It’s been the commonly-asked question since last Friday night.
“What about Hyde?”
With Union City’s Keylon Hyde suffering a concussion on the Tornadoes’ second series in what was eventually a 28-14 loss to No. 2-ranked (Class 2A) Dresden last week, everyone with any remote interest in the standout senior fullback and the Twister program in general has since asked about his well-being and status for future games.
The answer is unclear.
Though he has shown improvement and reportedly passed initial medical tests after being examined following the injury Friday, Hyde was not cleared Monday after undergoing a more extensive examination for such head injuries.
He was to be administered more tests today, according to UC head coach Darren Bowling.
Bowling wouldn’t speculate on Hyde’s availability for Friday’s critical District 14A game against Trenton — even if he were cleared today.
The bruising fullback/linebacker needs just 21 yards to become the all-time leading rusher in Tornado football history.
If he is unable to go, Bowling will pick from a handful of players to fill in at critical position in his midline/veer offense.
Both backup Ricky Henry and converted lineman Kane Taylor — the latter normally a starter in the offensive trenches — got reps at the spot after Hyde was injured last week. Henry, the more shifty of the two, rushed six times for 21 yards, while the 235-pound Taylor carried 11 times for 25 yards.
Those averages-per-carry pale in comparison to Hyde, who averages 7.2 yards each time he rushes the ball.
Bowling could also go with Tymaine Strickland, a starting slot, given that the Twisters have depth at his normal position.
BAD SPOT — With four games remaining in its regular season, South Fulton is not in an ideal position for landing a playoff spot.
In fact, the prospects are downright bleak.
Head coach Kelly Spivey knows exactly where the Red Devils are. And, he knows what can move his team up.
“If we werent behind the eight-ball before, we really are now,” the coach said. “I can’t say we’re eliminated from anything because there are still some numbers out there on our schedule. If you go into those games saying you’re going to lose them, then you’ve already lost. We have two wins now and enough games left where we can win and get in, but we have to play better than we have the last two weeks (16-14 loss to Halls and 26-7 loss to Gleason).
“We have to stop doubting each other and play as a team.”
It’s how South Fulton has answered adversity that has bothered Spivey the most.
In last week’s game against Gleason, SF was going in for a potential go-ahead score but was stopped at the 10-yard-line.
Two possessions later, Gleason broke off a long run for a score and then added another TD to close out the win. The Bulldogs gained 421 total yards, including 339 on the ground.
“The most disheartening thing to me was how we doubted ourselves and didn’t come together when we were faced with adversity,” Spivey said.
Now 2-4 overall and 0-2 in District 14A, SF hosts Greenfield this week, travels to Trenton on Oct. 5, hosts Lake County on Oct. 12 and then closes the season on Oct. 19 at Union City — all district games.
Greenfield will bring momentum into the game after ending a 15-game losing streak last week.
The Red Devils are off in the regular season’s final week, Oct. 26.
The next month will tell if that is an extra week to prepare for the Class 1A playoffs or merely the first weekend of the off-season.
REBS’ TESTS STERN — Obion Central will embark on easily the toughest stretch of its 2012 schedule this week with a trip to sixth-ranked (Class 3A) South Gibson.
Games against two other ranked teams in Class 4A (No. 2 Covington and 10th-ranked Dyersburg) are also a part of the remaining OC slate, along with a date vs. much-improved Haywood.
All those foes boast explosive offenses — each averaging at least 34 points per-game.
SG, which upset perennial state power Milan 20-19 in its last outing before enjoying an open date last week, scored a season-best 56 against Jackson Christian School. The Hornets also own a season-opening victory over eighth-ranked (1A) West Carroll (35-21), the War Eagles’ lone loss.
Covington, which will host OC after the Rebels’ bye week Oct. 12, has been high-powered with speedy Johnston White and scored more than 28 points in four of its five victories.
Up-and-coming Dyersburg has scored 48 points in consecutive outings in a 4-1 start, while Haywood, which has already exceeded last year’s win total with two victories, has scored 59, 46 and 33 points in three different games.
Those offenses likely will provide a monumental challenge for the Rebs, who are giving up 27.5 points-per-game.
Making matters tougher this week is the likelihood that OC will be without top rusher and leading playmaker Bryce Warner, who suffered a severely sprained ankle last week in a 47-7 romp over winless Montgomery Central.
and Kevin Weaks
Published in The Messenger 9.26.12