Football News 2015 Football News 2015 Holy Spirit Write-up
2015 Holy Spirit Write-up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen J. Dunavant   
Thursday, 03 September 2015 08:42
The Lion football team opened regular season play on Friday night by welcoming the Holy Spirit Titans to Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium. Following the coin toss Dax Benton and Caleb Palmer lined up deep to receive the opening kick from Samuel Contorno. Prior to the kick the Titans were penalized for an off-sides infraction resulting in the kick-off coming from the 35-yard line. Palmer made the opening reception at the 28-yard line and rushed up field down the left side line to the Titans 30-yard line before he was knocked out of bounds by Jacob Simon.

 

The first offensive play by the Lions resulted in what appeared to be a quick score with Benton taking the hand-off from Justin Hancock around the right side of the line of scrimmage and back across the field to the endzone, but the touchdown was called back with the Lions being penalized on the play. Rushing attacks by Palmer and Benton moved the ball to the 8-yard line rewarding the Lion offense with another set of downs. On first down Palmer advanced over left guard to the 1-yard line where Garrett Appling made the saving tackle. Following a quick time-out by the Titans, Lathan Holliday wasted little time taking the ball to the endzone, putting the Lions on the scoreboard first with 10:00 remaining in the first quarter of play. On the PAT attempt McKain Hubbert lined up for the kick, but Hancock who serves as the holder attempted a pass connection with Trey Snow but the ball fell incomplete leaving the score 6 - 0.

 

The Titans opening offensive drive started at their own 34-yard line. On first down D.J. Pitts and a host of others made the stop on Appling after a 2-yard gain. Continuing with the rushing attack the Titan offense was met on second and third down for the defensive stand by Benton, Holliday, M. Hubbert and others, leaving the Titans facing fourth down and 3-yards. Joseph Watkins got the call to fight for the first down and fought his way up the middle of the line reaching the Lion 46-yard line where Snow made the stop. Two back to back rushing attacks by William Clark moved the ball to the 37-yard line with Benton making the solo tackle and leaving the Titans facing third down and short yardage. Two plays later the Titan offense was inside the Lions red-zone with a first down at the 20-yard line. Sticking with Appling on the rushing attack the Titans moved the ball deeper to the 15-yard line. Titan quarterback, Thomas Mulanix connected with Appling in his first passing attempt for the score but the two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful as D.J. Pitts met the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage for the stop leaving the score at a tie with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter.

 

The Titans attempted an onside kick on the ensuing kick but Brett Wright made the reception recovering the ball at the Lions 45-yard line. The Lions offensive front returned to the field led by Hancock. Palmer got the call to move the ball on first down but Appling and a host of others were on the stop after a 1-yard gain. Second down brought Benton around the right end with the ball with Appling making the saving tackle at the Titans 45-yard line. First and second down brought misery for the Lions with Benton tripping up in the backfield on first down and a penalty for an illegal procedure on second down moving the ball back across mid-field to the Lions 45-yard line. Facing second down and twenty, Holliday took the hand-off up the middle for a 7-yard gain with Appling and a host of others on the stop. On third down Hancock's pass over the middle fell incomplete leaving the Lions facing fourth down and thirteen at the Titan 48-yard line. M. Hubbert lined up in the backfield and punted the ball away with the ball rolling dead at the 19-yard line.

 

The Titan offense called upon Appling who advanced around the left side of the line of scrimmage for a five yard gain with M. Hubbert and Snow on the stop for the Lions. On second down the ball was fumbled on the hand-off but Appling scooped the ball up advancing up the middle with M. Hubbert making the solo tackle for the stop. Following an official measurement the Titans were facing third down and inches near the 29-yard line. Clark took the hand-off up the middle fighting his way to the 31-yard line for the first down as the first quarter came to a close. The Lion defense tightened up on the new set of downs with Tanner Upton, Holliday bursting into the backfield on first down taking Appling down behind the line of scrimmage for a 5-yard loss. On second down Appling was met by Holliday with the solo tackle after a 3-yard gain setting up third down and twelve for the Titans. Sticking with Appling on the rushing attack was unsuccessful as he was met at the line of scrimmage by Upton and Holliday for the stop resulting in no-gain on the play and leaving the Titans facing fourth down. Mulanix took the snap from deep in the backfield and punted the ball away with the ball rolling dead at the Lions 37-yard line.

 

First down brought penalty flags against the Lions moving the ball back to the 22-yard line. Benton took the hand-off up the middle dodging away from would be tacklers and was finally chased down from behind by Appling to save the quick score. With the snap of the ball Palmer crossed the goal line untouched for the touchdown with 8:31 remaining in the first half of play. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert, with Hancock holding was perfect and the Lions increased their score 13 - 6.

 

Benton's ensuing kick rolled out of bounds deep resulting in the Titans offense taking to the field at their 35-yard line. The Titans called upon Watkins to advance the ball on this possession but defensive stops by Upton, D.J. Pitts and Benton on first down coupled with penalty flags moved the ball back to the 30-yard line. Facing second down and 15-yards, Watkins was met by Upton, M. Hubbert and others for a two-yard loss leaving the Titans facing third down and 17-yards. Watkins was brought down at the line of scrimmage by D.J. Pitts and Palmer on third down and a penalty against the Titans left them facing fourth down from their own 28-yard line. Clark lined up in the backfield and punted the ball away with the ball taking a bounce in the Lions favor and rolling backwards into the Titans territory before stopping at the 45-yard line.

 

The Lion offense took advantage of the field position and moved the ball quickly down field for another scoring drive. First down brought Hancock with a quarterback keeper down the right side line where Contorno made the stop after a 5-yard gain. Hancock called his own number again but was met near the line of scrimmage by Holtaus and others for the stop after a 1-yard gain. Third down brought Holliday with the hand-off up the middle for the first down at the 35-yard line. With a new set of downs, Benton took the ball out of the backfield to the endzone but following the score was called back with the Lions being penalized for a holding call and placing the ball down on the 20-yard line. Following a time-out by Holy Spirit, Joshua Rodgers made the stop on Benton after a 10-yard gain. With the snap of the ball, Hancock scooped up the ball following a mishandled exchange on the hand-off and raced untouched down the right side line for the touchdown. M. Hubbert's kick on the PAT was straight down the middle of the uprights and the Lions increased their lead 20 - 6 with3:23 remaining in the first half of play.

 

Benton booted the ensuing kick deep into the endzone setting the Titans offense up at their own 20-yard line. The Titans quickly moved the ball up field with Appling on the rushing attack. Facing third down and five at their own 45-yard line, Watkins took the hand-off around the right side of the line of scrimmage for the first down at mid-field with Palmer making the stop for the Lions. M. Hubbert rushed into the backfield and made the sack on Mulanix on first down but the Lions were penalized for a face-mask penalty which occurred away from the quarterback sack, resulting in a first down at the Lions 40-yard line. Upton, Holliday and Benton along with a host of other Lion defenders made the stop on Mulanix after a two-yard gain on first down and on second down the Titans went to the passing attack but were penalized for an ineligible receiver down field moving the ball back to the Lions 47-yard line. Second down brought Holthaus over right guard with the ball but Nick Smith was in position for the solo tackle after a two-yard gain. Benton was in position to knock the ball out of reach from Applings hands on a passing attempt on third down to bring up fourth down and eight at the Lions 38-yard line. The Titan coaching staff elected to fight for the needed yardage but once again the passing connection from Mulanix to Appling was broken up with Snow in position on the play for the Lions resulting in the Lion offense taking over at their own 38-yard line.

 

Benton took the hand-off from Hancock on first down advancing around the right end across mid-field to the Titan 39-yard line where he was chased down for the stop by Watkins and others for the stop. Hancock called his own number on first down advancing down the right side line to the 17-yard line where he was stopped by Watkins as time expired on the first half of play.

 

Returning from the locker room, Benton booted the second half opening kick deep into the endzone setting the Titans offense up at their own 20-yard line once again. Following first and second down defensive stops by D.J. Pitts, Upton, Holliday and others on Appling, the Titans first possession of the second half came to a halt quickly as the ball was fumbled away on third down with the Lions recovering the mishandled exchange in the middle of the line of scrimmage.

 

Wasting little time with the turn-over and the ball deep in Titans territory at the 23-yard line, Benton was called upon to advance the ball from the backfield and he rushed around the right side of the line of scrimmage to the 19-yard line on first down with Watkins and a host of others on the stop. Second down brought Palmer out of the backfield for the score with9:43 on the clock. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert was perfect and the score stood 27 - 6.

 

Watkins lined-up deep to receive Benton's ensuing kick but the ball sailed out of bounds lining the Titans offensive front up at their own 35-yard line. Sticking with Appling and the rushing attack, the Titans moved the ball down field but stops by Robert Pitts, M. Hubbert, Upton, Benton, Palmer and D.J. Pitts brought the offensive rushing attack to a halt at mid-field leaving the Titans facing fourth down and nine. Deciding to fight for the needed yardage proved unsuccessful for the Titans as Appling was met by Upton and Holliday after a 4-yard gain for the stop resulting in the ball over on downs to the Lions at their own 45-yard line.

 

First down brought Holliday over right guard for a five yard gain. On second down Hancock went to the air attack attempting to connect with Ryan Brubaker but the pass fell incomplete leaving the Lions facing third down. Benton took the pitch-out from Hancock and raced around the right end but was met for the stop by Rodgers just shy of the first down marker and on fourth down the Titan defense held stopping Holliday at the line of scrimmage resulting in the ball over on downs.

 

Rushing attacks by Appling, Contorno and Watkins moved the ball to the Lion 20-yard line as time expired on the third quarter. Facing third down and four yards, Appling took the hand-off from Mulanix and was met by Benton for the stop after a 2-yard gain leaving the Titans facing fourth down. With the snap of the ball the Titans were penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to the 23-yard line where Watkins took the hand-off and was met immediately by Palmer, Upton and M. Hubbert among other defenders for the stop after a 1-yard gain resulting in the ball over on downs to the Lions.

 

Palmer took the ball around the left side line but was met by Rodgers for the stop after a 2-yard gain. Misery struck the Lions with the ball being fumbled away on the snap and the Titans recovering at the Lions 25-yard line. R. Pitts and Holliday made the stop on Appling on first down after a three yard gain but on second down Appling took the pitch-out from Mulanix to the end zone bouncing off the line of scrimmage and cutting his way to the outside for the score. The two-point conversion on the PAT was unsuccessful as Contorno was brought down behind the line by D.J. Pitts and a host of others for the stop leaving the score at 27 - 12 in favor of the Lions.

 

M. Hubbert made the successful recovery of the ensuing on-side kick setting the Lions offensive up at their own 46-yard line. Benton was called upon on first down and picked up one yard with Rodgers and Roeder McNair making the stop. Palmer was met at the line of scrimmage on second down by a host of defenders leaving the Lions facing third down. On third down, Benton took the pitch-out from Hancock bouncing off would be tacklers and rambling down field to the endzone for the quick score with 7:22 remaining in the ball game. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert was perfect and the score stood 34 - 12 in favor of the home standing Lions.

 

Watkins fielded the ensuing kick from M. Hubbert at the 11-yard line and was met for the stop with a solo tackle by Robert Pitts at the Titans 30-yard line. Penalty flags against the Titans moved the ball back to the 20-yard line following a penalty before the snap on first down. Facing first down and twenty yards from their own 20-yard line, the Titans called upon Appling to advance the ball but Holliday and a host of others made the stop after a 3-yard gain. Second down brought additional misery for the Titans as the ball came loose on the exchange with Appling making the recovery and being brought down in the backfield immediately by Palmer for a 3-yard loss at the 19-yard line. Appling took the hand-off up the middle on third down but Benton, D.J. Pitts, Holliday and others were on the stop leaving the Titans facing fourth down and 16-yards near their own 23-yard line. Mulanix lined up deep in the backfield and punted the ball away with Hancock allowing the ball to roll dead at the Lions 42-yard line.

 

Ethan Nichols lined up under center relieving Hancock of his quarterback duties. First down brought a pitch-out from Nichols to Snow with Snow advancing around the left end to mid-field where Jeremy Boler made the stop leaving the Lions facing second down and two-yards. Upton rushed over right guard but was stopped by a host of defenders setting up third down and inches for the Lions. Sticking with Upton on the rushing attack the Lions moved the ball to the Titans 47-yard line for another set of downs and on first down Snow took the pitch-out around the left end where he was brought down from behind by Holthaus to save the score just beyond the 35-yard line. Snow got the call to carry the ball once again on first down advancing for two-yards with a host of defenders on the stop. Upton finished out the rushing attack moving the ball just inside the 25-yard line with Nichols taking a knee on first down allowing time to expire on the game clock and allowing the Lions to exit the field with the win by the score of 34 - 12. Team Captains for the Lions were Senior players:  Hancock, M. Hubbert, D.J. Pitts, Smith and Jamie Tidwell.

 

The Lions will continue playing at home this coming Friday night as they open Region Five play by hosting to the Lynn Bears. Game time is 7:00p.m.

 

Comments from Head Coach Lamar Harris:
"First off it's a win. I'm proud to get the win and proud of the guys for their efforts to take the victory but it's no secret that I'm not too happy with the mental mistakes we continue making on the playing field. Those mistakes are of a major concern and we will continue addressing them during our practice sessions. Mistakes will come back and haunt these guys if they don't focus on correcting their mental errors. We have to concentrate more on the game plan and we have to make adjustments mentally to correct our mistakes. We did accomplish some good things tonight and that is what we will have to build-on in the coming weeks. We just have to buckle down and continue making improvements overall as a team. I am aware that we are playing with guys who are playing in different positions and I know that experience at those position can assist those guys as they continue to play. With this game behind us we can now focus for Region play and continue our efforts of making adjustments on the practice field. We have a very tough game next week and we know we have to be prepared if we want to walk off the field with a win."
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 September 2015 08:51
 
 

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