Football News 2017 Holy Spirit Write Up
2017 Holy Spirit Write Up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen J. Dunavant   
Monday, 09 October 2017 07:56

Celebrating homecoming on Friday night, the Lions welcomed the Holy Spirit Saints to Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium setting up an offensive shoot-out between the Region Five teams. Hubbertville won the coin toss electing to receive with Ethan Nichols lined up deep for the opening kick from Sam Contomo. Nichols made the reception at the 1-yard line advancing to the Lions 24-yard line and setting up the Lions offense for their opening drive. With the snap of the ball, Nichols connected on a pass with Zach Hubbert who made the diving catch down the right side line advancing to the Saints 40-yard line. Rushing attacks by Lathan Holliday, Hubbert and Tanner Upton moved the ball deeper keeping the opening drive alive for the Lions. Facing first and goal at the 7-yard line, Hubbert took the hand-off around the left end for the score. The PAT, kick by Mario Gonzalez was no-good and the Lions were first on the scoreboard.

Holy Spirit's first possession started at their own 25-yard line but came to a quick halt with Hubbert intercepting the ball on second down setting the Lions up at the Saints 22-yard line. First down brought Nichols connecting with Hubbert thru the air with Hubbert advancing deep to the 8-yard line. Back to back rushing attacks by Upton put another quick six on the scoreboard for the home-standing Lions.  The two-point conversion on the PAT was successful with Nichols, who serves as the holder, connecting with Gage Key just beyond the goal line. With 5:12 remaining in the opening quarter the Lions were building an early lead 14 - 7.

The Saints were determined to prove that their team had entered the game to put points on the scoreboard as well and Contomo did just that by taking Gonzalez' kick 76-yards for the quick score. Contomo's kick was perfect on the PAT and Holy Spirit was on the scoreboard.

Contomos ensuing kick sailed deep into the end zone setting Nichols and the Lion offense up at their own 20-yard line. Utilizing the rushing attack of Upton, Holliday and Hubbert the Lions moved the ball up field. Facing first down at their own 42-yard line, Nichols went back to the passing attack connecting with Hubbert who fought his way to the Saints 15-yard line for a 43-yard reception. Back to back rushing attacks by Upton awarded the Lions with a first and goal at the 5-yard line as the first quarter came to a close. Two plays later, Hubbert took the ball up the middle for his second touchdown of the night. Gonzalez lined up to kick the ball on the PAT but once again Nichols who serves as the holder, connected with Key in the end zone for the two-point conversion putting the Lions up 22 - 7 with 11:10 remaining in the half.

A.J. Lee made the reception on Gonzalez' ensuing kick at the 26-yard line advancing to the Lion 45-yard line before Upton and others could make the stop. Following an illegal procedure call against the Saints, defensive stops by Nichols, Toby Tidwell, Aaron Cribb and Key left the Saints facing second down and nine at the Lion 44-yard line. Matt Mulanix went to the air attack connecting with Lee who was brought down by Key at the Lions 16-yard line. The Lion defense stood strong with Upton, Nick Selman, Isaac Fowler, T. Tidwell and Cribb holding their ground on Hunter Watkins as he attempted to move the ball up the middle on first and second down and on third down Hubbert and Selman made the stop on Mulanix setting up fourth down and nine deep in the Lions red zone. Gage Alexander, Nichols and Brady Tucker finished off the Saints scoring threat turning the ball over to the Lions at their own 10-yard line.

Hubbert took the hand-off up field for a 15-yard gain on first down followed by Upton who advanced the ball to the 25-yard line before Watkins and Jaylon Stevenson could make the stop. Facing second down and one, Nichols reverted to the passing game connecting with Upton over the middle with Upton racing untouched to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. The PAT kick by Gonzalez was perfect and the score stood 29 - 7 with 6:43remaining in the opening half.

The Saints fought back on their ensuing possession utilizing the passing game and moved the ball quickly down the field. Facing first down and six at the Lions 4-yard line the passing game continued with Saints answering quickly with another score. The PAT kick by Contomo was perfect leaving the score 29 - 13 with 4:56 showing on the clock.

Contomos kick once again sailed high into the end zone setting the Lion offense up at their own 20-yard line. First down brought Hubbert with the rushing attack fighting off would be tacklers for a 23-yard gain around the left side of the line. With the hand-off to Upton, the Lions were on the scoreboard quick as Upton raced untouched up the middle. Once again Gonzalez' kick on the PAT was straight down the middle of the uprights and the Lions score was increased 36 - 13.

Gonzalez' onside kick scooted out of bounds setting the Saints up at their own 45-yard line. Utilizing the passing game the Saints wasted little time off the clock and three plays later facing second down and seven at the Lions 13-yard line the Saints connected in the end zone with Stevenson making the reception for the quick score. The two-point conversion was successful with the passing game utilized leaving the score 36 - 21.

The Lions began their ensuing possession at their 20-yard line following the kick deep into the end zone by Contomos. First down moved the Lions back five yard following an illegal procedure penalty but Upton regained the yardage on the replay of down moving the ball back to the 17-yard line. Sticking with the rushing attack by Upton and Hubbert the Lions advanced to their own 37-yard line where Nichols connected thru the air with Upton who fought his way down the left side line to the 21-yard line before the saving tackle could be made. Mulanix broke across the line and sacked Nichols on first down and on second down Upton advanced the ball up the middle for an 11-yard gain with Nichols spiking the ball on the snap to allow for field goal attempt by Gonzalez as time was ticking off the clock. The field goal had the distance but sailed right turning the ball over to the Saints at the Lions 20-yard line.

Contomo elected to utilize the passing game with little time remaining in the half. He attempted a connection down the left side line with Stevenson on first down but the ball was overthrown. Second down brought Upton into the backfield for the sack on Contomo bringing the first half to a close with the Lions maintaining the lead 36 - 21 over the Saints.

The Lions returned to the field with the hopes of gaining momentum from the second half opening kick. Gonzalez's onside kick was quickly recovered by Alexander at the Saints 47-yard line. First down brought the crowd to their feet as Upton took the hand-off up the middle cutting to the outside and advancing to the 15-yard line for a 32-yard gain setting the Lions up in the Saints red zone quickly following the half-time break. Following successful rushing attacks by Hubbert and Holliday, facing first down and goal at the 2-yard line, Upton followed his blockers in for the score with 10:14 remaining in the third quarter. The PAT kick by Gonzalez was perfect and the Lions lead continued to increase 43 - 21.

Gonzalez's ensuing on-side kick bounced off Josh Swain and sailed out of bounds setting the Saints up at the Lion 49-yard line. With the snap of the ball the Saints showed the crowd they had come to play with Dancy taking the pitch-out all the way to the end zone for the quick score. The two-point conversion on the PAT was unsuccessful with T. Tidwell, Selman, Cribb, Upton, Hubbert and a host of others on the stop for the Lions leaving the score 43 - 27.

The ensuing kick by Contomo was fielded at the 10-yard line by Upton who advanced to the 22-yard line where Josh Rodgers and Dillan Olvera made the stop. Following an illegal procedure penalty on first down, Nichols called his own number racing around the left side of the line of scrimmage for a nine yard gain. Holliday then took the hand-off an additional three yards leaving the Lions facing third and three at their own 29-yard line. With the snap of the ball, Hubbert fought his way behind blockers over the left side for a 28-yard gain moving the ball across mid-field to the Saints 43-yard line. Continuing the rushing attack of Holliday and Upton the Lions advanced to the Saints 22-yard line setting up fourth down and four yards. Nichols attempted a pass connection with Hubbert in the end zone but the pass was broken up turning the ball over on downs to the Saints.

Three plays later the Saints had answered their defensive stop and facing third down and ten from their own 22-yard line, Contomo connected thru the air over the middle with Lee who took the ball to the end zone for the quick six. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful as G. Alexander was in position to knock the ball away leaving the score 43 - 33 in favor of the Lions with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter.

The Lions began their ensuing possession at their own 20-yard line following Contomo's deep end zone kick. Sticking with the rushing attack of Upton and Hubbert the Lions quickly moved the ball up field to their own 49-yard line as the third quarter came to a close. Three consecutive rushing carries by Hubbert pounded the ball deeper on the Saints defense awarding the Lions with a first down at the 27-yard line. Upton took the ball deeper on first down with a 12-yard gain and with the snap of the ball he continued the rushing attack moving the ball to the 1-yard where a host of defenders brought him down. Nichols called his own number taking the ball in for the score with 9:23 remaining in the game. Gonzalez's kick was blocked on the PAT attempt but the Lions remained on top 49 - 33.

The ensuing on-sides kick by Gonzalez was recovered by the Saints. First down brought Contomo out of the backfield on a keeper racing down the right side line to the Lions 24-yard line where G. Alexander and Hunter Berryhill made the saving tackle. First down brought Watkins with the hand-off up the middle but T. Tidwell and Cribb were in position for the stop setting up second down and two for the Saints at the Lions 16-yard line. Watkins continued the rushing attack taking the ball to the end zone and increasing the score for the Saints. Once again the Lion defense stood ground on the two point conversion with Hubbert, Upton, Holliday and Cribb among the defenders coming off the tackle.

Following an off-sides penalty on the ensuing on-side kick the Saints were re-kick with Nichols making the reception at the 30-yard line. Continuing the rushing attack utilizing Hubbert and Holliday, the Lions advanced the ball down field quickly. Facing second down and goal from the 5-yard line, Upton rambled his way into the end zone untouched for his fifth touchdown of the night and following the PAT kick by Gonzalez the Lions lead had increased to 56 - 39 with4:24 remaining in the game.

The Lions defense held their ground on the ensuing possession which started at the Lions 49-yard line after the Saints successfully recovered Gonzalez's onside kick. With time becoming a factor the Saints utilized their passing game on the first two downs but couldn't make the connections. Facing third down, G. Alexander burst into the backfield and made the sack on Contomo setting up fourth down near the line of scrimmage. With the snap, Contomo connected over the middle with Stevenson who advanced to the 37-yard line for the first down with Tucker on the stop for the Lions. First down brought Contomo attempted a deep pass connection with Dancy but G. Alexander knocked the ball away for the incompletion. The Saints were penalized for an ineligible receiver down-field and on the replay of down, G. Alexander finished off the night for the Saints by stepping in front of a deep pass and making the interception for the Lions at the 12-yard line.

Rushing attacks by Holliday and Hubbert on first and second down moved the ball out to the 25-yard line with Hubbert almost breaking free from his tackler after an eleven yard gain. With the snap, Nichols advanced the ball up the middle and following another 15-yard rushing attack by Hubbert on second down, the Lions faced first down at the 41-yard line with Nichols taking a knee on back to back snaps allowing time to expire on the game. The Lions exited the field with the homecoming victory gaining their second win of the season and placing them in third place in Region Five. Friday night the Lions travel to Guin, remaining in Region play to face-off against the Marion County Red Raiders. Game time is 7:00p.m.

Comments from Head Coach Lamar Harris:
"The guys played an extremely hard game from start until finish once again tonight. I commend this group of guys for their effort as they always play hard once we hit the field. Tonight we finally seemed to get our offense on track, something we've worked on tremendously with our younger guys since the start of the season. I'm happy to see the effort and dedication of the guys paying off. This was a very tough match-up in Region play and when you have the speed at the receiver position which Holy Spirit always seems to have, it brings up question marks to your defensive plan prior to the start of the game. I feel as though we had success in stopping the two-point conversions and that was beneficial to our offensive game continuing to hold the lead throughout the game. We had the early on-side kick following the half-time break and that also built up some momentum for the guys on both sides of the ball. The guys continued to step-up and make some big plays tonight, plays which we as a team have missed in the past. It's great to get a homecoming win in front of a large crowd filled with our alumni and former players and I'm proud of this team for their overall effort."

 
 

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