’Jackets give Halls helping hands

’Jackets give Halls helping hands

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 12:00 pm

By RANDY CAVIN
Press Sports
Greenfield’s inability to stop the run and two turnovers in the first half led to 37-7 District 14A defeat at Halls Thursday night.
Halls ran all over Greenfield with 366 yards on the ground, led by Tony Cooper’s 181 yards on 21 carries. Cooper also had four rushing touchdowns.
Two turnovers by the Yellowjackets led to 10 points for Halls in the first half. Tony Robinson fumbled the ball at the Halls one-yard-line after a nine-yard run. The ball rolled to the back of the end zone with Halls’ Zach Harris recovering it.
Halls took over at the 15 after a penalty and marched 85 yards downfield in 13 plays. Cooper ran it in from six yards out to give the Tigers the first score of the game. Greenfield quarterback Jeffery Johnson fumbled the ball at the 40-yard line just two plays after the ‘Jackets got the ball back.
Halls got the ball down to the 12-yard line and had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Victor Melo to give the Tigers a 10-0 lead with 10:46 to play in the first half.
Even though the ’Jackets were down by 10, they still were not out of the game just yet, thanks to Austin Pence and his 40-yard kickoff return for great field position at the Halls 36.
It only took Greenfield five plays to get the ball into the end zone on Johnson’s three-yard run. Zach Grebe’s extra point made the score 10-7 with 8:16 to play in the half.
Greenfield could not stop Halls on its next possession. The Tigers went 80 yards in 14 plays and scored on Cooper’s seven-yard run with 1:39 remaining in the half. Greenfield went into the locker room upbeat about only being down by 10, but that quickly changed in the second half as Halls took full control of the game and forced the ’Jackets to change their offensive game plan.
“Our defense, we were sitting back, we were soft and we did not tackle tonight,” Greenfield head coach Don Pitt said. “They just drove down the field, and we could not get it stopped. The offensive stuff we were doing early would have worked, but when you get behind like that it is hard to just keep running the ball and trying to make good things happen. A lot of mistakes show up when you try to do that stuff.”
There were some bizarre plays in the game that could have gone Greenfield’s way. Halls missed an extra point in the third quarter when Melo saw that his kick was about to be blocked. He stopped dead in his tracks and instead of the Greenfield defender going after the holder who was still holding the ball down on the turf, he came to a dead stop. Melo then tried to kick the extra point from a standing still position.
Halls’ starting quarterback Cody Young had to sit out the second half after he was ejected from the game on the last play of the first half for his second unsportsmanlike penalty within three plays. His first came at the end of a 22-yard run when Greenfield was called for a late hit after he went out of bounds. Young got called for an unsportsmanlike penalty after taunting the Greenfield defender.
Another bizarre play happened in the second half when Johnson caught his pass. He scrambled to his left and let go of a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Johnson made a head’s-up play and caught the tipped pass, but was only able to get one yard out of the play.
Halls scored twice in the third quarter to go up 30-7. Cooper scored his third TD of the game on a four-yard run and TJ Reed scored on a 25-yard pass from backup quarterback Cole Nichols. Cooper scored his fourth TD in the fourth quarter on a 37-yard run.
Halls gained 181 yards on the ground in the second half and held the ’Jackets to a mere 25 yards of offense. The Yellowjackets looked demoralized by the time the fourth quarter rolled around after only being down by 10 at halftime.
Pitt must now get his team ready to face Riverside at home on Friday.
“They were up coming out of the locker room and making a stand on defense is something we did not do tonight,” a disappointed Pitt said about his defense in the second half. “We have to learn how to get stronger, tougher and learn how to tackle.”
Greenfield only had 104 yards of offense on the night and allowed Halls to amass 454 yards. The ’Jackets have now gone 18 games without a road win and will have to wait until the 2013 season to break that string. Greenfield’s final two games of the season are at home against Riverside and Trenton.
Greenfield is 1-7 on the season and 0-5 in District 14A. Halls improves to 5-3 on the season 2-2 in the district. Published in The WCP 10.16.12

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