Tribe Pounds Hounds in Conference Showdown
The Piggott Mohawks returned to winning ways Friday night, beating the Newport Greyhounds 51-12 at Parker Field. Last year the Tribe rolled into Newport unbeaten, and dropped a one point decision. This year the Mohawks were coming off back-to-back whippings at the hands of Osceola and Rivercrest and took out their frustrations on the 'Hounds.
Jumping to an early lead and never looking back, they dominated the visitors on both sides of the football before a delighted home crowd.
“We got things fixed, we had some issues, but I think we got things fixed this week,” Coach Michael Harrell said of the win in the moments after the horn sounded.
The victory also has major implications on the playoff scene, as the halfway point of the conference season is at hand.
Senior John Jones set the tone early Friday night, returning the opening kickoff of the game 68 yards to set up the first Piggott score.
“I tell you, “Slim” (Quentin Reeves) got a heck of a block to open it up,” Harrell noted Tuesday.
The Mohawks capitalized on the opportunity at the 10:42 mark of the first as Gunner Shaw carried it in from two yards out to make it 6-0. The Tribe then went for the two point conversion and came up short.
The Piggott defense also showed its strength in the first quarter, effectively shutting down the talented Greyhounds. The Newport squad was also hampered by their own mistakes, as they committed a variety of infractions at inopportune moments, and turned the ball over several times as well.
Later in the first quarter the Mohawks got their second score as Jones carried it in from 26 yards out with 1:42 to go. Quarterback Trey Gossett added the two point conversion on the keeper, as the Tribe led 14-0.
The Mohawks got another score early in the second, as Jones caught a 39 yard touchdown pass from Gossett. Hayden Lemmons then added the two point conversion, and the Tribe extended their lead to 22-0.
The Greyhounds answered on their next drive, as Julius Clark broke loose for a 34 yard touchdown run. But, the Newport two point conversion attempt was stuffed by the Tribe, as the score ran to 22-6.
The Mohawks added two more touchdowns in the second quarter, with Shaw catching a 37 yard touchdown pass from Gossett at the 4:51 mark and Jones adding the two point conversion. Jones also scored on a two yard touchdown run with no time on the clock in the first half, although the two point try was no good This gave the pumped-up Mohawks a 38-6 halftime advantage.
Late in the second quarter the Greyhound's starting quarterback, Tydrell Friar, was shaken up and forced to leave the game. Coming on in relief was junior Cash Forrester, who played the remainder of the contest.
Newport also turned to their bruising fullback, Joe Broadus, in the second half and he got the majority of carries for the offense. Broadus got the Greyhounds their second touchdown of the night at the 7:24 mark of the third, as he carried it in from two yards out. This time the PAT attempt was no good, as the 'Hounds trailed 38-12.
Mohawk junior quarterback Gossett scored the next Piggott touchdown, as he carried the ball in from a yard out with 5:28 to go in the third, although the converion attempt was no good.
With just over four minutes to play in the contest the Tribe would get one more touchdown, as Lemmons got the nod and stretched across the goal line for the score from three yards out. Jones topped his outstanding evening with the two point conversion and the final score was set at 51-12.
“The boys got it fixed last week, they came in and put out the effort and played with a sense of urgency,” Harrell observed earlier this week. “I can't say enough about this team's resillience. We knew we hadn't been playing up to the level that we could and we came out Friday night against Newport firing on all cylinders, and looking like the team we all expect to see on a Friday night.”
The Mohawks dominated all catagories on the night, as they racked-up 435 yards in total offense while holding the Greyhounds to a combined 145 yards. Jones led all rushers with 103 yards on 14 carries; Shaw had 89 yards on 10 totes; Gossett had 85 yards on eight carries; Lemmons had 54 on 10 carries; Cade Harrell carried the ball eight times for 26 yards; Lane Buchanon had one carry for a yard and Mason Tillman had one carry for two yards in the win. Gossett also completed three passes for 76 yards with completions for touchdowns to Jones and Shaw and another completion to Dylan Bellers.
Broadus led the Newport offensive attack with 80 tough yards on 15 carries. Friar was two for two passing, with a touchdown, for the 'Hounds while Forrester was four for eight for 54 yards.
Jones also led the Tribe in tackles on the night with 12, while the other Mohawk linebacker, Cade Harrell, had 11.
With the win the Mohawks move to 4-2 on the season and 1-2 in conference play while the Greyhounds fall to 4-2 and 1-2 as well. Osceola and Rivercrest are both 3-0 in conference; Hoxie and Manila are 2-1 in conference play while Walnut Ridge and Corning have yet to post a conference win. The standings should be clearer after Friday night as the Tribe will visit the Lions at Manila, Newport visits Corning; Rivercrest is at Walnut Ridge and Hoxie visits Osceola.
“We're getting ready for Manila, we had a really good day of film study and preparation yesterday (Monday) and went down and walked through some defensive stuff,” he added. “And, we'll be back in full pads today to get ready.”
Harrell noted the Lions always prove to be tough opponents, regardless of the record, and added they feature good size along the line.
“Piggott and Manila is a good match-up game, we've got the same kind of kids and they're going to play hard against us—but I promise you we're going to play hard, too,” he added. “But, I'm excited and looking forward to finishing out the season with these guys, now they've got their fire lit—I just can't say enough about our kids.”
With a chance to win-out, and host a first round playoff game, Harrell indicated he will be looking to all of his players—not just his seniors.
“We have awesome senior leadership, but what I'm really proud of is the leadership my juniors have shown,” he added. “My seniors are great leaders, but they do it by example and they're kind of quiet. The juniors really bring the fire, and they really did a great job Friday night of just picking the level up. Our juniors picked-up and the seniors came with them, and the sophomores joined in and we had just a great environment down there last Friday night—it really was.”
Kickoff at Manila Friday evening is set for 7 p.m.