Lions No Match for Tribe at Homecoming

Thursday, October 3, 2013
Bradley Stephens breaks a tackle for a big gain in the Mohawks' homecoming victory

A high-spirited crowd enjoyed a memorable Piggott High School Homecoming Friday night, capped off with a dominant 42-6 win by the Mohawks over the visiting Manila Lions, opening 3A-3 conference action in powerful style.

Manila had no answer for the Piggott rushing attack, particularly Bradley Stephens. Stephens imposed his will upon the Lion defense with a breakout performance of three touchdowns and 181 yards on 16 carries. A whole corps of backs saw action for the Tribe on the night, including: Nick Haywood, 61 yards and a touchdown on eight carries; Landon Williams, 28 yards and a touchdown on eight carries; Nick McKinnie, 15 yards on three carries; Austin Murray, 23 yards on four carries; Eli Smith, 30 yards on six carries; Caleb Benbrook, seven yards on two carries and Trace Stallings, seven yards on a carry.

The Mohawks finished with 401 yards of total offense on the night. Manila managed just 78 yards of total offense against a stingy Piggott defense.

"We took some frustrations out," Piggott head coach Dave Hendrix said. "We came into tonight (with a record of) 0-2-1 having been beaten by a total of three points. That's hard to swallow, especially with some of the calls we've seen. We're not used to making excuses and we're not going to start now, so we had to come out and make a statement on the field."

Piggott started their statement early, as Stephens broke loose on a 46-yard sweep, sprinting to the outside for a touchdown at the 9:58 mark of the first quarter. Piggott led 6-0 after the try for two was denied.

PHS kept possession with an onside kick after the Stephens score, with Logan Dixon recovering the kickoff. Two plays later, Stephens broke away again, sprinting to a 57-yard touchdown with 9:29 left in the frame. Williams ran in the two-point conversion, leaving Piggott in front, 14-0.

The Mohawks made it 21-0 in the first quarter with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Murray to Nick Harris with 1:49 remaining in the frame. Eli Smith converted his first of four PATs following the touchdown.

Piggott controlled the ball in the second frame, forcing two Manila punts in the quarter. Stephens scored on a three-yard carry at the 4:16 mark, after the Tribe chewed up yards on the ground by committee. Smith's PAT put Piggott in front, 28-0. The Mohawk advantage carried into the second half, as the frame came to a close with a PHS field goal falling short.

Gabriel Gilbee recovered a Manila fumble in the third quarter, setting up Piggott's next score. Haywood finished the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run up the gut with 5:52. Smith's PAT sailed true, putting the Mohawks in front, 35-0.

The Mohawks struck again with around 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the clock running as the mercy rule was in effect. Williams scored on a five-yard carry following a huge completion from Murray to Richard Shaw to move the ball into the red zone. Smith's PAT set the Mohawks at 42-0.

Aaron Carter scored the lone Manila touchdown on a 20-yard touchdown run with 7:03 left in the contest. The try for two was denied by the Tribe, leaving the final tally on the board.

Piggott improved to 1-2-1 on the season and 1-0 in 3A-3 conference play.

The Mohawks are set to visit the Bulldogs of Earle beginning at 7 p.m. Friday for a 3A-3 showdown. Piggott will head to Osceola Oct. 11 before returning to Parker Field to host Rivercrest on Oct. 18.

"Now we've got to get after it again because conference games are coming up," Hendrix said. "This conference is a tough one. Earle's a good team, but we are too."

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