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Strong second half lifts Hazlehurst over Tylertown

DAILY LEADER /  JONATHON ALFORD / Hazlehurst junior receiver/cornerback Dycelious Reese provides a huge spark with a three-touchdown performance Friday night.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Hazlehurst junior receiver/cornerback Dycelious Reese provides a huge spark with a three-touchdown performance Friday night.

HAZLEHURST – The defending 3A state champion Hazlehurst Indians erased an 12-7 halftime deficit and derailed Tylertown’s upset bid, beating the Chiefs 34-12 Friday night at Robert McDaniel Sr. Stadium.

Junior receiver Dycelious Reese stole the show Friday night as he provided an offensive and defensive show for the Indians fans by collecting two touchdowns on offense and one touchdown on defense.

“This was another good win for us,” said Hazlehurst coach Randal Montgomery. “We came out and executed really well in the second half. The guys fought through a sluggish first half and finished strong in the fourth quarter. Overall, I was please with my guys’ efforts.”

“We are excited to be playing for the south state championship. We don’t concern ourselves about the past years’ achievements. We are looking at one game at a time and this week we have to prepare for a good Wilkinson County team.”

In the first quarter, the Indians came out strong and set the tone of the game as senior quarter Jarvis Warner scored a five-yard rushing touchdown. Dycelious Reese was four-of-five on the extra point kicks.

In the second quarter, the Tylertown Chiefs charge back and took control of the game with a touchdown run of a one-yard run and a nine-yard run to command a 12-7 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Hazlehurst recaptured the lead from Tylertown at 14-12, when Warner connected with Reese for a 60-yard touchdown strike in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Indians turned on the flood gate and showed Tylertown why they are the defending champions with a 20-0 blast.

Senior running back D’Alex Rockingham sparked the scoring onslaught with a 43-yard sprint to paydirt.

Dycelious Reese fueled the flames by scoring the final two touchdowns for the Indians with a 60-yards touchdown on offense and returned an interception back for 102-yard touchdown.

Offensively, Warner paced the Indians completing nine-of-16 passes for 134 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown.

Rockingham led the ground attack with 76 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Dycelious Reese was the top receiver for Hazlehurst with three catches for 69 yards and rushed for 59 yards on six carries.

Defensively, Michael Miller was the top hitter for the Indians with nine tackles. Dycelious Reese had three tackles and intercepted two passes. Dedric Reese and Cyrus Goodwin also intercepted a pass each.

The Hazlehurst Indians (13-1) will be fighting for their third straight South State crown on the road next week as they visit Woodville to battle a familiar Region 7-3A opponent, the Wilkinson County Wildcats. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.