Football News 2015 Football News 2015 Tharptown Write-Up
2015 Tharptown Write-Up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen J. Dunavant   
Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00
The Lions closed-out regular season play celebrating homecoming this Friday night by hosting the Tharptown Wildcats. Seniors Justin Hancock, McKain Hubbert, D.J. Pitts and Nick Smith served as team Captains. The Lions won the coin toss and elected to receive sending Dax Benton, Trey Snow and Caleb Palmer back to receive the opening kick-off. Snow made the reception at the 22-yard line advancing up field beyond the 40-yard line but the ball was moved back to the 29-yard line following a penalty against the Lions for a block in the back.

With the snap of the ball the Lions regained five yards as the Wildcats jumped off-sides and on second down Lathan Holliday took the hand-off up the middle for the for six yards and the first down.  Benton took the hand-off around the right side of the line of scrimmage fighting his way into the end zone for a 60-yard rushing touchdown and putting the Lions on the score board first with the quick six. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert sailed perfectly thru the uprights and the score stood 7 - 0 with 11:08 remaining in the first quarter.

Benton's ensuing kick rolled into the end zone for the touch-back setting Tharptown up at the 20-yard line for their first possession. A strong defensive stop by Tanner Upton and Holliday on first down resulted in no-gain followed by a solo tackle on second down by Tre Tranum which resulted in an additional loss of yardage leaving the Wildcats facing third down and 11-yards. Before the snap of the ball on third down, the Wildcats were penalized forcing them further back and on the replay of downs the pass from Branden Key to Matthew Hall fell incomplete. Facing fourth down, Hall lined up and punted the ball away with the ball coming to a rest at the Wildcats 40-yard line.

Hancock and the Lions offensive front wasted little time finding the end zone. Palmer took the ball around left end on first down for a six yard gain and on second down Benton advanced up the middle for a 27-yard rushing attack awarding the Lions a first down at the 17-yard line. Holliday took the ball up the middle for an additional 14-yard gain with T.J. McDonald making the solo tackle holding Holliday just short of the end zone. With the snap of the ball, Palmer raced over right tackle untouched for the score with 7:31 remaining in the opening quarter.  The PAT kick by M. Hubbert was good and the Lions were building their lead 14 - 0.

Juan Perez lined-up deep to receive Benton's ensuing kick but Colby King made the reception at the 14-yard line advancing to the 23-yard line where he was met for the take-down by Zach Hubbert and Smith. Key and the Wildcats reverted to the passing attack on the drive but defensive coverage by Palmer and Ryan Brubaker left them facing second down and 12-yards at the 33-yard line. Key called his own number but was met by Tranum and Smith after a 2-yard gain. Third down brought Holliday and Upton into the backfield for the stop onn Eduardo Lopez resulting in a 4-yard loss forcing the Hall too once again to punt the ball away in fourth down with the ball rolling dead at the Lions 44-yard line.

Following a three yard pick-up by Holliday over right tackle, Hancock connected thru the air with Palmer along the left side line for the first down at the Wildcats 47-yard line. Sticking with the passing attack on first down, Hancock once again connected with Palmer over the middle advancing the ball to the 40-yard line. With the snap of the ball Holliday took the hand-off over right guard for the first down at the 26-yard line with Nathan Chaney on the solo tackle. Chaney once again stepped up for the Wildcats intercepting the pass which was intended for M. Hubbert near the 10-yard line and returning the ball to the 19-yard line.

First down brought Chaney out of the backfield for five yards with Hancock, Tranum and a host of others on the stop. Holliday made the solo stop on Lopez on second down leaving the Wildcats facing third down and inches. The ball was mishandled on the hand-off on third down but Key made the recovery and was tackled deep in the backfield by M. Hubbert as the first quarter came to a close. Facing fourth down and eight at the 21-yard line, Hall once again lined up and punted the ball away with Snow making the reception at the Wildcat 40-yard line.

Rushing attacks by Benton and Palmer quickly moved the ball just inside the Wildcats red zone and on first down Holliday went even deeper with the hand-off awarding the Lions another first down at the 5-yard line. Facing first and goal, Benton took the ball to the end zone for his second score on the night with 9:33 remaining in the second quarter. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert was perfect and the Lions lead increased to 21 - 0.

The Lions were penalized on the ensuing kick for an illegal procedure resulting in the re-kick by Benton from the 35-yard line. Benton's kick was fielded by Perez at the 15-yard line and advanced up field to the Wildcats 27-yard line where he was forced out of bounds by a host of Lion defenders. The Wildcats were penalized on the kick-off return moving the ball back down field setting up the possession at the 13-yard line. Smith burst across the line into the backfield and sacked Key on first down resulting in an eight yard loss on the play and on second down M. Hubbert sacked Key for an additional one yard loss. Facing third down and nineteen yards, Key attempted a pass over the middle but Brubaker was in position to knock the ball away leaving the Wildcats facing fourth down deep in their own territory at the 4-yard line. Hall lined up just near the back of the end zone and punted the ball away with Snow making the reception just near the 28-yard line.

First down brought Hancock connecting once again thru the air with Palmer who rambled to the end zone for his second touchdown. The Wildcats were penalized following the score for a late hit which was marked off on the ensuing kick. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert sailed perfectly down the center of the uprights and the scoreboard read 28 - 0 in favor of the Lions with 7:21 remaining in the first half of play.

Benton's ensuing kick from the Wildcats 45-yard line due to the penalty landed in the end zone setting Tharptown up at their own 20-yard line. Defensive stops by D.J. Pitts, M. Hubbert and a host of others left the Wildcats facing fourth down and 15-yards at their own 15-yard line. Hall lined up and punted the ball away with Snow allowing the ball to bounce and roll dead at the Wildcats 49-yard line.

Rushing attacks by Benton and Palmer left the Lions facing third down and one yard at the 40-yard line. With the snap of the ball Holliday fought his  way up the middle reaching the 28-yard line for the first down with Gunner Lane and Chaney making the saving stop. Benton took the hand-off rushing around the right side of the line of scrimmage before cutting back across the middle for the score with 2:55 remaining in the first half of play. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert was straight down the middle of the uprights and the Lions lead was building comfortably 35 - 0.

Benton's ensuing kick once again sailed into the end zone setting Key and the Wildcats up at their own 20-yard line for their final possession of the first half. Key connected on a pass with Hall who advanced around the right end on first down with Hancock and M. Hubbert on the stop at the 31-yard line. Sticking with the passing game proved to be unsuccessful as Ethan Nichols stepped in form of the deep pass making the interception and returning the ball to the Lions 45-yard line.

Nichols took over reigns as quarterback for the Lions with Brubaker taking the hand-off over right guard for a nine yard gain on first down. On second down Snow was met at the line of scrimmage by a host of angry defenders leaving the Lions facing third down. Payton Price and others broke across the line of scrimmage and made the stop on Upton on third down to bring up fourth down and inches. Nichols called on Upton once again to fight for yardage and he took the ball up the middle for the first down as time expired on the half.

Misery continued for the Wildcats on their first possession following the half-time break. After receiving Benton's second half opening kick at the 15-yard line Snow and Smith made the setting the Wildcats up at their own 30-yard line for the possession. Mark Adamski and Holliday sacked Key on first down for a 10-yard loss moving the ball back to the 20-yard line. Second down brought Smith and Upton into the backfield for the stop on Lopez resulting in an additional two yards loss and on third down Jacob Riley took the hand-off but fumbled the ball with Upton on the spot to make the recovery for the Lions at the Tharptown 15-yard line.

First down brought Holliday rambling out of the backfield with the hand-off advancing over left guard to the two-yard line for a thirteen yard rushing attack with a host of defenders making the stop for the Wildcats. Hancock called his own number on first down and took the ball into the end zone for the quick score with 9:23 remaining in the third quarter of play. M. Hubbert lined up for the kick on the PAT but Hancock who serves as the holder scooped the ball up and raced around the right end but was stopped shy of the goal line by Payton Price leaving the score 41 - 0 in favor of the Lions with the two point conversion failing.

Benton's ensuing kick was fielded at the 16-yard line by Riley with Upton on the solo tackle for the Lions at the 28-yard line. Key attempted a connection thru the air to Perez on first down but the ball fell incomplete and on second down Lopez was met after the hand-off by Holliday and Smith for the stop after a two yard gain. Key called his own number attempting to reach the first down marker but Brubaker remained in position making the stop after a two yard gain. Facing fourth down and six yards, Hall punted the ball away with Snow making the reception and returning the ball back to the Wildcats 42-yard line beforer King and M. Brasuell could bring him down.

Nichols remained at the quarterback position for the Lions and on first down called upon Snow to carry the ball. Snow gained two yards over the left side of the line of scrimmage before being stopped by a host of defenders at the 40-yard line. Second down brought Upton out of the backfield for a three yard gain leaving the Lions facing third down and five yards. Brubaker lined up in the backfield and took the hand-off around the left side for the first down after a 23-yard rushing gain. Facing first down at the 24-yard line, Upton once again took the ball up the middle gaining five yards and on second down Snow was met just beyond the line of scrimmage leaving the Lions facing third down and five once again on the possession. Upton fought his way out of the backfield but was met by a host of defenders with the ball coming loose, but Snow was in position to make the recovery leaving the Lions facing fourth down and inches. Nichols took the ball across the line into the Wildcats red zone for the first down at the 11-yard line and on first down Upton advanced around the right side for an additional four yards. On second down Upton was met at the line of scrimmage for the stop by Price leaving the Lions facing third and six deep in Wildcat territory. Brady Tucker got the call to carry the ball on third down but he was met behind the line of scrimmage for a three yard loss resulting in fourth down and nine yards. Tucker took the hand-off again from Nichols and rushed around the left end gaining picking up additional yardage but coming down short of the first down marker resulting in the ball over on downs to Tharptown deep on their end of the field as the third quarter closed.

First down brought Key going to the air attack attempting to connect deep down field with Chaney but Zach Hubbert was defending forcing the incompletion. Facing second down at their own seven yard line, Lopez took the hand-off out of the backfield but Austin Tucker and Upton was on the stop resulting in no gain on the play. Third down brought Key connecting with Perez in the backfield with Perez scrambling down the left side line to the Wildcats 34-yard line where he was forced out of bounds. On first down Chaney took the hand-off over right tackle with Z. Hubbert making the solo tackle after a two yard gain. Key mishandled the snap on second down but recovered the ball with Brett Wright on the tackle resulting in a one yard loss. Facing third down and nine yards, Wright, A. Tucker, Cannon Alexander and others broke across the line of scrimmage making the sack on Key. The Wildcats were penalized on the play moving the ball back further with Hall punting the ball away with Nichols back to make the reception for the Lions.

Hall's punt rolled out of bounds setting Nichols and the Lion offense up at their own 43-yard line. B. Tucker was brought down in the backfield for the stop on first down and on second down Upton was met at the line of scrimmage for the stop. Third down brought more of Upton with the rushing attack but once again a host of defenders met him at the line of scrimmage for the stop to bring up fourth down and twelve for the Lions. M. Hubbert returned to the field to punt the ball away but the punt was faked with an attempt to connect with Snow on a pass for the first down. Following the play the Lions were penalized for an ineligible receiver down field resulting in the ball over on downs to the Wildcats at the mid-field line.

Key found himself in a pressure situation on first down and was sacked resulting in a fumble with the Lions recovering the loose ball at the Wildcats 48-yard line. Blake Anthony got the call to fight for yardage on first down but was met at the line for no gain. The Lions were penalized before the snap of the ball on second down for having to many players on the field and on the replay of downs Anthony had the ball knocked loose with M. Brasuell racing to the end zone for the score with 3:14remaining in the game. The Wildcats lined up to kick the ball on the PAT but attempted to run the ball around the right side for an additional two points but Hunter Berryhill and Evan Dozier made the stop well short of the goal line leaving the score 41 - 6 in favor of the home-standing Lions.

The ensuing kick by Luis Macias was received at the 19-yard line by B. Tucker who immediately took a knee setting the Lion offense up for their final possession of the game. Nichols handed the ball off to B. Tucker on first down but he was met immediately for the stop at the line of scrimmage. Second down brought Berryhill out of the backfield with the rushing attack and on third down B. Tucker got the call to fight for yardage racing around the right end where he was brought down by Chris Amos and a host of others leaving the Lions facing fourth down at their own 16-yard line. Time expired on the clock as the Lions before the Lions snapped the ball bringing the game to an end with the Lions on top 41 - 6.

The Lions will travel to Hackleburg to face-off with the Panthers in the first round of the play-off's on Friday night. Game time is 7:00p.m.

Comments from Head Coach Lamar Harris:

"It was good to get the team back on the winning track tonight. We've had some close games the last four weeks and we should have won some of those games. I'm confident the guys liked the out-come of the game tonight and I fill as though we stuck to our game plan by coming out and scoring early in the game and keeping them out of the end zone. Getting off on the right track makes a difference in how we execute the game plan and overall makes a difference as a team. Tonight we had the opportunity to give lots of our younger players the opportunity to have some playing time on the field. That alone pays volumes for our program.  In the end..... I'm proud for the guys to walk off the field with the homecoming victory and thought we played really well throughout the gametonight.... but the season starts all over next week and we've got to show up ready."

Last Updated on Monday, 02 November 2015 07:49
 
 

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