Tribe Pounds Osceola in 3A-3 Showdown

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Piggott quarterback Trey Gossett (15) fakes to Lane Buchannon (34) and hands-off to senior Justin Goding (44) with wide open spaces ahead.(TD photo/Steve Knox)

For the second year in a row, the Piggott Mohawks moved to 4-0 on the season by posting a win over Osceola. The victory Friday night was a resounding one, as the Tribe rolled 43-7 in a contest that was never in doubt. The back-to-back wins over Osceola are also a rare occurrence, as the only conference member to ever achieve the feat was Rivercrest. Friday night the Mohawks and the Colts will meet at Wilson, with the winner virtually assured a good playoff berth.

The Tribe offered a balanced attack, scoring touchdowns in the first, second and third quarters, then blowing the game open in the fourth with an additional 23 points to set the final.

"I never felt like we were ever in trouble," Coach Michael Harrell said of the win Tuesday. "They did put together one good drive in the third quarter, but we were already up 14-0 at the time and they took nearly eight minutes off the clock in that drive. So, I thought they were really shooting themselves in the foot on that one. But, we got the ball right back and Justin (Goding) pulled that trap and scored that long run and we were up 20-7. And that kind of deflated them."

The Mohawks drew first blood with 4:55 to go in the first as John Jones carried the ball in from two yards out. Afterward, Bret Fuller kicked the first of his three PATs on the day and the score moved to 7-0. The next score came just before the half, as Gunner Shaw carried the ball in from five yards out and Fuller added the PAT. Meanwhile, the Mohawk defense held the Osceola offense at bey, giving the visitors at 14-0 halftime lead.

As Harrell noted, both teams scored in the third quarter of play. The Seminoles ended a 15 play drive with a one yard run with 3:28 to go in the third, and the PAT was good to make it 14-7. But, Goding broke a 48 yard touchdown run moments later, although the PAT was blocked.

The Tribe poured-it on their hosts in the fourth quarter, with Dylan Bellers scoring on a 17 yard touchdown pass from Trey Gossett with 7:01 to play, Gossett scoring on a one yard run with 2:02 to play and Goding adding a 15 yard touchdown run with 1:12 left in the contest. Cade Harrell added one of the two point conversions, Goding another and Fuller kicked his final PAT to set the final score.

"We played well. All season long we've talked about, and worked, to play at a level good enough to win a conference championship and we're starting to play at that level right now," Harrell said of the win. "We just need to keep getting better."

Goding led all rushers with 111 yards on 12 carries, Harrell finished with 87 yards on 14 carries, Jones had 59 yards on 11 carries and Shaw had 49 yards on 10 carries. Gossett was 2 of 5 for 41 yards and the touchdown to Bellers. Total offense was lopsided in favor of the Tribe, 373 to 172 yards.

"We're putting emphasis on offense, defense and special teams, and this is one of the rare times when we've passed for touchdowns two games in a row," Coach Harrell adds with a smile. "Our special teams are playing well, Hayden Lemmons is doing a great job returning punts and kickoffs. Gunner Shaw's also doing a great job, our kickoff returns are coming out to the 45 or 50 and that really puts our offense in a good position. Bret is kicking extra points now and that's been a game changer for us, he's over 75 percent on PATs."

This week's contest at Rivercrest not only has playoff implications, but also offers a challenge for the Mohawks as no Piggott football team has ever bested the Colts--seventh grade, junior high or senior high. But, this year's squad is without a doubt the one with the best chance of doing just that as they continue show improvement from week to week.

"We got our deep snapping issues fixed, Cade took over that and is doing well. The defense is playing lights out, we're near the top in points allowed in 3A in the state. Offensively, the guys are really playing well and taking what the defense will give us," Coach Harrell offered. "We've got a great stable of running backs, Justin (Goding) gets a few more yards and carries each game because he has the ability to break a long one. But, Cade, John Jones and Gunner Shaw are all doing well, we're loaded in the backfield and haven't even gotten our fullbacks involved much."

The only drawback of the week came prior to the game at Osceola, as sophomore Matthew Bowers broke his collarbone in practice. An impact player on special teams, he's lost for the remainder of the season.

Last week the Rivercrest handed Corning another loss, beating the Bobcats 41-6. Kickoff at Wilson is set for 7 p.m. Friday.

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