|Loss painful for Devils to take
|Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 6:03 am
By KEVIN WEAKS
South Fulton kept losing players to injury and eventually lost the game to Trenton.
The Red Devils saw their roster get smaller throughout Friday night’s District 14A game against Peabody at SF’s field and eventually suffered a 21-14 loss.
SF had its winning streak stopped at four games and fell to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the district. Trenton, meanwhile, improved to 2-5 and 2-1.
While the loss was big for what it means to the Red Devils’ district spot and playoff position, it pales in comparison to the loss of a player to one of those injuries.
Chance Hamlin suffered a scary and serious injury at 3:35 of the first quarter when his diving attempt to catch a deflected Peabody pass resulted in a severe break to his left leg.
The Devils’ starting split end and free safety and extra-point kicker laid on the ground while being attended to by the team’s trainer and personnel from Twin Cities Ambulance for nearly 30 minutes before being airlifted by Air Evac to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.
According to reports on the field, Hamlin suffered closed fractures of both lower bones, the tibia and fibula. He reportedly had surgery later Friday night where rods were inserted into his leg.
“Our free safety, Hunter (Wade) made a great play on the ball,” SF head coach Kelly Spivey said, detailing the Trenton pass play over the middle and into traffic that resulted in the injury. “Instead of catching it, he tipped it up. A lot of people were diving for it, Chance got hit in the shin, and it looked like a pretty bad break.
“You go into games and try to have adjustments ready, but never in your wildest dreams do you image things like that. The kids were resilient. We still played hard.”
The injury problems continued as Tyler Morris later went out with a back injury.
“Not only is Chance a senior, he’s a good leader for us,” Spivey said. “He kicks our extra points, he’s on all our special teams, he’s a starting corner, starting split end. We missed him desperately. Then, Tyler’s had a back injury for two weeks, and he got hit pretty bad to aggravate it. So, there’s our starting two corners and starting two split ends out of the game. We don’t have many kids, so we had to pull our guard, Ryan Prince, to tight end, and move Skylar Britt from tight end to split end.”
Those injuries cut deeply into an already thin receiver corps and defensive secondary unit that was missing Harrison Hawks, who re-joined the team during the season, because of a prior family commitment scheduled for the Fall Break weekend.
Also in the game, J.P. Fowler suffered a big hit to his back that slowed him. Though still a solid contributor out of the backfield, where he rushed for 43 yards on 11 carries, the injury slowed him down in the passing game.
After catching a 12-yard pass from JaQuay Garmon and then throwing a 13-yard pass to Garmon on SF’s initial drive of the game, Fowler was unable to get open against the speedy and aggressive Golden Tide secondary and did not catch another pass. SF finished the game 4-of-11 for 102 yards passing.
The injuries and absence topped a long list of things that went wrong for the Red Devils.
SF threw an interception in its own territory late in the first half, allowing Trenton to score twice in the final minute for a 14-6 halftime lead, and the Redmen were guilty of seven penalties for 45 yards.
Indeed, the Red Devils tied the game at 14-all early in the fourth quarter. But, a worn-out defense allowed Trenton to quickly answer with a go-ahead drive that saw its ball-carriers pick up the 72 yards needed for a touchdown in large chunks.
The Redmen struck first with a 12-yard touchdown run by Cody Tatum at 9:57 of the second quarter. The extra point, with Tatum kicking, was twice held up by penalties before missing the mark to keep the score at 6-0.
South Fulton’s lead held until less than minute to play when an eight-yard run by Javaris Powell on a fake punt kept a Trenton drive alive. Juwan Anderson went for 20 yards, with a late hit penalty tacked on and then scored on a 17-yard run with 38 seconds left in the half. Brett Ferrari’s PAT put the Tide in front, 7-6.
Trenton added to that 26 seconds later when Ty Fields picked off a Garmon pass at the Devils’ 35 and returned it 30 yards to set up his own five-yard TD run with 12 seconds left
A fumble recovery on the final play of the third quarter allowed SF to get back in the game, Tatum finishing a six-play, 72-yard drive with a one-yard plunge at 9:27.
Garmon hit Prince for the two-point conversion to tie the game.
Most of the yards on that drive came on one play as Skylar Britt beat out Malik Doaks for a 59-yard catch.
Trenton, though, followed up with a six-play, 72-yard drive of its own for the go-ahead score. Powell had runs of 31 and 12 yards, and Fields had carries of 11 and seven yards before Anderson ran the final 12 yards at 7:10. Published in The Messenger 10.10.11