8/29 Franklin Co. 28 Hazlehurst 6
9/5 at Tylertown CANCELLED
9/12 Vicksburg 17 Hazlehurst 6
9/19 Hazlehurst 40 Warren Central 5
9/26 Hazlehurst 48 Raymond 6
10/3 Hazlehurst 16 Collins 14
10/10 Hazlehurst 50 Magee 0
10/17 Hazlehurst 36 Richland 0
10/24 Hazlehurst 58 Bailey 0
10/31 Hazlehurst 36 Crystal Springs 6
11/7 Hazlehurst 60 Purvis 20 State 3A playoffs first round
11/14 Franklin County
Hazlehurst 60, Purvis 20
By Bradley Crow
The Hazlehurst Indians (8-2) completely destroyed the Purvis Tornadoes 60-20 in a game that saw the Indians flex their offensive prowess racing out to a 34-0 first quarter lead.
The Indians seem to be hitting the late season stride that is needed to make a push deep into the playoffs. No one plays a bigger role in this push than Indian tailback Fred Fuller who turned in another banner performance. Fuller led the Indians with 190 yards rushing on 18 carries while scoring on runs of 54, 65 , and 7 yards respectively.
“Offensively and defensively we almost played a perfect game minus a couple of plays,” stated first-year Indian head coach Todd McDaniel. “We do not think people can have 13 to 14 play drives on us and we also believe no one can stop us from doing that ourselves. Our boys are playing well.”
In addition to Fuller, the Indians got a touchdown from fullback Ronald Fair while piling up 143 yards rushing on 23 carries. Cornelius Crump had 114 yards rushing for the Indians.
Defensively, Hazlehurst was led by hard hitting linebacker Leviticus Cain who had 14 tackles. Jamison Garden and Rashad Alton had 9 stops each in the defensive effort.
The win sets up a colossal showdown next week when the Bulldogs of Franklin County invade Copiah County for a sure-fire gridiron war. The Indians lost earlier in the year to the Bulldogs, but feel they are much improved now.
“Franklin County is a tough football team that knows the playoffs,” stated McDaniel. “It will be a dog fight and if we hold onto the football, I like our chances.”
Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Hazlehurst.
Hazlehurst 36, Richland 0
BY BRADLEY CROW
The Hazlehurst Indians continued there winning ways Friday evening by traveling to division foe Richland and whipping the Rangers 36-0 while shutting out their second straight opponent in grand fashion.
“We played well tonight,” stated Indian head coach Todd McDaniel. “We did the things we had to do to win the ballgame.”
The first quarter saw running back Ronald Fair dive in from 4 yards away and then complete the 8 point score with a two-point conversion run of his own. The first quarter also saw quarterback Justin Durr scramble out of the pocket and hit wideout Chris Perkins on a 4 yard TD strike.
Cornerback Gabriel Gray howled up the visiting crowd with a spectacular 86 yard interception return in the second quarter. The Durr 2 point conversion pushed the score to 24-0. Fair would complete the first half scoring with a 7 yard TD scamper.
McDaniel noted that the second half was a great opportunity for some young Indians to get in and play. Tailback Cornelius Crump scored the only Hazlehurst touchdown of the second half midway through the third quarter.
Hazlehurst 50, Magee 0
The Hazlehurst Indians (4-2, 3-0) took their warpath on the road to Simpson County Friday evening and unleashed a 50-0 pounding on the Trojans of Magee in an important division contest for the Indians.
The Fred Fuller show hit the big stage once again Friday evening with him garnering 181 yards rushing and two more touchdowns to add to an already impressive 2008 campaign.
“Offensively, we sustained drives,” stated Indian head coach Todd McDaniel. “Looking back on the year, when we do not turn the ball over, we score 40 plus points each time. The defense was outstanding tonight.”
The first quarter saw Fuller scamper in for his first TD from 11 yards out. Cornelius Crump, who also had 91 yards rushing from the fullback position, ran the two point conversion to put Hazlehurst up 8-0 after a scoreless first period. Hazlehurst would then take a 16-0 lead into the half following a Gabriel Gray 54 yard pass reception from Indian signal caller Justin Durr.
The second half was much of the same as Fuller would start a 27 point third quarter explosion for the Indians with a 38 yard TD run. The next TD saw Gray once again hit paydirt from 13 yards out. Gray himself would take the 2 point conversion to push the lead to 30-0.
Tailback Ronald Fair, Crump, and Durr would round out the scoring for the Indians with runs of 3, 28, and 43 yards respectively. When the dust settled, the Indians had mauled the Trojans 50-0.
Gray accounted for 16 of the Indian points on the evening adding two extra points from the kicker spot. Fair rambled over a hundred yards by one finishing with 101.
The defense was lights out. Linebacker Leviticus Cain continued his monster year with 13 tackles on the evening. Lineman Rashad Alton had 11 stops and a sack. Defensive back Eric Walker picked off two Trojan passes on the evening.
“We need to continue to get better each week,” explained McDaniel. “We still have some stupid penalties to eliminate but we played great tonight.”
Hazlehurst 16, Collins 14
The Hazlehurst Indians and tailback Fred Fuller dominated the Collins Tigers Friday evening racing out to a 16-0 lead and securing a huge division win 16-14 on the road.
Fuller accounted for all 16 Indian points on the evening as he totaled 120 receiving yards and another 111 on the ground. Fuller was on the receiving end of 2 touchdown passes from quarterback Justin Durr. Durr had 145 total passing yards for Hazlehurst.
“We are coming together,” explained Fuller. “Coach McDaniel has us playing like a team and he has brought discipline to us.”
The defense was led by Leviticus Cain who recorded 13 stops on the evening while Rashad Alton picked up 9 tackles for the Indians.
“We had too many turnovers,” commented Indian head coach Todd McDaniel. “Regardless, it was a great win and a much needed one in our hunt for a championship.”
The Indians travel to Simpson County Friday evening to face the Magee Trojans. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
Hazlehurst 48, Raymond 6
The Hazlehurst Indians (2-2, 1-0) continued to catch momentum heading into the conference slate this past Friday evening by pounding the Rangers of Raymond (2-3) 48-26 in a game that saw the Indians uncork a heavy offensive assault.
Tailback Fred Fuller led the first half barrage for the offense cashing in from 17 yards out and adding another run of 15 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter to charge the Indians to a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter. The game also saw a coming out party for running back Gabriel Gray. Gray replaced a dinged up Fuller in the second half and had a major impact on the game as the Rangers had pulled back within 2 points at 28-26.
“We let them get too close after Fred got dinged up,” stated Hazlehurst head coach Todd McDaniel. “I am proud of the effort we gave tonight under a little adversity and we turned it on when we had to.”
Gray scored three times in a 20-0 Hazlehurst run toward the end to allow the Indians to run away with the victory. Gray scored on a 46 and 19 yard pass from Indian signal caller Justin Durr while he also added a 13 yard TD run. Gray was also on the receiving end of two 2-point conversion passes from Durr which brought his total to 22 total points on the evening for his individual performance. Fullback Cornelius Crump added a two point conversions and running back Ronald Fair added a 12 yard TD run as well.
Defensively, McDaniel pointed out the fine game turned in by linebacker Leviticus Cain. Cain tallied 9 tackles on the evening while also accounting for an interception and quarterback sack to pace the defense,
The Indians travel to Collins this Friday evening looking to go to 2-0 in the division. Collins blanked Crystal Springs 21-0 this past weekend. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
Hazlehurst 40, Warren Central 5
BY BRADLEY CROW
The Hazlehurst Indians traveled to Warren Central Friday evening and proceeded to pour it on the Vikings from every aspect of the game in route in a 40-8 whipping in Warren County.
The Indians rambled their way to 410 total yards on an evening that saw the Indians protect the football for the whole 48 minutes. Fullback Ronald Fair led the Indians on the ground with 181 yards on 20 carries. Running back Fred Fuller found the end zone twice for the Indians while amassing 81 yards on the ground.
“We have the utmost confidence in our players,” remarked Indian head coach Todd McDaniel. “We expected to win this ballgame and we showed if we do not shoot ourselves in the foot with turnovers how successful we can be. I am proud of our boys tonight.”
Hazlehurst roared to a 28-8 halftime lead capped off by a 35 yard touchdown strike from Justin Durr to Courtheney Maxwell with only 70 seconds remaining in the half.
The second half saw Durr finish off the Vikings with a gutty performance from behind center. Durr hooked up with a 15 yard scoring strike to wideout Chris Perkins and then called his on number on a 1 yard TD run late in the game to end the scoring with a 40-8 victory.
Durr had four scoring successes on the evening for the Indians which included two 1 yard runs and two touchdowns through the air. Cornelius Crump had 65 yards rushing in the victory for the Indians.
The defensive stats were not ready at press time from the Indians, but McDaniel noted the standout play of Rashad Alton and Leviticus Cain from the defensive unit.
The Indians return home Friday night against Raymond for their first district contest. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
Vicksburg 17, Hazlehurst 6
BY BRADLEY CROW
The Hazlehurst Indians (0-2) were still searching for consistency Friday evening at home when they dropped a 17-6 decision to the Gators of Vicksburg.
Robert Prentiss scored on a 60 yard interception return and a 39 yard touchdown reception for the Gators to help secure the win while visiting Copiah County.
The Indians fumbled the ball going in from the 4 yard line and missed several open receivers throughout the game to cost themselves a shot at victory.
“We were the more physical team,” commented Indians head coach Todd McDaniel. “We have to get over these mental errors and start playing smart football in order to win. I am proud of the effort we are giving.”
The Hazlehurst score occurred when Courtheney Maxwell busted in from 8 yards out to cut the Gators second quarter lead to 7-6. Vicksburg added a field goal before the half to head in leading 10-6 at intermission. The Indians struggled to get anything going in the second half and fell 17-6.
Offensively, Fred Fuller had another great evening running the football. Fuller rushed for 145 yards on 19 carries while Maxwell finished with 73 yards on 11 touches. Fred Fair rambled for 63 yards on 8 carries in the defeat.
The Indians face another Warren County foe Friday evening as they head to Warren Central to face the Vikings. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
HAZLEHURST VS. TYLERTOWN CANCELLED
The Hazlehurst Indians and Tylertown Chiefs both got spanked last Friday evening by Hurricane Gustav. The heavy rains in the Walthall County area forced the cancellation of the game due to field conditions.
The Indians home opener is this Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. when the Vicksburg Gators come to tangle. Wear maroon and come support the Indians.
Franklin County 21, Hazlehurst 6
By Bradley Crow
The Hazlehurst Indians (0-1) debut under new head coach Todd McDaniel was not exactly the debut that the Indians had dreamed about after playing some mistake prone football that would cost the Indians to the tune of 21-6 in Meadville Friday evening.
“We made some mistakes that cost us early,” stated head coach Todd McDaniel. “I’m proud of our guys for battling a good football team. We just have to execute when we get the chances.”
The Franklin County Bulldogs (1-0) took a Hazlehurst turnover to paydirt early on and led 6-0. Later in the period, they would strike again on a 78 yard touchdown throw from Jamie Collins to Milton Griffin. The play was a heartbreaker for the Indians as the receiver shot out of the arms of another defender like a cannon after being stuck by the Hazlehurst defense. The shove pushed him towards the endzone and Griffin outran the defenders to paydirt.
With the lead 14-0, the Indian offense struck when Hazlehurst signal caller Justin Durr hit tailback Fred Fuller on a 32 yard pass strike to pull within 8 points of the state-ranked 3A Bulldogs.
Collins would add an insurance TD in the second half for the Bulldogs to seal the deal 21-6. Hazlehurst had a hard time overcoming a four turnover night against a perennial powerhouse like the Bulldogs.
“We are going to get better,” stated McDaniel. “We held our own against a good team. Like I said earlier, just hold onto the football.”
The Indians were led by Fuller offensively who collected 68 yards rushing on 8 carries while hauling in a touchdown pass for 32 yards. Collins led the Bulldogs with 17 carries for 110 yards.
The Indians hit the road again next Friday evening traveling to the Tylertown Chiefs. The Indians lost to the Chiefs 14-2 last season. Game time is 7:30.
Indians roll in jamboree
The Hazlehurst Indians didn’t allow a point in their own jamboree and used big plays to dispatch Jefferson County and Prentiss Friday night in Hazlehurst at Robert McDaniel Field.
Hazlehurst 8, Jefferson County 0
The Indians struck gold on a 75 yard touchdown pass from Justin Durr to Fred Fuller to put the Indians up 6-0. Fullback Fred Fair plowed in for the 2 point conversion to end the scoring at 8-0.
Hazlehurst 13, Prentiss 0
The Indians once again used the Durr to Fair connection on a 70 yard screen pass to paydirt to put the Indians up 6-0. The Indians scored again later in the period when Fair rumbled in from 3 yards out to extend the Indian lead to 12-0. Jamarrius Jones kicked the PAT to put the Indians up 13-0.
“I am proud of what we did Friday,” commented head coach Todd McDaniel. “I just hope we can keep up every week.”
In other action at the jamboree, Jefferson County beat Wingfield 14-0 while Wingfield defeated Prentiss 13-0.
The Indians pack their bags for Meadville this Friday evening, travelling to Franklin County to face the defending south 3A champion Bulldogs. In what will surely be like a war, game time is at 7:30 p.m.
Indians look to regain swagger in 2008
BY BRADLEY CROW
When Hazlehurst High School decided to bring home Indian head coach Todd McDaniel to lead the charge into the future, it invested in someone that cares about where he came from as much as he does the sport he loves.
The excitement seeps from McDaniel’s voice as he talks about the upcoming season. You also will not see a change in attitude when he talks about the community that he loves so dearly.
“Hazlehurst is home and my alma mater,” explained McDaniel. “It means so much to me to coach in a stadium that has my father’s name on it and come back home to where we won a state championship just a few years back. I love the kids in Hazlehurst.”
McDaniel left Hazlehurst to spread his coaching wings and get his first head coaching assignment with Wingfield High School in Jackson. There, McDaniel transformed a beat up program into a respectable football team highlighted by a 6-5 record and state playoff appearance in 2007. McDaniel hopes the success he has had early on in his coaching career translates into wins for the Indians.
Hazlehurst must do three things outlined by the coaches to be successful and start laying a rock solid foundation for the future. First is to build discipline within the team. Secondly, the coaches stress that they must be technique sound in their job responsibilities and finally, refuse to turn the ball over.
“We must execute these three things well everyday and build on them,” stated McDaniel. “This is a must to begin our foundation and what we expect to build.”
Offensively, the Indians will depend on senior fullback Fred Fuller to carry the load offensively and in the role of team leader. McDaniel stated that Fuller has challenged himself more in practice and is beginning to assume that leadership role so desperately needed. Senior quarterback Justin Durr will call the signals for the Indians while running backs Ronald Fair, Jamison Garden, and Courtney Maxwell will get opportunities to light up the scoreboard. Garden and junior Chris Perkins will be the wideouts for Hazlehurst. The tight end position holds a ton of potential in senior Maurice Mixon and junior Warren Perry who is 6’4” 230 lbs.
The trenches will see juniors Reggie Armstrong at center, Chris Taylor and Rashad Alton at guards. The tackle positions are locked down by two behemoth lineman in Chris Williams and Joseph Bonner. Bonner is already being looked at by USM, Alcorn, and Jackson State for his football future. Simone Harris will handle all the kicking chores for the Indians. The offense is under the direction of McDaniel’s brother, Robert McDaniel, Jr.
McDaniel himself will call the shots defensively as he looks for Harris to lead the defense from the middle linebacker spot. Stalking the middle with Harris will be Alton while Leviticus Cain and Garden will roam the outside for the linebacking corp.
The defensive line will see sophomore Chris Douglas anchor the middle with Chris WIliams and Deonte Bogan bogging down the tackle positions. Defensive ends Dondreco Williams and massive Warren Perry will wreak havoc from the perimeter. The secondary sees Darius Jones at free safety while Fuller and Maxwell will be responsible for shutting down the opposing receivers at cornerback.
McDaniel is in his first year as head coach of Hazlehurst. In addition to his brother, McDaniel is assisted by Corey Sutton, Antonio Mamon, Tedrick Thompson, De’Andre Pendleton, Dearion Wilburn, Andre Carter, and Chris Fair. The Indians go on the war path Friday, August 29th when they travel to Franklin County to tangle with the Bulldogs. Things are looking good in Hazlehurst.