Mohawks Manhandle Marked Tree
"We just beat a good football team 28-7, and it could have easily been 56-7," Coach Michael Harrell told his Piggott Mohawk football team following Friday night's non-conference season opener at Parker Field. The Tribe, looking strong on both sides of the football, dominated the Marked Tree Indians for the win although the heat and humidity did take its toll. Both teams had numerous players helped to the sidelines, as cramps and hard-hitting played a role in the outcome.
Neither team looked sharp in the early going, as the Mohawks took the opening kick-off but were unable to move the football and fumbled it away to the Indians. Marked Tree also had issues on their first drive, but drew first blood with 8:58 to go in the first quarter. The touchdown was set up by a run by D'Angelo Griffin, as Jaleel Lott took it in from one yard out. The PAT was also good, and the visitors enjoyed a 7-0 lead.
About mid-way through the quarter the Tribe would answer, as a long Logan Dixon run set up a one yard touchdown run by quarterback Bret Fuller. But, the two-point conversion was not good and the Indians led 7-6.
Both defensive units remained stingy in the first half, with both teams turning the ball over deep in the other's territory. It was also defense which set up the Tribe's second touchdown, as Dakota Santos recovered a fumble and carried it to the Marked Tree 40, and benefitted from a facemask penalty.
The Mohawks then put together another scoring drive, capped as Cody Crittenden ran it in from 7 yards out with 4:24 to go in the first half. But, once again the extra point try was not good and the score stood at 12-7.
The Indians also tried to get their passing game going late in the first half, but the Piggott D-backs were up to the challenge, and quarterback Romiro Rodriguez completed just 3 of 9 on the night, for 63 yards, and he was picked off twice.
Marked Tree also tried a fake punt late in the second quarter, but the Mohawks sniffed-out the trick play and the all went over on downs. The first half ended on a busted play, and the Tribe took a 12-7 advantage into the locker room.
The Mohawks came out strong in the third quarter, with Cade Harrell recovering an Indian fumble to end their first drive. But, the Mohawks had some issues moving the football in the red zone, and on their first drive Trevon Allen attempted a short field goal that was no good.
But, the Tribe's defense never let up, stifling both the Marked Tree running and passing game.
The Mohawks added another touchdown with 5:25 left in the ballgame as Dixon took it in from a yard out. Landon Williams added the two-point conversion, and the Mohawk led moved to 20-7.
But, the Piggott defense was finished yet as they scored a touchdown of their own, as Hayden Lemmons picked-off a Rodriguez pass and ran it back for the touchdown. Fuller, with what appeared to be his last ounce of energy, then converted on the two-point conversion and the final score was set.
Dixon led all rushers with 182 yards on 21 carries, while Griffin paced the Marked Tree offense with just 25 yards on 13 carries. In total offense, the Mohawks more than doubled their visitors, as the Tribe racked up 258 yards while holding Marked Tree to 122.
Also carrying the football for the Mohawks were Fuller with 22 yards on 10 carries, Justin Goding with 20 yards on 4 carries, Cody Crittenden with 15 yards on 5 carries, Cade Harrell with 8 yards on 2 carries, Landon Williams with 6 yards on 1 carry and Trace Stallings with 1 carry for 5 yards.
Leading the way in tackles was Harrell with 10 solo tackles, while John Jones had 6, Santos had 6 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery and Lemmons and Caleb Welborn each had an interception.
The only stat in favor of the Indians was in penalty yards, as the Marked Tree team was flagged for 50 yards on 8 penalties. Meanwhile, the Mohawks had 70 penalty yards on 10 flags. "There were some things we could have done better, but that's what we'll be working on," Harrell noted.
The Mohawks will be back in action this Friday evening as they visit the Portageville (Mo.) Bulldogs in non-conference play. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.