Indians dispatch Cougars
The start of the 2012 football season has been eagerly anticipated by fans of the Hazlehurst Indians, especially since the team captured the south 3A title in 2011. Add in to the mix a host of returning veterans and a more learned head coach and coaching staff, and the feeling has reached almost euphoric levels.
This past Friday night, the Indians justified that anticipation with a 24-13 win over 4A Lawrence County at McDaniel Stadium.
Lawrence County opened the scoring with a 16 yard run by Christian Tyler. The PAT was good, and the Cougars led 7-0.
Moments later, Copiah County Super 7 running back Demetrius Cain electrified the crowd as he dashed 60 yards, running through 4 tackles and reaching the end zone. The extra point failed, keeping the Cougars’ lead at 7-6.
Hazlehurst took the lead for good in the second when Coleman hit Dycelious Reese on a 39 yard pass play. Again, the extra point conversion failed, keeping the lead at 12-7 at the half.
With 7:40 left in the third, the Indians again went to the air and the completion from Coleman to wide receiver Dedric Reese for a 12 yard TD put the Indians up 18-7. The extra point was no good.
The Cougars got an early 4th quarter TD from Tyler, a 16 yard rush, to trim the lead to 18-13.
Hazlehurst added an insurance score later in the period when Cain muscled in from 5 yards out, giving the Indians their 24th point of the evening.
The final score stood at 24-13.
The Indians amassed 416 total offensive yards, with the lot of it being on the ground for 302 yards. Cain led the ground attack rushing 11 times for 167 yards and the two TD’s. Cain’s lost fumble was the only one of the game. Aaron Larry rushed 9 times for 78 yards. Freddie Nelson picked up 49 yards on 6 rushes.
Coleman was the lone passer for Hazlehurst and racked up 114 yards on 7-of-12 passing. He tossed two TD’s and had one pass picked off. His main targets, Dedric Reese (4/47) and Dycelious Reese (2/52) each caught a pass for a touchdown.
On defense, junior defensive end Jarvarius Tanner was a strong force, finishing with 14 total tackles. Veteran defensive tackle Jonkil Skipper collected 10 tackles. Cain, at linebacker, picked up 8 tackles, and Larry had 7 at strong safety.
Dycelious Reese had a good night on the defensive side of the ball, as well, picking off two Cougar passes.
The Cougars were led by QB Nick McDonald with 23 carries for 108 yards. Tyler finished with 95 yards and two TD’s on 15 carries.
The telling stat for both teams was penalty yardage. The Cougars committed 14 fouls for 80 yards; Hazlehurst, 12 for 95. And, those were only the accepted penalties.
Up next is a road trip to Heidelberg, whom the Indians faced twice last season, winning 47-0 in week 2 and 41-12 in the opening round of the 3A playoffs. “We expect them to be much improved over last year. Heidelberg traditionally is a strong squad,” Montgomery said, though the Oilers dropped a 41-0 decision to Northeast Jones last week.
Kickoff at Heidelberg on Friday is set for 7:30.