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Colonels blank Central Hinds

GALLMAN — What was expected to be an offensive show betweenhost Copiah Academy and Central Hinds Friday night turned out to bea defensive battle from the start to the finish.

The home-standing Colonels scored on a field goal and atouchdown and held off the scrappy Cougars for a key 10-0 District3-AA victory. It came after a week layoff due to HurricaneKatrina’s destruction.

Copiah (3-0, 1-0) remains undefeated on the season. CentralHinds fell to 1-2 (0-1).

“Central Hinds is a good football team,” said Copiah headfootball coach Mitch Mitchell following the win. “Our defensereally battled tonight.”

Copiah went up 3-0 with 8:22 left in the first quarter on a41-yard field goal by sophomore Daniel Sims. Setting up the fieldwas a fumble recovery made by junior linebacker Jake Guess on theCougar 27 at the 9:50 mark.

The Colonels’ final score of the night came in the thirdquarter. Sophomore linebacker Ben Stevens picked off a John MarkBridges pass at the Central Hinds 24 and returned in to theone-yard line, setting up a TD plunge by Colonel quarterbackBennett Wilson. Richard Henley kicked the PAT for the 10-0 lead andeventual win.

“Ben Stevens intercepted the pass and took it to the one,” saidMitchell of the play of the game. “That led us to an easytouchdown. Getting one that short made it real easy for us.”

Central Hinds had chances to score. The Cougars were stopped onthe one-yard line by the Copiah defense with 4:14 left in the firstquarter.

“That (goal line stand) was huge,” added Mitchell. “It got ourguys excited. It turned the momentum around. Great job by thedefense.”

Central Hinds missed a 32-yard field goal with 18 seconds leftin the first half.

On Central Hinds’ last possession of the game, the Copiahdefense chased Bridges all over the backfield. and recorded threesacks. The Colonels got the ball back with less than three minutesleft and ran out the clock.

“We knew Copiah was going to be tough,” said Central Hinds headcoach Kenny Granberry. “Copiah played like I figured they would. Wemissed a couple of opportunities. We didn’t finish the plays.”

On defense, Danny Pyles powered Copiah withnine tackles. Jake Guess recorded seven stop and recovered afumble. Jed Stevens made five tackles and intercepted a pass.

On offense, Copiah rushed the football 34 times for 97 yards andcompleted 1 of 7 passes for seven yards for 104 total on thenight.

Senior running back David Brunt led the Colonels running gamewith 23 carries for 82 yards. Guess rushed four times for fiveyards and caught a pass for seven yards. Jake Stevens finished withnine yards on five carries.

Central Hinds completed 3 of 12 passes for 12 yards and rushedthe football 33 times for 49 yards and 61 total yards onoffense.

The Cougars had four turnovers compared the three for theColonels.

Copiah travels to Liberty Friday night to face the Amite SchoolCenter Rebels. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

The Colonels were originally scheduled to face Bowling Green butthe schedules were changed because Bowling Green needed to make upa district game after Hurricane Katrina hit and forced postponementof games.