Tigers Celebrate Homecoming, Bow to Fighting Irish, 28-14
BY ERNIE SMOTHERS
BRUCETON (September 8) — In high school, non-region action, Hollow Rock-Bruceton’s 28-14 Homecoming loss to non-region foe Houston County proved costly as quarterback Dalton Williams was transported from the field by ambulance after sustaining a fractured vertebrae late in the game. Complicating the Tiger’s woes was the loss of backup quarterback Zane Mebane, runningbacks Brady Snider and Keith Williams, and ejection of lineman Ethan Mitchell.
As tempers raged throughout the contest, the Tigers netted six personal fouls and the Fighting Irish received three.
The Tigers were led via offensively by D. Williams (54-yard touchdown rush, 52-yard scoring strike to Justin Haskins) and defensively by Anthony Thompson, Garrett Graves, Keith Williams, Bradley Griffin and Gavin Guthrie.
Prior to the game, Aubrey Hollingsworth, daughter of Lonnie and Cheri Hollingsworth and Crystal and Mark Hollingsworth, escorted by team captain Garrett Graves, son of Michael and Christie Graves, was crowned 2017 CHS Homecoming queen. Other royalty included: second maid-Maecy Bond, daughter of Brian and Mary Ryan Bond and Alicia and Jay Hassman, escorted by co-captain Bradley Griffin, son of Jason and Amber Griffin and Nikki and Jaime Haimes and first maid-Olivia Lowry, daughter of Vanessa Snider and Joe Lowry, escorted by co-captain Lawson Boyd, son of Jeremy and Brandy Boyd and Shelly Allen.
Fighting Irish 28, Tigers 14 Ramping up, Central forced Houston County to punt on fourth and 15 before lighting the scoreboard at 8:14 mark of the first quarter via rightside, 54-yard scoring burst by quarterback Dalton Williams. Jacob Ervin’s PAT boot split the uprights as the Tigers led, 7-0.
Following Keith Williams’ tackle of Fighting Irish fullback Reece Jones for a loss of three and Garrett Graves stopping Jones for a loss of one, Houston County punted away as the ball was downed at the Central 31.
On its ensuing offensive possession, Central was issued its first personal fouls before Ervin’s punt was downed at the Irish 36.
Responding, Central’s defense, led via tackles by Bradley Griffin and Gavin Guthrie, forced Houston County to punt on fourth and long with the ball being downed a the Tiger 30 at the 2:06 mark of the first period.
Following a first down tote by D. Williams to the Central 48 to end the first period, the Tigers lit the scoreboard at the 11:11 mark of the second canto as D. Williams unleashed a 52yard scoring strike to Justin Haskins. Ervin added the PAT boot as Central grew its lead to 14-0.
With momentum swinging to Central, Tiger defensive back D. Williams intercepted Fighting Irish quarterback Crook’s deep pass attempt at the Central 18 at the 7:17 mark of the second quarter.
However, on Central’s next offensive possession, Houston County defensive back Crook intercepted D. Williams’ pass.
Following gritty inside rushes by Houston County’s Noah Black, Crook fired a 36-yard, rightside scoring strike to Jasean Wilson and placekicker Jesse Smith split the uprights via PAT boot as Houston County trailed Central, 14-7, at the 6:21 mark of the second quarter.
As momentum shifted, Houston County’s defense responded three plays into Central’s ensuing drive as D. Williams’ pass left side was batted into the air by Irish lineman Matt Ray and intercepted by Denver Welch. Snaring the pigskin, Welch rambled 23 yards to paydirt. The PAT was good for a score of 14-14.
As tempers boiled on both sides of the playing field, Central punted away on its ensuing drive before receiving a personal foul for tackling an Irish runningback out of bounds.
Both teams trotted to their locker rooms tied, 14-14.
On the second-half opening kickoff, Tiger D. Williams raced the ball to the Central 35 before being temporarily knocked out via a helmet-to-helmet tackle on the left sideline in front of the Tiger coaching staff. Arguing the non-call with game officials, Central was assessed a personal foul that moved the ball back to the Tiger 10. Lying on the field unresponsive for over four minutes, D. Williams was assisted to the Tiger sideline and replaced by reserve quarterback Zane Mebane.
Resuming play, Mebane kept right side for a gain of nine. On the next play, Central and Houston County were assessed offsetting personal fouls as game officials stopped play and cautioned linemen of both teams. Racing leftside, Mebane netted a first down at the Central 26. However, Mebane’s run was negated as Tiger lineman Ethan Mitchell was ejected from the contest and the ball was moved back to the Central 11. Guthrie battled for a tough, two-yard gain inside before Mebane batted off tacklers to race 86 yards to paydirt. However, Mebane’s scoring dash was negated as game officials ruled Mebane down at the Central 13. Injured late in the first half, Ervin hobbled onto the field to punt from the back of the Tiger end zone.
Wasting no time, Houston County quarterback Crook scrambled to the Tiger one before Nick Lemons scored right side. The Fighting Irish twopoint conversion pass attempt was defended by Central defensive back Lawson Boyd as Houston County led the Tigers at the 5:55 mark of the third quarter, 20-14.
Despite Tiger quarterback D. Williams’ returning to the game, Houston County’s revvedup defense forced Central to punt away on fourth and long.
Central continued to self-inflict as they were flagged for a late-hit after a long Irish rush, moving the ball to the Tiger 15. On the ensuing play, Fighting Irish quarterback Crook unleashed a scoring strike to Wilson. The PAT was good with the score 28-14 at the 4:13 mark of the third frame.
Houston County was assessed a personal foul for roughing the quarterback as D. Williams was assisted to the Tiger sideline.
After Ervin’s fourth-quarter commencing punt spiraled into the end zone for touchback, the contest morphed into a fierce defensive clash as Central’s Mebane and Williams left the game via injuries. With 3:18 remaining in regulation, Tiger quarterback D. Williams, hit simultaneously by three Irish defenders while recovering a fumble, sustained a spinal injury and was transported from the playing field by ambulance. Depleted, Central utilized thirdstring quarterback L. Boyd for the remainder of the contest as Houston County defeated the Tigers, 28-14.