Junior Mohawks Edged by Rivercrest
In a contest likely to determine the conference champion, the Piggott Mohawk junior football team hosted the Rivercrest Colts Thursday, Oct. 2. And, the contest between the two conference front-runners proved to be a good one, as Rivercrest squeezed out an 8-6 win.
Expectations were high for both squads going into the contest, and thankfully a break in the stormy weather was ample enough to get the game in as scheduled.
But, the first half turned out to be a defensive-dominated affair, as neither team could mount a sustained scoring drive. As a result, the two squads went into the locker room knotted at 0-0 at the half.
The Mohawks kicked-off to the Colts to begin the second half, and the Tribe's defense was up to the task ending several Rivercrest threats with big defensive stops.
But, the Mohawk offense also had trouble moving the football, prompting Coach Michael Harrell to go for it on fourth and short from the 23 with under three minutes to play in the third.
But, the Rivercrest defenders were able to stop the play short of the marker and the ball went back to the Colts on downs.
The visitors took advantage of the opportunity just moments later, as they scored from six yards out to make it a 6-0 ballgame.
The Colts then lined-up for the PAT, but the Mohawks jumped off-sides prompting the Rivercrest coaches to choose to go for two. Running back Maurice Williams then converted on the attempt, and the Colts led 8-0 with just seconds left in the third.
The Mohawks then took the ensuing kick-off, but again were unable to put together a scoring drive. The Colts also found it difficult to mount another scoring drive, and the score stood 8-0 until mid-way through the fourth.
At that point the Mohawks put together a strong offensive drive, sparked by a long run by Cade Harrell, and complimented by good rushes from John Jones and Elijah Bellers.
Harrell carried the ball down to the one yard line for the Tribe, and on the next play quarterback Hayden Lemmons pushed it across for the touchdown with 3:47 left. Down by two points, the Mohawks first tried to draw the Colts off-sides with a hard snap count. Lemmons then took the snap, and fumbled the exchange, leaving the Mohawks trailing 8-6.
On the following kick-off the Tribe went for an on-sides kick, but it was covered by the Colts. Williams then broke off a big gainer, taking the ball deep into Piggott territory. But, as they had throughout the night the Mohawk defense once again rose to the occasion.
Late in the quarter the Mohawks had one last chance to get the ball back, but were unable to stop the clock as they used all their timeouts.
"'We came into this game with Rivercrest feeling like we were the two best teams in the conference, and I had told the boys all week this was like a championship ballgame, like a big SEC title ballgame," Harrell said of the contest. "And our kids answered the bell."
On the game, the Colts edged their hosts in total yardage 170 to 141, with Williams leading all rushers with 144 yards on 25 carries. For the Mohawks, Harrell finished with 66 yards on 13 carries, Jones had 37 yards on 10 carries and Bellers finished with 22 yards on six carries.
Harrell also led the Mohawk defense with 10 tackles, while Morris finished with 6 and Quentin Reeves had 4 tackles and a fumble recovery.
"Rivercrest is a heck of a football program, one of the best in the state, and we competed toe-to-toe with them," Harrell surmised. "I thought we had a chance to win it there at the end, when we had the bobbled snap on the two point conversion that would have sent it to overtime."
With the loss the Mohawks fall to 2-3 overall, and 2-1 in the 3A-3.
"I can't say enough about how hard these kids played, especially the defense and how hard they play," Harrell added. "Our defense is really special, on offense we're kind of average, we'll grind the ball out at you, and keep it away from you. But, defensively I think we're pretty good-at least we'll find Thursday night when Cedar Ridge comes to town. They're 5-0 and averaging about 40 points a game, so we'll find out what we've got on defense--but we're up to the challenge."
This Thursday, Oct. 7, the junior Mohawks will host the junior Timberwolves of Cedar Ridge at Parker Field with kickoff set for 7 p.m.