Football News 2015 Football News 2015 Berry Write-Up
2015 Berry Write-Up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen J. Dunavant   
Monday, 05 October 2015 06:21
The long awaited yearly scheduled cross-county rivalry game between the Berry Wildcats and the Hubbertville Lions took place on Friday night with Berry paying a visit to Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium. The Wildcats arrived seeking revenge from their last visit to the Hubbertville school campus, where the Lions pulled out a close victory over Berry late in the game during the quarter-finals of the 2013 season.

 

Representing the visiting Wildcats as team captains were Seniors; Ryan Howton, Troy Locke, and Jonathan Thomas and Junior; James Raines.  Captains for the Lions were Justin Hancock; Senior, Dax Benton; Junior and Lathan Holliday who is a Sophomore. Berry won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half sending the Lions to the receiving end for the opening kick-off.

 

Dax Benton's opening kick sailed into the end zone for the touch-back setting Raines and the Wildcats offense up for their opening possession at the 20-yard line. Demarcus Johnson took the pitch-out and moved the chains on first down and two plays later Raines connected on a pass down the left side line with Howton who fought his way down field with Hancock on the stop for the Lions just across mid-field. Raines and the Wildcats wasted little time moving the ball deeper down field with the rushing attack of A.J. Johnson who took the hand-off around the right side line to the 30-yard line before Trey Snow and McKain Hubbert could make the stop. Reverting back to the passing attack, Raines connected with Locke who rushed down the left side for five yards with Nick Smith making the stop. Second down brought AJ Johnson with the pitch-out around the left end where Tanner Upton made the solo tackle leaving the Wildcats facing third down and two yards. Locke made the reception from Raines and rambled his way into the endzone for the first score of the game with 9:23 on the clock. The two point conversion was successful giving the Wildcats the early lead 8 - 0.

 

Dalton Terry's ensuing kick was fielded near the 30-yard line by Upton who fought his way to the Lions 41-yard line where he was brought down for the stop by Zane Cannon and Jeremiah Gann. Holliday took the hand-off up the middle for nine yards on first down with Hancock on a keeper being forced out of bounds on second down leaving the Lions facing third down and six yards. Holliday fought his way up the middle again regaining five yards and leaving the Lions facing fourth down. Sticking with Holliday on the rushing attack the Lions picked up the first down keeping their opening possession alive and advancing the ball to the Wildcats 43-yard line where Howton and a host of others made the stop. Benton took the pitch-out around the right side of the line of scrimmage with Howton on the saving stop at the 32-yard line. First down brought more of Benton on the rushing attack but Brandon Simmons was in position for the tackle after a one yard gain. Second down brought the first penalty of the game with the Lions being moved back to the 25-yard line, facing second down and 14-yards. Benton took the hand-off out of the back field but was met by Howton for the stop after a 4-yard gain. On second down Caleb Palmer was met at the line of scrimmage by Simmons, TyRone Foster and others for the stop leaving the Lions facing third down and seven yards. Holliday took the hand-off up the middle but once again Simmons, Dalton and others were in position for the stop leaving the Lions facing fourth down and five yards at the Wildcats 16-yard line. Hancock with to the air in an attempt to connect with Smith in the left corner of the endzone but the pass fell incomplete turning the ball over on downs to the Wildcats.

 

Starting their second drive of the evening deep in their own red-zone the Wildcats called upon AJ Johnson to move the ball up field but penalty flags moved the ball back to the 15-yard line following a holding call. On the replay of down, Hancock stepped in front of a pass from Raines intended for Howton and rambled untouched to the endzone for the quick touchdown. The Lions lined up to kick the ball on the PAT but the Wildcats jumped off-sides. Following a time-out by the Lions, Holliday took the ball up the middle for the two-point conversion and the score was tied with2:42 remaining in the first quarter of play.

 

Howton lined up deep to receive the ensuing kick from Benton making the reception at the 7-yard line advancing out to the 19-yard line where M. Hubbert and Palmer made the stop for the Lions. AJ Johnson was met at the line on first down for the solo tackle by Ethan McCluskey. The possession was short for Berry as the passing game didn't pan out coupled with a penalty, leaving the Wildcats facing fourth down and 11-yards at their own 19-yard line. Fourth down brought Terry punting the ball away with the ball rolling dead at the Berry 47-yard line.

 

Benton took the hand-off up the middle on first down for a five-yard gain with Simmons, Foster and others making the tackle. Palmer took the hand-off around the left side of the line of scrimmage for the first down at the Wildcats 36-yard line before Gann could make the stop. First down brought Holliday up the middle for four yards with Simmons and Locke on the tackle as the first quarter came to a close. Benton moved the ball deeper on the Wildcats taking the hand-off around the right side of the line of scrimmage to the 16-yard line with Thomas making the solo tackle. Holliday rushed up the middle for a six-yard gain with Terry, Ethan Morrison and others making the tackle. Holliday took the hand-off out of the backfield but was met after a three yard gain for the stop by a host of Wildcat defenders. The Lions were moved back as a result of a dead ball personal foul after the play setting up third down and long near the 21-yard line. Hancock went to the air attack attempting a connection with Smith but Locke stepped in knocking the ball away bringing up fourth down for the Lions. Sticking with the passing attack proved successful as Hancock connected in the endzone with Benton for the score. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert was perfect and with 10:20remaining in the first half of play Hubbertville was back on top 15 - 8.

 

D. Johnson made the reception on Benton's ensuing kick at the 25-yard line rambling down the left side line into Lion territory where he was forced out of bounds. Following the play the Wildcats were pushed back to the Lions 49-yard line, following a personal foul. First down brought AJ Johnson out of the backfield with the hand-off down the left side line with M. Hubbert on the stop after a four yard gain. AJ Johnson was stopped at the line of scrimmage by Upton, DJ. Pitts, Hubbert and others leaving the Wildcats facing third down and six yards at the Lions 45-yard line. Raines attempted a pass down the right side line to Thomas but the ball was over-thrown bringing up fourth down. Sticking with the passing attack was unsuccessful as Chance Daniels could not make the reception near the line of scrimmage turning the ball over on downs to the Lions.

 

Locke burst his way across the line of scrimmage to make the solo stop on Benton resulting in a two-yard loss on first down. Second down brought Holliday up the middle for a four yard gain with Foster, Simmons and others on the tackle. Third down brought Benton out of the backfield with the rushing attack straight up the middle advancing to the Berry 39-yard line with Ethan Franklin making the saving tackle. The Wildcats were penalized on first down for jumping off-sides and on the replay of downs Hancock's pass to Benton fell incomplete. Palmer took the hand-off up the middle on the replay of downs but was met by Thomas and Terry for the stop leaving the Lions facing third down and four yards. Benton advance out of the backfield over the right side of the line of scrimmage fighting his way to the twenty-eight yard line for the first down before Howton and others could bring him down for the stop. First down brought misery for the Lions as they were penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to the 34-yard line. Palmer was met at the line of scrimmage for the stop by Locke and Foster on the replay of downs and on second down Benton picked up 9-yards rushing around the left end. Holliday took the hand-off up the middle advancing to the 17-yard line for the first down to keep the drive alive. Foster, Locke and others made the stop on Palmer on first down near the line of scrimmage leaving the Lions facing second down and eleven yards. Benton took the pitch-out around the right end for what appeared to be a first down but the Lions were penalized for holding moving the ball back to the 30-yard line. Facing second down and twenty one yards, Benton once again fought for the needed yardage moving the ball around the right end where he was ruled out of bounds just short of the twenty three yard line. The Lions were penalized for delay of game moving the ball back further to the 28-yard line and on the replay of downs, Hancock attempted a pass connection with Smith but the ball fell just beyond reach bringing up fourth down for the Lions. Attempting to make a pass connection in the endzone proved ruthless for the Lions as Terry stepped in front of the ball making the interception and returning the ball out of the endzone advancing down the right side line to the Wildcats 37-yard line where Hancock made the saving stop.

 

AJ. Johnson advanced the ball around the left side of the line of scrimmage with Upton making the solo tackle preventing the quick score. Facing first down from the Lions 30-yard line, Raines connected with Howton in the endzone for touchdown with 1:39 remaining in the first half of play. The Wildcats attempted the two-point conversion on the PAT but the pass to Terry fell incomplete leaving the score 15 - 14 in favor of the homestanding Lions.

 

Terry's ensuing kick was received at the 32-yard line by Upton who advanced to the Lions 48-yard line where Locke made the solo tackle on the stop. Hancock on a keeper picked up short yardage with Daniels and a host of others making the stop. Benton took the ball out of the backfield for four yards with Simmons, Terry, Daniels and others making the stop bringing up third down. Once again the Lions were penalized for delay moving the ball back across mid-field to the 48-yard line. Time expired on the first half with both teams departing the field for their respective locker rooms with the Lions holding a one point lead over the visiting Wildcats.

 

Benton and Palmer lined-up deep to receive the second-half opening kick from Terry but Upton fielded the ball near the 25-yard line with Andrew Jones and Cannon on the tackle. First down brought Benton around the right end with the rushing attack with Terry forcing him out of bounds after a two yard gain. Holliday advanced the ball over right guard for a two yard gain where Howton, Terry, Gann and others made the tackle. Third down brought Holliday over the right side of the line of scrimmage with Franklin and others on the tackle leaving the Lions facing fourth down and one yard. Simmons, Gann and others made the stop on Holliday on fourth down and following an official measurement the ball was over on downs to the Wildcats near the 37-yard line.

 

Wasting no time off the game clock, D. Johnson rambled down the right side line untouched into the end zone for the quick score giving the Wildcats the lead with very little time off the clock in the second half of play. Raines took the ball to the endzone on the two-point conversion and the scoreboard read 22 - 15 in favor of the Wildcats.

 

Benton received the ensuing kick from Terry at the 15-yard line advancing up field to the 30-yard line. First down brought Benton out of the backfield but he was met by a host of defenders at the line of scrimmage resulting in no gain on the play. Hancock connected with Smith thru the air on second down with Franklin making the tackle just short of mid-field. On first down Benton rushed over left guard for nine yards with Daniels and Gann on the stop. Palmer took the ball around the left end for the first down before being shoved out of bounds at the 33-yard line by Howton. Holliday gained an additional five yards pushing the ball up the middle and on second down the Lions were penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back five yards. On the replay of downs, Benton took the hand-off over the right side of the line of scrimmage fighting his way to the 26-yard line. Facing third down and three yards, Holliday raced straight up the middle advancing into the endzone untouched for the score with 6:38 remaining in the third quarter of play. M. Hubbert lined up for the kick on the PAT but once again the Wildcats were penalized for jumping off-sides moving the ball shorter to the goal line. Holliday took the hand-off over right guard into the endzone and the Lions regained the lead 23 - 22.

 

Gann fielded the ensuing kick from Benton at the 33-yard line fumbling the ball with Brett Wright recovering the loose ball for the Lions at the Wildcats 35-yard line. First down brought Palmer around the left end with the hand-off but the Lions were penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to the 40-yard line for the replay of down. Holliday took the ball up the middle where Locke, Howton and others made the stop after a two yard gain. Sticking with Holliday on the rushing attack proved successful as he fought his way over the right side of the line of scrimmage reaching the 24-yard line for the first down before Terry and Daniels could make the stop. Benton rushed up the middle for a three yard gain and Holliday took the hand-off deeper into the Wildcats red-zone with a nine yard rushing attack with Locke making the saving tackle. On first down Holliday continued the rushing attack advancing to the 4-yard line where Thomas, Terry and other defenders brought him down. Second down brought Palmer where he was stopped just short of the first down marker near the 2-yard line. Facing third down and inches deep in the Wildcats red-zone, Holliday got the call to fight for the endzone and he just did that by scoring his second touchdown on the evening putting the Lions back in the lead with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter of play. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert sailed just outside the left upright leaving the score 29 - 22 in favor of the Lions.

 

AJ. Johnson made the reception on Benton's ensuing kick at the 21-yard line advancing to the Wildcats 33-yard line where M. Hubbert made the solo tackle. First down brought Locke with the carry down the right side of the line of scrimmage with Benton on the tackle. Facing second down and three yards, AJ Johnson took the ball out of the backfield down the right side line where Holliday made the stop at mid-field. First down brought Locke with the hand-off but he was met for the stop after a three yard gain by Upton and others. Second down brought AJ. Johnson up the middle untouched for a 37-yard rushing attack with Smith making the saving tackle at the 10-yard line. First down brought misery for the Wildcats as AJ. Johnson fumbled the ball on the rushing attack with Palmer making the recovery for the Lions near the 11-yard line.

 

Holliday got the call to move the ball up field on first down gaining 6-yards on the rushing attack with Franklin and Howton making the stop as the third quarter came to a close. Second down brought more of Holliday on the rushing attack with Thomas and a host of others making the stop after a one yard gain. Palmer was met at the line of scrimmage on third down Thomas and Locke resulting in no gain on the play leaving the Lions facing fourth down and three yards deep in their own territory. M. Hubbert lined up in the backfield to punt the ball away but the snap went to Benton who fought his way for the first down. With the snap of the ball Benton moved the ball further up field rushing for a 19-yard gain before being forced out of bounds. First down brought penalty flags against the Wildcats for jumping off sides moving the ball to the Lions 45-yard line where Holliday took the hand-off over left guard awarding the Lions with another first down at the 49-yard line of the Wildcats. The Lions were penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to their own 46-yard line. Facing first down and fifteen yards, Holliday gained four yards before Simmons and others brought him down. Second down brought Palmer around the left end with Locke making the tackle leaving the Lions facing third down and twelve yards at their own 49-yard line. Benton got the call to fight for yardage taking the ball over right guard advancing untouched to the endzone for a 51-yard rushing touchdown with 7:46 remaining on the game clock. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert sailed straight down the middle of the uprights and the score stood 36 - 22 in favor of the Lions.

 

AJ. Johnson fielded the ensuing kick from Benton at the 15-yard line advancing up field before pitching the ball back to D. Johnson who raced down the side line before stepping out of bounds at the Wildcats 37-yard line. First down brought a pitch-out from Raines to AJ. Johnson who was met at the line of scrimmage for the stop. The Lions were penalized for a face mask penalty moving the ball across mid-field to the 46-yard line. Howton took the pitch-out around the left side of the line of scrimmage and raced out of bounds at the Lions 33-yard line. With a new set of downs, AJ. Johnson took the hand-off but was met in the backfield for the stop by McCluskey, Holliday and a host of others resulting in a two yard loss. On second down, Raines went to the air attack attempting to connect with Daniels but the pass was to high and out of reach bringing up third down and twelve for the Wildcats. Sticking with the passing attack proved benefical as Raines made the connection with Howton who raced down the right side line untouched to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. The two-point conversion was successful with AJ. Johnson rushing over the left side of the line for the endzone bringing the Wildcats to within 6 points with6:27 remaining in the game.

 

Palmer made the reception on the ensuing kick from Terry advancing down the side-line and out of bounds at the Lions 37-yard line. First down brought Holliday over left guard for a five yard gain with Locke and a host of others on the stop. Benton was stopped at the line of scrimmage on second down by Daniels and a host of defenders leaving the Lions facing third down and five yards. Holliday got the call to fight for yardage but he too was met at the line of scrimmage by Simmons and a host of others resulting in no gain on the play leaving the Lions facing fourth down and five yards at their own 42-yard line. M. Hubbert lined up in the backfield and punted the ball away with the Wildcats allowing the ball to roll dead at the 17-yard line.

 

First down brought AJ. Johnson over left guard with M. Hubbert making the stop immediately after a one yard gain. Second down brought AJ. Johnson on the rushing attack again this time around the right side of the line of scrimmage advancing twelve yards for the first down at the 30-yard line. Raines connected on a pass over the middle with Thomas on first down setting the Wildcats up at their own 48-yard line with another first down. Reverting back to AJ. Johnson and the rushing attack, Upton made the stop on first down after a one yard gain. Raines called his own number on second down advancing up the middle for a 30-yard rushing gain to the Lions 21-yard line. With the snap of the ball, AJ. Johnson took the hand-off to the endzone bring the score to a tie with 1:58remaining in the game. Raines called his own number on the two-point conversion attempt on the PAT and rushed untouched into the endzone to put the Wildcats back on top 38 - 36.

 

Terry's ensuing kick was fielded at the 25-yard line by Palmer who advanced up field but the ball came loose with the Wildcats making the fumble recovery at the Lions 34-yard line.

 

First down brought AJ. Johnson around the left side of the line of scrimmage with Upton on the stop for a one yard loss. On second down Locke took the hand-off over left guard with Benton on the solo tackle at the 28-yard line. Facing third down and two yards, Locke got the call to carry once again taking the hand-off deeper to the 18-yard line for the first down. Raines took the snap and dropped to his knee on first down and on second down the Wildcats lined up in the victory formation with Raines once again taking a knee allowing time to expire on the game clock awarding the visiting Wildcats the 38 - 36 victory and putting them on top in the Region 6 standings. The Lions fall to 4 - 1 on the season.

 

The Lions will travel to Arley on Friday night to face-off with another Region 6 foe by visiting the Meek Tigers. The Tigers stand at (4 - 2) overall and (2 - 2) in Region 6 and enter the game after a 70 - 7 win over the Lynn Bears. The Tigers have been defeated by Berry and South Lamar earlier in the season.

 

Comments from Coach Lamar Harris:
"We had our opportunities in the game tonight but we found ourselves making mental mistakes, mistakes which in the end cost us points. I know we found ourselves down in their red zone and penalties moved us back out of a scoring opportunity, coming away from there always hurts in any game but in a game as big as this one we just have to stay focused and find the endzone. The mental mistakes which we haven't been making earlier in the season really hurt and cost us pointstonight. The opportunity we had to score late in the second quarter really hurt, that could have made a difference, but we walked away with no score. Give credit to Berry as they marched the ball right down the field and scored in only two plays leaving us with only a one point lead as we exited the field for the locker rooms at the half. I thought that Berry played extremely well on the offensive side of the ball tonight and they have a great runningback in AJ. Johnson coupled with a very good Quarterback in James Raines. Those two players played up to the game plan tonightand their results awarded their team with the big victory. We had players who stepped up and made some big plays as well, but our mental mistakes cost us in big ways tonight. I'm not taking anything away from Berry and their team effort. They wanted this win and they came ready to play. We've just got to continue practicing with heart, improving our play and focus on our goals for the remainder of the season. I'm proud of both teams for their efforts on the field. Proud of our guys for the great effort tonight and I know they played with heart but we came up just short at the end of the game."
Last Updated on Monday, 05 October 2015 06:24
 
 

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