Junior Mohawks Beat Osceola

Thursday, October 2, 2014
Cade Harrell, of the Piggott Junior Mohawks, spins free from would-be tacklers en route to a touchdown during the Tribe's recent win at Corning.

In the tradition of hardnosed Piggott football, the junior Mohawks traveled to Osceola Thursday, Sept. 25, and ground-out a 14-12 conference win. Stingy defense, especially in the first half, and a pounding running game were the keys to the success as the Tribe moved to 2-2 and a perfect 2-0 in 3A-3 conference play.

"We came out early and dominated the ballgame, in fact I think we kept the ball most of the first half," said Mohawk head coach Michael Harrell. "That's how you beat a good team like Osceola, keep their offense off the field."

Riding on the success of the Piggott defense, the offense was able to move the ball effectively in the first quarter. The Tribe's first score came as Cade Harrell got the nod and took it in from four yards out with 1:40 to go in the first. But, the two-point conversion attempt was no-good, and the score stood at 6-0.

The Mohawks added their second, and final, touchdown late in the first half as John Jones carried the ball in from one yard out. Jones also added the two point conversion, which proved to be the difference in the ballgame.

But, following intermission the young Seminoles responded, and battled back.

"They kicked off to us to start the second half and got an on-side kick on us, got the ball back and got a little momentum going," Harrell explained. "And with the quality and speed of their athletes, once they get outside of you they're gone."

The first Seminole touchdown came on a 44 yard run with 3:14 to go in the third, and they added another with just seconds to go in the quarter from 46 yards out. Both times the two point conversion attempts were no good.

"They scored twice on us there in the third quarter, but in the fourth we bucked up and made some big defensive plays," Harrell noted. "There in the fourth they got down to around the 15, and they were getting ready to score, but our defense made a huge stop." Thanks to the strong defensive play the Mohawk's then got the ball back on downs, and ran the clock out on their hosts.

Cade Harrell led all rushers with 113 yards on 27 carries, while Elijah Bellers carried the ball 5 times for 30 yards and Jones had 4 carries for 7 yards. In total offense the Seminoles edged the Mohawks 188 to 154.

"You know Osceola beat Rivercrest by two touchdowns, and we figure it's us, Rivercrest and Osceola that are the top three teams in the conference, and this was a big win for the Mohawks," Harrell said of the conference race. "You know, we've got Rivercrest Thursday night and we figure we control our own destiny, and Lord willing we can get a win." And, as a longtime Mohawk coach, and former player, Harrell is well aware of the historic impact. "You know, no team from Clay County has ever beaten Rivercrest- ever--including Corning Piggott and, junior or senior high," he explained. "And these kids have been talking about their legacy and about the opportunity we have in front of us right now."

As for Thursday night, with rain in the forecast Harrell feels his team is favored. "I feel that would be to our advantage, this junior high team is a four-wheel-drive team, we've got the big linemen and the big strong running backs where we can just line up and run over you," he noted. "Rivercrest is more of an outside jet sweep team, they can hit the corners, and on a muddy slick field--and ours is not in that great of shape right now, it would be to our advantage."

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday evening at Parker Field.

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