavin Edwards (9) go for the ball.
Dequan Moore (14) of the Indians releases a pass with blocking from George Yarbrough and Damon Rowland. Hawks applying pressure are Willie Finley (51) and Javion Zinn (50).
Photos by DeMill DixonDylan King (2) hands off to Kadarreon Lumpkin (3) as Roy Vaughn Jr. (26) blocks against Antonio Davis (5).
Jacoreion Crockett (right) awaits the pass as Lumpkin (3) and Davionta Faulkner (8) defend.
Crockett battles for extra yardage as Marquise Turnage wraps him up with G’tavin Terrell (35) and Wilie Finley assisting.
Indians knock off rival Hawks
The Mayor’s Cup is staying in Byhalia.
The Indians knocked off cross-county rival Holly Springs 26-12 Friday night. It was their fourth straight win in the series.
“We get to keep it (the trophy) at our place another year,” said John Danley, head coach of the Indians.
“Holly Springs came out and played us tough. That team is filled with competitors.
“I thought, as a whole, we played pretty good.”
He said after the game he and Donald Deans, head coach of the Hawks, emphasized the importance of keeping the “competitive nature” only on the football field.
“Out in the community, these guys are friends,” Danley said. “And that friendship is what’s most important. It’s a good rivalry.”
Deans said his Holly High squad made mistakes, but he saw some good things, too, in the season-opener.
“We shot ourselves in the foot several times,” he said. “We have to get more physical and more game focused.”
He said Byhalia “is one of the biggest teams we will play.”
“Byhalia is much improved, and I believe they will have a good season,” Deans said.
The Indians were up 12-0 at halftime. Dequan Moore threw to Charles Powell for a 7-yard touchdown, and Yaphat Hearn reached the end zone for 1-yard out.
“For the first game, I thought we moved the ball pretty well,” Danley said. “We did have mistakes that stalled drives.”
He praised his sophomore quarterback, Moore, who he said completed about 80 percent of his passes.
“It was a learning experience for him,” the coach said.
Byhalia went up 19-0 in the second half on a 2-yard run by Jacob Edwards. Daniel Williams kicked the extra point.
Holly High cut it to 19-6 on Dylan King’s 2-yard quarterback keeper.
Byhalia got its final score of the night via Hearn’s 45-yard burst to the end zone. Williams again connected for the extra point.
Holly High scored again late in the contest on a 55-yard pass from King to Timothy Jeffries.
Danley said his offensive line is the strength of the team.
“It’s one of the best in the state, I believe,” he said. “They really get after it out there and work hard at it. I like our chances of running the football on anybody.”
Danley praised his defense, too, for its performance against the Hawks.
“We have to hang our hat on defense this year,” he said. “We have more returning starters there.”
He also emphasized the importance of getting some of his young players experience in game one of the season.
Top tacklers for Holly High were Teelan Brown, Ahmed Alhalemi and G’tavin Terrell with eight each. Brown also had a sack.
Coming up next for the Indians is a road trip to Coahoma County this Friday night. The Red Panthers fell 58-0 to North Panola in their season opener.
Holly High travels east on I-22 to Itawamba County where they will face Mantachie this Friday night. The Mustangs lost 57-0 to Nettleton in week one.
Coach Deans said the Mustangs feature a good quarterback and they like to throw the football.
“Our defensive secondary will have to step it up,” he said.