Football News 2014 Football News 2014 Tharptown Write-up
2014 Tharptown Write-up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen J. Dunavant   
Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00
The Lions finished out regular season play remaining undefeated on the season with a victory over the Wildcats of Tharptown.

Dax Benton's opening kick sailed to the 6-yard line where Milton Hatton made the reception. Nick Smith was down field quick to make the solo tackle on Hatton at the 22-yard  line. The Lion defense held on the Wildcats first possession with stops by Nathan Young, Anthony Dillard, D.J. Pitts, Jr. and McKain Hubbert. Facing fourth down and 12-yards, Jimmy Hines dropped into the backfield and punted the ball away with the ball rolling dead at the Lion 44-yard line.

Vess Benton lead the Lion offense to the field and on first down connected thru the air with Zack Reeves for a an 11-yard gain passing gain giving the Lions a quick first down across mid-field. With the snap of the ball N. Young took the hand-off rushing over left tackle for another 11-yards and another first down at the 36-yard line. Reverting back to the passing attack, V. Benton connected with Gabe Stidham who fought his way for 9-yards leaving the Lions facing second down and 1-yard at the 27-yard line. V. Benton connected with D. Benton thru the air for the first down and following a penalty on the Wildcats the Lions were setting at the Wildcat 11-yard line. D. Benton took the hand-off and rushed up the middle for a 7-yard gain where Michael Rice and a host of defenders made the saving stop at the 4-yard line. Austin Palmer took the pitch-out around the left side for the score and with 7:58 showing the Lions had taken the early lead. The PAT kick by D. Benton was perfectly executed leaving the score 7 - 0.

D. Benton booted the ensuing kick deep with the ball rolling into the end zone for the touchback. Three downs later with defensive stops by A. Dillard, M. Hubbert, N. Young, Z. Reeves and Kris Parson the Wildcats found themselves facing third down and nine-yards at the 21-yard line. A. Palmer lined up to receive the punt from Hines and the Lions offense returned to the field taking over at the Wildcat 46-yard line.

First down brought A. Palmer out of the backfield with the carry around the left side of the line of scrimmage rushing out to the left end where he rambled to the 30-yard line for another first down for the Lions. V. Benton called G. Stidham's number in the huddle and connected thru the air with Stidham who raced untouched to the end zone for the quick score. The PAT kick by D. Benton with V. Benton holding was straight down the middle of the uprights and the Lions score increased 14 - 0 with 6:03 remaining in the first quarter of play.

Mickey Rosson and M. Hatton lined up deep to receive the ensuing kick from D. Benton with Hatton making the reception at the 6-yard line with John Upton and G. Stidham on the stop for the Lions at the 23-yard line. First down brought additional misery for Tharptown as D.J. Pitts, Jr. met Allen Gaston in the backfield knocking the ball loose with the Lions recovering the fumble.

First down brought A. Dillard fighting his way behind blockers up the middle of the field before cutting to the outside where Hatton made the solo tackle at the 6-yard line. First down brought A. Palmer with the hand-off over left tackle for the quick six, his second touchdown of the evening with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter. The PAT kick by D. Benton was perfect and the scoreboard read 21 - 0 in favor of the visiting Lions.

D. Benton's ensuing kick was fielded at the 17-yard line by Matthew Brasuell who was met by Justin Hancock and Luke Stidham for the tackle at the 30-yard line. Hatton on a keeper gained two yards with N. Young on the stop. A. Dillard made the stop on Brasuell on second down resulting in no gain on the play and on third down Rice was met at the line of scrimmage by M. Hubbert, Jacob Stovall, Reeves and others for the stop leaving the Wildcats facing fourth down and nine-yards. Once again Hines lined up and punted the ball away to the open field as the Hubbertville coaching staff had elected to have no one in position to receive the ball.

V. Benton and the Lion offense lined up at their own 24-yard line starting the possession deep on their own end of the field for the first time in the evening. First down brought a passing attempt to Reeves but the ball was overthrown as pressure was on Benton forcing him to release the ball early. D. Benton took the hand-off around the right side of the line of scrimmage on second down for what appeared to be a long rushing gain but the Lions were penalized moving the ball back to their 20-yard line. V. Benton and G. Stidham connected thru the air on the replay of down for a nine-yard gain with Hatton making the stop on Stidham. Second down brought D. Benton out of the backfield with the hand-off scrambling behind blockers and reaching the 49-yard line before a host of defenders led by Hatton could make the tackle. On first down, V. Benton went back to the passing attack and connected with G. Stidham for a 16-yard gain with Brasuell on the stop. On first down V. Benton was brought down behind the line of scrimmage by Eduardo Lopez and a host of others for a nine-yard loss. Second down brought V. Benton connecting thru the air with younger brother D. Benton down the left side of the line of scrimmage for the first down at the 22-yard line. N. Young took the ball deeper advancing to the 9-yard line before Gaston could bring him down. V. Benton went to the end zone on first down in an attempt to connect with G. Stidham but the pass was incomplete leaving the Lions facing second down and goal. Arturo Meneses broke across the line with the snap of the ball sacking V. Benton for a 1-yard loss but on third down V. Benton kept his composure and connected thru the air with A. Palmer for the 10-yard passing touchdown and Palmers third on the evening.  The PAT kick by D. Benton was perfectly executed and the Lions continued building their lead 28 - 0 with 9:56 remaining in the first half of play.

Hatton received the ensuing kick at the 10-yard line and was brought down for the tackle by Mason Drummond and Nick Smith at the 25-yard line. The Lion defense held strong once again with solo tackles by Upton and gang tackles by D.J. Pitts, Jr., Tyler Lolley, Drummond and Smith as well as others. Following three downs, the Wildcats had reached the 42-yard line for a first down with Hancock and Joseph Rutledge making the stop on Rice at the Lions 42-yard line. With a new set of downs across mid-field and in Lion territory, Hatton called upon Rice to move the ball but Lolley and Clay Gary remained in position making the stop after a one yard gain on first down. Second down brought an incomplete pass attended for Rosson but N. Smith was on coverage knocking the ball away. Facing third down, Rice took the hand-off for six yards over the left side of the line of scrimmage with C. Gary, Dusty Hubbert, and Lolley on the tackle bringing up fourth  down and four for the Wildcats. Electing to fight for the needed yardage by the way of a pass to Gaston proved unsuccessful with Mason Stidham on coverage forcing the ball to be overthrown and turning the ball over on downs to the Lions.

A. Palmer took over reigns as quarterback for the Lions and on first down Upton fought his way around the right side of the line of scrimmage for a first down at the Lions 48-yard line. M. Stidham took the ball out of the backfield around the right side line for another first down at the Wildcats 42-yard line and with the snap of the ball J. Rutledge fought deeper down into Wildcat territory with a five yard rushing attack. On second down, M. Stidham fought for the needed yardage giving the Lions another first down at the 32-yard line. Sticking with M. Stidham, A. Palmer faked the keeper, with M. Stidham fighting over left guard to the 22-yard line keeping the drive alive. First down brought J. Rutledge over the right side of the line of scrimmage for an eight yard gain and on second down M. Stidham took the hand-off attacking over the left side of the line and reaching the 6-yard line where Gueronimo Figueroa made the saving tackle. A. Palmer called upon J. Rutledge to advance the ball deeper in the red zone and he rushed up the middle where Figueroa and a host of others made the stop at the 3-yard line. Prior to the snap of the ball on second down the Wildcats were penalized moving the ball deeper to the goal linen and on the replay of the down, J. Rutledge fought his way into the end zone for the score with 1:43 remaining in the first half of play. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert was perfect and the Lions were leading comfortably at 35 - 0.

M. Hubbert's ensuing kick was received at the 31-yard line by Rice who was brought down at the 37-yard line by N. Smith and a host of other Lion defenders. The Wildcats utilized the rushing attack and the passing game to move the ball down field quickly. First down brought Rosson up the middle with the carry with Lolley and D. Hubbert on the stop after a 4-yard gain. Hatton attempted a pass connection with Rosson on second down but N. Smith was in position knocking the ball away. Facing third down, Hatton went to the air again connecting with Gaston along the left side line where he stepped out of bounds after making the completion at the Wildcats 49-yard line. First down brought another pass over the middle to Brasuell with Upton on the tackle at the Lions 41-yard line. Hatton went deep down field with the next passing attempt but due to pressure by Jacob Stovall, Lolley and Drummond the ball sailed deep and incomplete. Second down brought Hatton connecting with Gaston once again over the middle with Upton making the tackle after a seven yard gain. Facing third down and 3-yards, Hatton called his own number and fought his way around the right side line where Luke Stidham, J. Stovall and C. Gary made the stop at the 16-yard line. With time winding down on the first half of play, Hatton connected with Juan Carlos Perez who fought his way behind Mickey Palmer to reach the end zone as time expired on the clock. The Wildcats faked the kick on the PAT with Gaston serving as the holder being brought down short of the goal line by N. Smith and Drummond leaving the half time score standing at 35 - 6 in favor of the visiting Lions.

The second half opening kick by Hines was received by Clay Gary at the Lions 49-yard line. Sticking with the rushing attack from J. Rutledge, Upton and M. Stidham the Lions moved the ball down field to the 19-yard line where they found themselves facing fourth down and one yard. J. Rutledge was met at the line of scrimmage for the stop turning the ball over on downs near the 20-yard line.

Rice, Rosson, Brasuell and Hatton kept the ball on the ground moving the ball to the Wildcat 48-yard line with defensive stops being made by M. Stidham, Drummond, Rutledge and L. Stidham. First down brought Rice over the right side of the line where he was met by N. Smith for the stop after a 4-yard gain. Rosson got the call to move the ball on second down reaching the Lions 30 yard line to keep the drive alive before Hancock and N. Smith could make the saving stop. Brasuell took the hand-off up the middle with Lolley and N. Smith making the tackle after a six yard gain. On second down the snap was bad with Lolley rushing into the backfield to sack Hatton back at the 29-yard line with assistance from Upton and others. Facing third down and nine yards, Hatton attempted a pass near the goal line but N. Smith and Hancock were on coverage forcing the ball to be thrown high. Hatton bobbled the snap on fourth down and fumbled the ball but managed to scoop it up and scramble around in the backfield before he was forced out of bounds by J. Rutledge at the 26-yard line resulting in the ball being turned over to the Lions on downs.

First down brought J. Rutledge rambling around the right end with the ball for the first down at the 37-yard line before Brasuell could bring him down. Upton took the ball further up field for another first down at mid-field with Hatton and others making the tackle. Upton rushed out of the backfield once again on first down and was met by a host of Wildcats after a 2-yard gain. Second down brought Caleb Palmer with the hand-off over left guard for the first down before Rosson and Gaston could make the saving tackle at the 34-yard line. Reverting back to J. Rutledge, the Lions moved the ball to the 28-yard line as the third quarter of play came to a close. With a new set of downs, Upton took the hand-off over right tackle for a nine yard gain and with the snap of the ball M. Stidham rushed out of the backfield to the six yard line for the first down. Stidham then took the ball to the end zone for the score following his blockers over the left side of the line of scrimmage with 10:22 remaining in the ball game. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert was blocked and the score remained 41 - 6.

D. Benton's ensuing kick was received at the 11-yard line by Gaston who was met at the Lions 47-yard line for the saving tackle. Rushing attacks by Brasuell and Rosson moved the ball deeper down field leaving the Wildcats facing third down and nine at the Lions 35-yard line. Hatton called his own number and scrambled around the right side of the line of scrimmage reaching the 25-yard line before stepping out of bounds. With a new first down, Brasuell  took the hand-off and fought for seven yards with Luke Young, N. Smith and Upton making the tackle at the 18-yard line. Rosson moved the ball deeper into Lion territory for the first down at the 11-yard line with Rice being met for the stop by Upton after a one yard gain. Facing second down and nine yards, Hatton took the ball to the end zone advancing around the right side line for the score with4:51 remaining on the clock. The two point conversion on the PAT was no good leaving the score at 41 - 12.

J. Rutledge lined up deep for the ensuing kick by Hines receiving the ball at the 18-yard line. Brady Tucker took over as quarterback and on first down the ball was fumbled on the exchange and recovered by the Wildcats.

Facing first and goal deep in the Lions red zone the Wildcats called upon Rosson to fight for the needed yardage on first down but he was stopped at the four yard line by Upton, C. Gary and Will Gray along with a host of other Lions. Hatton attempted a pass connection at the left end with Rosson but the ball fell incomplete bringing up third down and goal. Rosson took the hand-off and fought his way into the end zone around the right end for the score with 3:55remaining. The PAT kick by Hines was perfect and the score increased to 41 - 19.

Ethan Nichols and Upton lined up deep to receive the ensuing kick from Hines but the ball rolled out of bounds at the 42-yard line. Hancock took over as quarterback for the Lion offense and on first down J. Rutledge took the hand-off around the right end to the Lion 49-yard line. M. Stidham took the hand-off over mid-field to the Wildcats 48-yard line for the first down. Reverting back to J. Rutledge with the rushing attack, the Lions moved the ball around the right side line for a three yard gain. On second down, C. Palmer got the call to carry and moved the ball deeper for a four yard gain. Facing third down and three, M. Stidham advanced over right guard for the first down deep down at the 25-yard line. With the snap of the ball, Hancock took a knee ending the game as time expired. The final score stood 41 - 19 in favor of the Lions and giving them the first out right undefeated season since 1952.

The Lions will host the Jacksonville Christian Thunder (4 - 6) from Region 7 in the first round of the state play-offs on Friday night. Game time is 7pm.

Comments from Head Coach Lamar Harris:
"I am extremely proud of this group of guys. They came out here tonight and took early control of the game and accomplished a big goal by finishing out the regular season play as an undefeated team. That's a goal that we all should be extremely proud of and a goal which is not easily accomplished in our region of play. It's a big honor for our team, our fans and our school and I am honored to have been a part of it.  I've never had the privilege of coaching an undefeated team in my career and I will always cherish this moment and this teams accomplishment.  This group of guys have shown consistency all year and have never weathered, they've remained dedicated to the team effort and the senior leadership speaks volume.  We've had a great season thus far and I'm looking forward to advancing and coaching these guys into the play-offs.  Of course the new season begins now with the play-offs and it's a whole different season ahead.  We'll just have to continue playing our style of ball as we continue striving to reach our team goals.  I'm proud of our fans for following us up here tonight on a Thursday night and I know the players are very appreciative of the strong support that is received each week from our fans in the stands.  We're looking forward to hosting the first round play-off game at our home stadium and we're hoping we have our usual large crowd of faithful fans there to cheer the guys on this Friday night."
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2015 20:16
 
 

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