Hazlehurst Indians massacre Greene Co.
HAZLEHURST — An estimated crowd of 4,000 fans witnessed aclassic Class 3A South State semifinal matchup between GreeneCounty and Hazlehurst Friday night at Robert McDaniel, Sr. Stadium.The speedy Indians literally ran through the Wildcat defense for441 yards, authoring a 34-0 victory.
Hazlehurst, ranked No. 2 in the final regular QHO Southwest MSPrep Super Seven, improved to 11-0. They will host No. 1-rankedSouth Pike for the South State 4A title. The Eagles (12-0) beat theMorton Panthers 27-20 at Colee Field Friday night.
Greene County, the Region 8 champion and a 3A state champion in2003, concludes its season at 9-3.
The Indians, coached by Willie Brown, collected all 441 yards oftotal offense on the ground. Junior wingback Courtney Hall andfreshman fullback Keyshun Reese combined for 331 yards. Reesebullied his way for 173 yards on 22 bone-jarring rushes and 2touchdowns. Hall added 158 yards on 12 carries and 2 scores.
“We run first and pass second,” said Hall, who tallied 143 yardson 8 carries at the intermission break. He scored on runs of 75 and3 yards.
Hazlehurst junior wingback Bobby Moore got the scoring startedat the 7:57 mark of the opening period on a 5-yard run. Theconversion run failed and the Indians had a 6-0 lead. Moore alsohad a pair of 2-point conversion runs in the game and finished with70 yards on 11 rushes. Quarterback Damien Anderson had 7 carriesfor 40 yards.
Hall found paydirt from 75 yards out on the Indian’s secondpossession of the night in the first period and from 3 yards in thesecond. Brown’s ballclub carried a 20-0 lead into the halftimelocker room.
Reese scored on a 13-yard jaunt early in the third and a 24-yardblast midway through the fourth frame.
“I am proud of all of you tonight,” said Coach Brown as headdressed his team following the game. “You played as a teamtonight and it showed here.”
Brown also praised his offensive and defensive linemen.
“You guys did a good job up front,” added Brown. “It all startswith you.”
Wildcat head coach Johnny Ainsworth had nothing but accoladesfor the Indians, too.
“We ran into a buzz-saw tonight,” said Ainsworth. “My hats offto them, Coach Brown and his entire staff and players.
“They are the fastest team that we have faced all year,” addedAinsworth. “We lost to Wayne County and West Lauderdale (Class 4Aschools) and Hazlehurst would give them both a run for theirmoney.”
The Wildcats managed 185 yards of total offense. They were ledby running back Brandon Bolton with 90 yards on 10 carries, alongwith 1 catch for 13 yards. Justin Matthews caught 2 passes for 22yards. Quarterback Makeus Bivens was 3 of 8 through the air for 35yards and an interception.
“I am proud of this group of seniors we had this year,” echoedAinsworth.
Defensively for the youthful Indians, freshman linebackerAntonio Roebuck led the way with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery.Senior Johnny Sanders, the Class 3A Defensive Player of the Year in2004, followed with 10 stops. Delvin Johnson had a fumble recovery.Sanders and junior defensive lineman Jazzmen Guy combined for asack. Hall picked off a Wildcat pass.
“Hazlehurst controlled the line of scrimmage,” said Ainsworth.”They made the plays and we did not.”