Hawks fly past Statesmen

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Randolph-Henry High School varsity football team stayed within striking distance in its season opener against host Gretna High School on Friday, but the Hawks stayed ahead and pulled away in the end for a 35-18 victory.

“I felt like we played hard and the effort was there, but we just made too many mistakes,” Statesmen Head Coach Mark McPherson said. “I thought the teams were really evenly matched.”

Gretna took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter off of an 8-yard run and a long pass.

Randolph-Henry got on the board in the second quarter on a double-pass play. Senior Chris Powell passed to senior Fred Blow-Tydings who connected on a 15-yard pass to junior Tremaine Pugh. The extra point attempt was blocked, and the score was 14-6 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Hawks went up 21-6 on a 32-yard touchdown run, but the Statesmen responded, as Pugh took a reverse pass from Blow-Tydings seven yards for the score. R-H went for two but did not convert.

Gretna made it 28-12 on a 40-yard scoring run.

Senior Spencer Parrish took over at quarterback in the fourth quarter and scored on a 6-yard run. The Statesmen again failed to score on a two-point conversion attempt.

The Hawks wrapped up the game’s scoring with a rushing touchdown of about 12 yards.

Randolph-Henry finished with 301 yards of total offense, generated 161 of that total on the ground. Powell led that attack with 21 carries for 107 yards.

He was also the primary contributor to the passing game. He went 8-for-21 passing for 91 yards and an interception.

Pugh finished with four catches for 52 yards and two touchdowns, and Blow-Tydings had four catches for 23 yards.

“We had receivers open,” McPherson said. “We just didn’t make the connections, and I think it was just a lack of execution on our part. Chris is a very talented football player, but he has a lot to learn about playing quarterback. That’s his first game starting at quarterback.”

The coach said while Powell had a lot of mistakes, he also did a lot of great things, too. Giving his team good field position in the third quarter, Powell returned a kickoff for 70 yards.

He was a prominent figure for the Statesmen on defense, as well, with 8.5 total tackles, five solo and seven assisted. Junior Collin Vaughn had seven total tackles, five solo and four assisted; and junior Cedric Patrick had seven total tackles, six solo and two assisted.

Randolph-Henry’s defense also created a couple of turnovers, with Blow-Tydings and senior Josh Goldman each recording an interception.

As Friday night’s road game against Colonial Beach High School approaches, McPherson said the Statesmen have a lot of things to work on, but he is not going to change his game plan.

“It’s always about execution,” he said. “Colonial Beach has some talented kids, and we had a shoot out with them last year. So, I think if we can play a little bit better defense and clean things up on our offense a little bit, instead of going 8-for-21 passing, if we went 13- or 14-for-21, that would be a major improvement. That’s not too much to ask, I don’t think, and I think we can do that, and if we do, I think we can be OK.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Friday.