Indians roll into South 3A finals
The Hazlehurst Indians (12-1) are headed to the Class 3A South State Championship game with an 18-13 win over the previously undefeated Philadelphia Tornadoes here in Hazlehurst Friday night.
The Indians did it once again on the back of spectacular junior Demetrius Cain who rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown Friday night combined with a nasty defensive performance that left the Tornadoes scratching their heads for the second year in a row.
“Our defense played lights out,” commented head coach Randal Montgomery. “It was a battle but our guys absolutely refused to lose.”
Down 7-0 early, the Indians answered on a 51 yard Xavion Thedford fumble recovery following a sack to put the Indians within 7-6. Later in the second quarter, the Indians would take the lead 12-7 when Cain would break loose from 80 yards out.
Philadelphia scored on a touchdown pass near the end of the first half to take a 13-12 lead at intermission. The Hazlehurst defense had had enough.
Philadelphia coach Teddy Dyess’ Tornadoes found out what many Indian opponents before had already known–the Indian defense gets tougher in the second half. Philadelphia was allowed no more points.
The Indians’ D’Alex Rockingham grabbed his team the lead for good with 41 yard score in the third quarter at 18-13.
From there, the Indians kept the visitors out of the end zone.
“When you are this deep in the playoffs, you know it is not going to be easy,” stated Montgomery. “This just means a lot to my guys, and we are not going to stop fighting.”
Led by Demetrius Cain’s 13 tackle performance from middle linebacker, the Indians squeezed the life out of the Tornadoes. Other defensive stars for the Indians included Javarious Tanner and Demond Tucker. Tanner had 9 tackles while Tucker had 8.
The Indians have a trip to Jackson on the line Friday night when Seminary comes to town. The Bulldogs are riding high after clipping Forest 21-20. Game time is 7:00 p.m.