Hall passes Northwest Rangers over Co-Lin 37-3
WESSON – At 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Will Hall doesn’t resemblethe typical college quarterback.
WESSON – At 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Will Hall doesn’t resemblethe typical college quarterback. Surrounded by a great supportingcast, Hall gets the job done and serves as a coach on the field. Itwas evident Thursday night in Stone Stadium as Hall directed theNorthwest Rangers to a 37-3 trouncing of the Co-Lin Wolves in the2000 season opener for both community colleges.
Hall, a sophomore from Amory, filled the air with footballs. Hecompleted 27 of 39 passes for 386 yards and five touchdowns.Thirteen Rangers caught his passes last night.
Despite the aerial show, Hall was disappointed with his threeinterceptions. He also lost one fumble as the Rangers romped to a20-3 halftime lead.
“I had four turnovers, three picks and a fumble,” said Hall.”I’m very fortunate to have great players around me. We were ableto make some things happen tonight.”
Northwest spotted Co-Lin a 3-0 lead near the end of the firstquarter. Hall fumbled when he was tackled by Co-Lin defensive backMarcus Winn and the ball was recovered by linebacker Ricky Funchessat Northwest’s 47-yard line.
The Wolves reached the Rangers’ 5-yard line before two playslost 10 yards. They settled for a 32-yard field goal by Matt Powersand 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
The rest of the scoring summary belonged to Northwest. TheRangers capitalized on an interception by Jonathan Shaw at Co-Lin’s49-yard line. Six players later it set up Hall’s 9-yard TD pass totight end Anton Paige on a slant pattern.
Northwest held a 6-3 lead with 5:18 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Co-Lin’s Odell Bradley fumbled on thereturn at his 14. Brent Smith recovered for Northwest. On firstdown, Hall hooked up with Durrell Weekly for the touchdown.
Shae Orrell kicked the extra point and Northwest led 13-3.
On the next Ranger TD, Hall hit Sherron Moore with a middlescreen pass at Northwest’s 44-yard line. Moore got several goodblocks and streaked 56 yards to paydirt for a 20-13 halftimelead.
“We made a lot of mistakes but our kids played hard,” saidNorthwest coach Bobby Franklin. “Our defense did a tremendousjob.”
Franklin said Hall, the son of longtime Amory coach Bobby Hall,has a wealth of football knowledge. “Will is a good quarterback.He’s smart and he’s our coach on the field.
“He’s not the tallest guy out there. That’s his onlyhandicap.”
Northwest, the preseason No. 1 pick in the National JuniorCollege Athletic Association poll, was placed on probation lastweek. The Rangers had started practice three days before theofficial date (Aug. 10) for the beginning of preseason drills. Aspunishment, they were stripped of their No. 1 status, banned fromthe rankings this season and barred from postseason play.
“Our kids were down because of that (probation),” said Franklin.”But we did a good job motivating them.”
In the second half, Northwest grew stronger on defense andCo-Lin quarterback Denard Parks was under extreme pressure.Operating out of the shotgun formation, many of the center’s snapsto Parks were either too high or too low, causing more confusion inthe backfield.
Parks was tackled 11 times behind the line of scrimmage forlosses totaling 68 yards. He completed 8 of 18 passes for 76 yardsand was intercepted twice.
Sophomore tailback Andrew Burks led Co-Lin with 16 rushes for 74yards. Aaron Yarborough rushed 5 times for 15 yards.
On defense, Aaron Pitts, Kamu Jackson and Jerry Slaughterintercepted passes for Co-Lin. Pitts said Co-Lin’s four turnoverscaused problems for the defense.
“We had some problems on offense,” said Co-Lin coach PhilBroome. “We’ll have to make a few changes.”
Broome’s worst fears were realized last night. His youngoffensive line, already weakened by injuries, absorbed a mental andphysical beating.
“Northwest was a well-oiled, well-tuned machine,” said Broome.”Their no-huddle (offense) surprised us.
“They have some horses on defense, too.”
In the fourth quarter, Hall hooked up with Ray Jackson on a19-yard scoring play and Joey Steadman on a 60-yard TD pass. BrentSmith kicked a 27-yard field goal with 4:28 left in the game.