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Page: Fourth Quarter Dooms Devils

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Fourth Quarter Dooms Devils

The Hawkinsville Red Devils played "toe to toe" with the home standing Perry Panthers on Friday for three quarters only to see a failed 4th down attempt inside the Panther ten yard line fail and then the roof caved in. The Devils opened the game with a quality drive that stalled inside the Panther 20 yard line. A field goal attempt was just wide to the right for the Devils. The Panthers later engineered a long drive to take a 7-0 lead that stood until the 4th quarter. After holding the Devils on their 4th down attempt the Panthers drove 95 yards for another TD.
The Devils -- though behind by two scores at that point -- were still in the game. At least until the ensuing kickoff. What followed was one of the stranger plays I have ever seen. On the kickoff return Jonathan Wright was hit hard by the Panthers and the ball popped up in the air and the Panthers caught it on the run and raced it in from 21 yards out for a TD -- so TDs on consecutive plays turned a tight 7-0 game into a more comfortable 21-0 lead for the Panthers. Late in the game the Panthers intercepted a screen pass deep inside Devil territory and put up one last TD.

The Devils actually won the statistical battle outgaining the Panthers in total offense and running more plays from scrimmage. However, as we all know it is only the scoreboard that counts. For the Devils Fabian Forrest had 34 carries for 156 yards offensively. The Devil defense was led by freshman Tyler Forrest once again as he registered 10 solo tackles and 2 assists. Wade Fegley added 7 total tackles and La'Darius McNair and Jonathan Wright added 6 total tackles each.
Turnovers continue to haunt our Red Devils as they fumbled 4 times losing one and had 2 pass interceptions. If you had to point to one part of the Devils game that is costing them more than any -- it would have to be turnovers as they are at -9 T/O ratio for the season.
The positive for the game was overall effort -- it was outstanding. The Devils fought the Panthers "tooth and nail" for 48 full minutes. That is all you can ask. We all should have known it was not to be our night when Fabian Forrest made a jarring tackle on a pass completion by the Panthers and caused a fumble -- only to see it roll out of bounds and the Panthers retained possession. Coming off a big loss to high powered Fitzgerald the Devils showed a lot of fight and determination. The younger players are beginning to feel more comfortable and confident and I believe some "Ws" are in the Devils future.
Next up are the Claxton Tigers in Claxton next Friday night.

Go Big Red!

by Andy Hill - 9/12/09

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