Junior Football Teams in Action
The Piggott Junior Mohawks gutted-out a 16-13 home win over Osceola Thursday evening, as Gunner Shaw rushed for over 10 yards a carry to key the offense. The Mohawk defense was also up to the challenge of the talented Seminoles, holding them to 186 total yards in posting the win.
In the early going it appeared the visitors may have a rude surprise for the Mohawks, as they took the opening kick-off and marched downfield to score just over a minute into the ballgame. The PAT was also good, and the Seminoles led 7-0. But, the Tribe responded with a huge kickoff return by Shaw, setting up a one yard Trey Gossett touchdown run just moments later. Gossett also added the two-point conversion, and the Mohawks enjoyed an 8-6 lead.
Shaw scored the second touchdown of the night for the Mohawks on a 43 yard run, with Mason Tillman adding the two point conversion to make it 16-7. But, the Seminole would mount one more scoring drive, as they scored on a three yard run. But, the Mohawk special teams remained stingy, dropping the Osceola ball carrier shy of the goal line on the two point attempt and setting the final score.
"These guys tonight crossed a bridge in mind, and showed they can stand up against a quality opponent like Osceola," Mohawk Coach Michael Harrell said of his young team. "At the end of the first quarter we had our backs up against the wall, and was a little shell shocked--but, we fixed it at half time and they came out and gutted it up. You know, hard work pays off and these guys they work hard every day."
Shaw led all rushers with 107 yards on 10 carries, Tillman finished with 61 yards on 12 carries and Lane Buchanan had 36 tough yards on 11 totes. Together with Gossett, the talented RBs allowed the Mohawks to maintain ball control, and keep the Osceola offense on their sideline.
Barring the big run on the first drive which garnered 47 yards, Osceola's offense was stifled on the evening as they were held to a total of 129 yards rushing and 57 yards passing. Meanwhile the Tribe had 207 yards in total offense, all on the ground as Gossett was 0 for 1 passing.
"I credit Coach (Walter) Rau, we work on defense every day and that's not something we've always done here," Harrell said of the victory. "And defense is what we're hanging our hat on and I think that's what you're seeing on Thursday and Friday nights. Our senior high defense is ranked eighth in the state right now."
Harrell also noted the coaching staff has tried to keep the offensive plan simple, but effective. "As far as offense, we like to keep it simple like Coach Don Campbell did at Wynne and Corning, if we keep it simple and do what we do well then I think we can win some championships here in Piggott," he surmised.
With the win the junior Mohawks improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in 3A-3 conference play. The squad will be back in action on the road this Thursday, Oct. 1, as they visit the Rivercrest Colts.
Rayshon Gates scored three touchdowns for the East Poinsett County Junior Warriors in his team's 40-0 win Thursday night over the host Rector Junior Cougars.
Gates scored on runs of 47, 36 and 26 yards to power his team to the District 3-2A victory.
"EPC is a really good team," Rector coach David Hendrix said, "perhaps one of the best in our conference. We were outmatched a little bit."
The Junior Cougars had a couple of promising early drives, but just couldn't get enough momentum to follow through to score.
The first possession started at the Rector 33 and moved into EPC territory before ending on downs.
Gates' first TD run came on the Junior Warriors' first possession, coming from 47 yards out. Alex Benton added the PAT for an 8-0 lead with
4:05 showing in the first period.
Rector's best drive of the night followed. It started on the Junior Cougars' 31-yard line and involved 14 plays before ending with a fumble at the EPC 20. Key plays in the drive were an 11-yard run by Evan Dooley and an 11-yard pass from Parker Bucy to Conly Lockhart.
EPC took over at the 20 and moved 80 yards in six plays, the score from Gates coming from 36 yards out. Benton again added the conversion for a
16-0 halftime lead for the Junior Warriors.
Rector mounted very little offense in the second half as the Warriors added three more scores with a third TD from Gates, another by Jonathan Gilmore and finally an interception return for a touchdown by Benton.
The Junior Cougars are home again this week in a 7 p.m. Thursday game against conference foe Midland. "It's a game we can win if we play like we're capable," coach Hendrix said.