Mohawks Beat Hazen to Start Season

Thursday, September 8, 2016
Senior Justin Goding led all rushers in the Mohawk win at Hazen.(TD photo)

The Piggott Mohawks sent a clear message to future opponents Friday night, as they traveled to Hazen and beat the Hornets 20-6. The Tribe, especially the line, dominated both sides of the football as evidenced by 266 total yards for the Mohawks while the Hornets could only muster 88.

"The guys worked really hard preparing for Hazen, and did a good job, I was really proud of the defense," Coach Michael Harrell said of the win. "Nate Mallard and Devyn Riley on the D-line really got after them, caused a lot of problems and opened things up for our linebackers."

In the first half of play the Hornets kept the ball out of the hands of the talented Mohawk offense, a game plan the Tribe usually employs. "We only ran 11 plays in the first half, they kept it out of our hands," Harrell explained. "We need the football in hour hands, but we only got 11 touches."

Junior Cade Harrell led the Mohawks in tackles at Hazen.(TD photo)

The third year head coach also noted some early-season issues.

"We had a couple of false starts, and we fumbled the ball three times, but otherwise we pretty much controlled the game," he added. "I never felt like the game was out of our hands."

The first score came on a long run by junior running back John Jones, as he broke a 75 yard touchdown with 10:05 to go in the first half. Trevon Allen attempted the PAT, but it was no good, setting the score at 6-0.

Mid-way through the second the Hornets mounted their only scoring drive, ending on a 11 yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Luke VanHouten. The two point conversion attempt was no good, and the score stood at 6-6.

Later in the half the Tribe got their second touchdown, as Cade Harrell carried it in from four yards out. Once again the two-point conversion was no good, and the Mohawk lead stood at 12-6.

The Mohawks added one more touchdown with 5:09 to go in the third, as Justin Goding sprinted for a 17 yard score. The Tribe once again went for two, with Harrell carrying it in to set the final at 20-6.

"John Jones just had a huge game, and Justin Goding came in late in the second quarter, and just tore them up the rest of the game," Coach Harrell offered. "We wore them down a little bit, and with that speed he just hit the hole--we really ran the ball well."

Goding led all rushers with 108 yards on 14 carries, while Jones finished with 88 yards on 5 carries, Hayden Lemmons had 26 yards on 4 totes, Harrell finished with 14 yards on 5 carries, Lane Buchannon carried the ball 3 times for 13 yards and Gunner Shaw had 2 carries for 18 yards. Mohawk sophomore quarterback Trey Gossett was 1 for 2 passing, with a 29 yard reception by Bret Fuller.

The Hornets were led on the ground by Michael Pargo with 49 yards on 12 carries.

"I was proud of the guys, the offense and defense looked good," he added. "But, we have to take care of those false starts and fumbles. We've got plenty to work on."

Defensively, Cade Harrell led the team with 11 tackles, Jones was also in double figures with 10 and Dakota Santos had 7.

"Going out there on the road, three hours from home, in week one--and taking on a program that has won 30 football games in the past three years, and has a heck of a football program. That's a big win for our boys as far as a confidence builder, and a big win for our football program and the direction we want to go," Coach Harrell surmised.

The Mohawks will open the home schedule Friday night at Parker Field as they welcome the Portageville Bulldogs to town. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the pre-game and halftime festivities will include the A Face in the Crowd and Marching Mohawk band anniversary ceremonies.

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