Photo by Ronnie Day
Alex Hawkins (22) of Potts Camp pulls down H.W. Byers running back Julian Moore (4).

Photo by Ronnie Day
Swarming Byers ball-carrier Jacquavian Jones (2) near the goal-line are Cardinals Jabryan Pegues (on ground), Antrell Tucker (51), Jeremiah Scott (5) and Marterrion Donnell (1).

Lequavius Jenkins (20) of Byers goes for the catch, in between two Cardinals, Marterrion Donnell (1) and Mitchell Saulsberry (11).

Photo by Barry Burleson
Potts Camp’s Kalif Alford (7) tries to get extra yards as he is wrapped up Lions R’monta Laney and Jaylan Gipson.

Cards rout rival Lions

The wildcat formation worked well for Potts Camp Thursday night.

The Cardinals, with top running back Alex Hawkins taking the direct snap most of the game and getting behind his blockers, rolled over cross-county rival H.W. Byers 68-28.

“Our number one goal going into the game was to give them a different look,” said Markeith Washington, head coach at Potts Camp. “We wanted to go more wildcat and get the ball in our best player’s hands. We did well with it and continued it for pretty much the whole game.”

The Cardinals also used the swinging-gate formation at times.

“It was just old-school football for us,” he said. “We wanted to put our guys in the best situation to be successful. We’ve had a lot of adversity this season, and we’ve tried to find an identity. I think my guys may have found their identity Thursday night.”

Hawkins ran the football six consecutive times on Potts Camp’s first possession, the last one for 5 yards and a score. Javian Walton carried for the two-point conversion.

Byers drove the ball on its first possession, too. Julian Moore ran for a pair of first downs. From the Potts Camp 5-yard line, Jacquavian Jones carried and was tackled as he neared the goal-line. The ball came loose and it was ruled a fumble, which Potts Camp recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

Five plays later, Trell Kimmons darted 69 yards for a Cardinal touchdown. Hawkins ran for the two. It was 16-0.

Later in the quarter, the Lions tried to cash in a Potts Camp turnover. Douglas Hill threw to Lequavius Jenkins for 22 yards to the Cardinals’ 4-yard line. On a third and goal from the 1, the snap was mishandled and once again the Cardinals recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

“Fumbling twice on the 1-yard line – it was a tough night,” said Chris Daniels, head coach of the Lions. “On the first one, it looked like he was down.

“You never know, if we didn’t have those two turnovers, it could have been a different ball game.

“We’ve been snakebit all year with the injury bug and the turnover bug.”

Potts Camp continued to build momentum and added two more first-half touchdowns to go up 30-0 at intermission.

A pass play from Marterrion Donnell to Kimmons resulted in a 77-yard score with 1:59 left in the second quarter. Hawkins cashed in the conversion.

Then with just two seconds to go until halftime, Hawkins threw to Kimmons for a 14-yard touchdown. The conversion try failed.

A never-say-die Byers squad struck quickly to open the second half. Moore carried up the middle, went outside and then cut back for a 53-yard touchdown run. He also carried for the two. The score was 30-8.

The teams swapped touchdowns late in the third. Hawkins scored from 10 yards out for the Cards, and Kalif Alford got the conversion. Malik Glover, on a reverse, reached the end zone from 10 yards away for the Lions. The conversion attempt was not successful.

Potts Camp led 38-14 entering the fourth quarter.

In that final period, the Cardinals added four more touchdowns – Alford on a 4-yard carry, Hawkins on a 63-yard run, Walton on a 7-yard carry and Alford on a 10-yard run. They tacked on three of the four conversions, two by Alford and one by Walton.

Byers scored twice in the fourth – a pass from Hill to Glover for 28 yards and then Jenkins on an 80-yard kickoff return. Hill threw to R’monta Laney for a two-point conversion after the first of those touchdowns.

Potts Camp improved to 2-9 overall and 1-6 in the Region 1-1A. Byers fell to 3-8 overall and 0-7 in the district.

Coach Washington selected Hunter Skelton, one of his top linemen, as Potts Camp’s most valuable player of the game.

“I felt we would be able to run the ball consistently all night, and that’s what we did,” Washington said. “We needed a win, and it was a good win in a rivalry game.”

Coach Daniels chose Moore as Byers’ MVP. He carried 25 times for 142 yards.

Defensively for the Lions, Jaylan Lewis had 12 tackles and Moore 10 tackles and one forced fumble. Jenkins and Kendric Stephen each had seven tackles.

He said he was proud of his team for continuing to battle through mistakes.

“They (Potts Camp) had the bodies; Hawkins and Alford are a load,” Daniels said. “They’re not a typical two-win team.”

The Cardinals close the season Friday by visiting Okolona. The Chieftains are 8-2 overall and atop the district with a 7-0 record.

The Lions finish the season by hosting Ashland Thursday night. The Blue Devils are 2-9 overall and 1-6 in the district.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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