Junior Mohawks Clinch Share of Conference Title
The Piggott Junior Mohawks completed their season-long goal of earning a conference championship Thursday evening, beating the Hoxie Mustangs 40-0 as they moved into a three-way tie for first place in 3A-3. The talented young Mohawks scored long touchdowns the first two times they touched the football, with Cade Harrell leading the team on the night with 147 yards on six carries.
"We peaked at just the right time with our junior high team, they shut out their last two opponents 40-0 and 40-0 and they were just one busted play away from shutting out Melbourne three weeks ago," Coach Michael Harrell said of the lopsided win.
For the first year coach the share of a conference title was a longtime goal, as the last Mohawk team to complete the task was in 1988. Harrell also pointed to the recent change at quarterback as a big part of the late season success. "They've been really playing well, we made the move offensively to Trey Gossett at quarterback and that immediately changed our play-action game," he explained. "Over the last couple of games Trey was somewhere in the vicinity of 9 for 12 passing and was just very efficient on the play-action passes."
The coach also had high praise for the way the team responded Thursday night, with the chance for the title still on the line. "We came out against Hoxie like a machine, Cade busted one for like 65 yards right up the gut on a fullback trap," he beamed. "And then the second time we got the ball Trey hit Hayden Lemmons on about a 60 yard touchdown pass on a play-action."
On the night Gossett, who is just an eighth grader, connected on just the one pass to Lemmons to the touchdown but the threat aided the offense in establishing the run game.
Harrell added another touchdown late in the first half from five yards out, with Elijah Bellers scoring all three of the two-point conversions to give the Tribe a 24-0 halftime advantage.
The Mohawks came out in the second half and substituted freely, and added a 47 yard touchdown run by Bellers in the third quarter with John Jones notching the two point conversion. They topped-off the scoring with just seconds to go in the third as Mason Tillman took it in from 15 yards out, after being set-up by a strong run from Gunner Shaw. Reagan Mayberry had the two point conversion this time, and the final score was set.
"Man, they're a good football team and so much fun to coach--I am so proud of them," Harrell said of his young square. "To get a district championship after 26 years, that's a big deal and there's bright days coming for this football program."
Bellers finished with 84 yards on 4 carries, Shaw had 24 on 3 totes, Dakota Santos had 18 yards on 3 carries and Lemmons and Gossett also had rushing yards in the win. The Mohawks had a total of 376 yards in offense, with 311 of that coming on the ground while the Mustangs finished with just 76 yards in total offense as they took the loss.
With the win the Mohawks moved into a three-way tie atop the conference with Rivercrest and Osceola, as the Colts had handed the Tribe their only conference loss but then fell to the Seminole.
"I know we're all disappointed in the way the senior high season has gone, the way it has turned out," Harrell surmised. "But help is coming."