St. John marches past Loyd Star Hornets 29-12

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 13, 2000

LYMAN – St. John executed well in all phases to defeat Loyd Star29-12 in a first-round Class 1A playoff game at Earl Phillips Sr.Memorial Stadium on Friday night.

The Eagles advance to the second round and play host to No.1-ranked Ackerman (12-0) next week at Milner Stadium inGulfport.

St. John (11-1) scored on the opening drive, marching 65 yardsin 11 plays. Thad Rhodes scored from four yards out on fourth downwith 5:53 left in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 6-0lead.

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The Eagles’ Dwayne Carter excited the home fans with a 72-yardpunt return with 9:56 left in the second quarter. The extra pointattempt failed, leaving St. John with a 12-0 lead.

Chris Symmes’ 26-yard field goal with 5:07 left in the secondquarter gave the Eagles a 15-0 lead.

Loyd Star (8-3) put its best offensive drive of the first halftogether late in the second quarter, driving 72 yards in eightplays. The score came on a 32-yard pass from Brad Britt to ChaseColey, trimming the Eagles’ halftime lead to 15-6.

Loyd Star cut the lead to 15-12 on a 69-yard, 12-play drive tostart the second half. Britt scored from one yard out.

“We did a good job,” said Loyd Star coach Anthony Hart. “Ourkids played as hard as I’ve ever seen a group of kids play.

“St. John has a good senior team,” continued Hart, “They’ve beata lot of good teams like Bassfield and Lumberton. The officiatingcrew did well.”

Leading 15-12, St. John moved 82 yards in the closing minutes ofthe third quarter and the beginning of the fourth. The drive wasled by the power running of Leo Casey, who picked up 41 yards onthe drive. Rhodes scored from seven yards out on fourth down andSymmes’ PAT gave the Eagles a 22-12 lead.

Tyrone Tyler of Loyd Star blocked a St. John punt with 7:02remaining in the fourth quarter. But the Eagles, led by defensivetackle Lane Hensarling and linebacker Josh Hahn, stopped Loyd Starand the Eagles took over on downs at the St. John 30.

The Eagles’ last score came with 2:02 remaining on JohnBrogdon’s 40-yard halfback pass to Carter. The pass capped a70-yard, eight-play drive.

“It feels great,” Rhodes said. “The coaches and playersdedicated themselves to hard work to accomplish these goals we haveachieved.’

“On my punt return, I think Loyd Star didn’t think I would cuttoward the sidelines,” Carter said. “I did and the opening gave mea chance to go down the sideline.”

Casey, who had 129 yards on 19 carries, said, “This was my bestballgame of the season when you take in both offense and defense.Our offensive line gave us the push to pick up good insideyardage.’

The Eagles lost in the first round last year to eventual statechampion Taylorsville.

Loyd Star finished with 11 first downs and 221 yards totaloffense. The Hornets rushed the football 28 times for 156 yards.Britt completed 5 of 15 passes for 65 yards and 1 interceptionwhich came late in the fourth quarter.

Fullback Seth Britt led the Hornets with 7 carries for 53 yards.Derrick Johnson rushed 11 times for 50 yards. Britt carried 5 timesfor 25 yards. Demarcus Barnes had 4 carries for 17 yards.

Barnes had 2 catches for 37 yards. Coley had 1 catch for 30yards.

Loyd Star (8-3) didn’t lose a fumble.

On defense, linebackers Cody Covington and Matthew Delaughtereach had 10 tackles. Defensive end Logan Portrey made 9 tackles.Seth Britt and Deke Purdy had 7 apiece. Making 6 tackles wereDaniel Sisco, Casey Warren and Barnes.