Mohawks' Playoff Chances End with Loss at Hoxie
The Piggott Mohawks' chances at postseason play fell by the wayside Friday night, as the Tribe dropped a 28-0 conference loss at Hoxie. Meanwhile, Osceola won their contest with Cedar Ridge 33-21, and in doing so nailed down a spot in the state football playoffs, set to begin next week. Thursday evening the Mohawks will close out their season on the road at Corning, as they look to retain possession of the coveted Rice Bowl yet another year. But, unlike previous years only bragging rights will be on the line, as the Tribe takes on the winless Bobcats.
The contest at Hoxie began poorly for the Mohawks, as the Mustangs took the opening kick-off and marched downfield and scored early in the contest. The touchdown came from 36 yards out as Austen Blocker scored with 6:49 to play in the first quarter. The PAT was also good, setting the score at 7-0.
But, what followed for the remainder of the first half, and much of the second, was a good-old-fashioned defensive showdown. "Our defense did a great job, even after spotting them a touchdown," Coach Michael Harrell said of the game. "They've been hanging over 40 points on people every week, and we did a great job of shutting them down for most of the game."
But, the highly touted Mustang defense was also in fine form, holding the Tribe scoreless. "They were tough, it seemed like their defense really had our number Friday night," Harrell added.
The Mohawks did get an opportunity to get on the scoreboard late in the first half, as they attempted a long field goal that was wide of the mark. As the first half drew to a close the score remained 7-0.
In the second half the Mustang offense began to move the ball more effectively, and they increased their lead to 14-0 with 4:15 to play in the third, as James Johnson scored from 69 yards out. Once again the Mustangs notched the PAT, and the lead moved to 14-0.
The hosts would add to their tally twice more in the second half, scoring on a pass play to Dylan Littlejohn from seven yards out early in the fourth, and on an 18 yard run by Diamani Davis with 3:35 to play in the contest. Both times the PATs were good, setting the final score.
Understandably, the Mustangs had the edge in total offense 335 to 198 yards. Leading the Mohawk offense was Logan Dixon with 107 yards on 18 carries, Landon Williams had 31 yards on 9 carries, Bret Fuller had 12 yards on 6 carries and Cody Crittenden had 8 carries for 10 yards. Leading all rushers was Johnson, with 179 yards on 23 carries. Fuller was 1 for 2 passing for the Mohawks, with a 30 yard completion to Cody Crittenden and an interception.
The Mustangs were 4 of 8 passing for a total of 53 yards, and two of the Hoxie touchdowns.
With the loss the Mohawks fall to 5-4 overall and 2-4 in 3A-3 conference play while Hoxie improves to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in conference. "I hate not making the playoffs, but we've already got twice as many wins as we had last year and we're continuing to build this program," Harrell surmised. "But I hate it for the seniors."
The Mustangs and Rivercrest remain atop the standings with one game to go, as the Mustangs will close out the season at Manila Thursday and the Colts will host Osceola Friday night. Both the Lions and the Seminole are 4-2 in conference, and locked-in to a playoff spot. Rounding out the top five is Cedar Ridge at 3-3, as they're set to end their season at Melbourne Thursday. This year the top five from 3A-3 advance to the postseason, with the #5 seed expected to face the state's top-ranked 3A team, Smackover.
In addition to the Mohawks at 2-4, Melbourne is currently 1-5 in conference, while Corning is 0-6 entering the final week.
Kickoff at Corning is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, as the Mohawks and the Bobcats wrap-up their 2015 football campaigns.