Junior Mohawks Win at Corning
The Piggott Junior Mohawks traveled to Corning Monday evening and beat the Bobcats 24-14 in conference play. The contest had originally been scheduled for the previous Thursday, but lightning and heavy rain prompted the delay.
Coming off a bye-week, preceded by the loss to Rector, the Piggott junior squad had plenty of time to prepare for their showdown with the Bobcats, and the effort was evident from the first whistle.
The Tribe won the coin toss, and chose to put the football in the hands of their potent offense. Behind the running of Sky Wright and Drake Featherston, they began a strong opening drive. It was capped with 5:11 to go in the first quarter as Featherston took it in from 37 yards out on the sweep. Featherston also added the two-point conversion on a similar play, as the Mohawks led 8-0.
On the Bobcat's first drive of the night they had success moving the football, although the drive sputtered around the Piggott 30 yard line after quarterback Bo Young mishandled the snap. This brought up fourth and long, and Mohawks Michael Parker and Dalton James dropped Young for no gain to get the ball back.
Back on offense, the Tribe turned back to the ground game as they pounded the ball downfield. Featherston had a first down in the drive, and Wright had a strong carry--dragging Bobcats with him en route to another first down near the Corning 20.
Devon Mantz then carried it to around the 12, and Wright was stacked-up to bring up third and three to end the first quarter.
On the first play of the second the Bobcat defense stuffed the Mohawk ball carrier, but one of the Corning players was whistled for a personnel foul, keeping the drive alive. This gave the Tribe a first and goal at the five, which led to a three yard touchdown by Parker moments later. Wright got the nod on the two-point conversion, and the Mohawk lead was 16-0 early in the second quarter.
Neither team could get on the scoreboard the remainder of the first half, although both teams mounted drives. The Tribe did get good production from the backfield, with Featherston breaking a long run and Tanner Dixon, Logan Ralph and Corbin Midkiff also getting positive yardage.
The Bobcats did threaten late in the first half, but Parker dropped Young for a big loss on third down. Corning did pick up a first down on the next play, but the half ended as an attempted halfback pass was sniffed-out by the Tribe, led by Levi Cook.
The third quarter was also a scoreless affair, as the two teams spent much of the time between the 30 yard lines. After stuffing the Bobcats on their first drive, the Mohawk's ended as Parker was chased out of the pocket and dropped on fourth down. The following Corning drive was also short-lived, as Young fumbled the ball back to the visitors.
The Bobcats finally found paydirt early in the fourth quarter on a 13 yard touchdown run, set up by a Mantz fumble for the Mohawks on the first play of the quarter. Young then added the conversion, and the score stood at 16-8.
The Bobcats went for the on-side kick on the ensuing kick-off, but Zac Gilbee covered it for the Tribe. The Mohawks then began to try to run some time off the clock, and committed several mental errors. After swapping possessions, the Mohawks got their final TD with 1:44 to play on a 56 yard break-away run by Wright. He also added the two-point conversion, and the Piggott lead was extended to 24-8.
The Bobcats would answer once more, against the Piggott subs, as they scored a six yard run as time expired. With 0:00 showing on the game clock, the Mohawk defense stiffened and the two-point conversion attempt was no good, setting the final score at 24-14.
Wright led all rushers with 136 yards on 14 carries, Featherston had 94 on 7, Mantz had 16 yards on 4 carries and Dixon had 16 yards on two carries. Young led the Bobcats with 83 yards on 13 carries. As a team the Mohawks had 248 yards in total offense, all rushing, while Corning had 197.
Midkiff and Featherston paced the defense with 5 tackles each, Parker had 4, including 3 for a loss and Gilbee had 3 tackles in the win.
"The effort was much improved from week one," Mohawk Junior Coach Walter Rau noted of the win. "Football is a simple game, you just need to block--and it all starts with effort. I felt they blocked well, and put forth a much better effort this week than they did against Rector. I give us a 10 out of 10 for effort and improvement."
Looking ahead to the upcoming conference schedule, Rau also noted there was some room for more improvement going forward.
"We had a few mistakes, most were missed blocking assignments that hurt us a little bit. And, penalties are always going to be a killer--drive killers," he offered. "But, they're getting better. That's what junior high is for, getting them better for senior high."
With the win the Junior Mohawks move to 1-1 on the season, and 1-0 in 3A-3 conference play. They'll continue the conference schedule Thursday evening as they are set to host the Osceola Seminoles at Parker Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.