Tigers claw out win over Eagles

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 29, 2002

Straughn began the 2002 season with a win against cross-county foe Pleasant Home last night.

The Tigers built an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter when senior running back Jared Parker capped off a six-play drive with a rushing touchdown.

Parker scored on a three-yard run to cap off the opening possession of the game for the Tigers. A high snap on the extra-point attempt, however, kept the Tigers lead to 6-0.

In the second quarter, Straughn added to their lead when freshman Al Freeney scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 10:25 left in the first half. The touchdown capped off an 11-play drive that featured several strong runs by junior Michael Hobbs.

Hobbs added two points when he converted the two-point attempt with a sweep around the left end to give the Tigers a 14-0 cushion.

The Tigers clawed out another touchdown four minutes later when junior quarterback Justin Bracewell scrambled to avoid getting sacked and then found Brandon Hendrix for a 20-yard pass play. Dusty Varner added the PAT and the Tigers held a 21-0 edge with 6:19 left to play in the first half.

The Tigers marched down the field again in the third quarter with Hobbs scoring on an 11-yard run. The PAT was no good, but Straughn held a 27-0 lead.

Pleasant Home answered with a late touchdown when Chris Huckabaa picked off a pass by back-up quarterback Al Freeney.

Huckabaa caught the ball in mid-stride and rumbled, bumbled and stumbled 40 yards for the score. The extra-point attempt was no good and Straughn remained on top by a score of 27-6.

Neither team managed to score again as Straughn held on for a 27-6 victory.

Straughn Head Coach Trent Taylor was glad to get the win, but saw areas where the Tigers need to improve.

"We've got a lot of things we've got to work on," Taylor said after the game. "A lot of those are mental things and those are correctable."

He also said the Tigers seemed to lose their legs a little during the course of the game.

"I think we got a little tired there late in the second quarter," he said.

One player whose legs did not appear to be tired were those of Michael Hobbs. Hobbs rushed for 90 yards

and one touchdown on 11 carries.

Taylor said Hobbs did a good job for the Tigers.

"I thought he did a great job," Taylor said. "The offensive line had to create some of those creases, but it takes a good back to find those creases."

Defensively, Taylor said the stop unit looked fatigued just before halftime and that is something the coaching staff will have to address.

Pleasant Home Head Coach Anthony Clark said was not pleased with the showing his Eagles gave on opening night.

"I was really disappointed with our effort in the first half," Clark said. "We let up mentally and even put our heads down a little after that first drive.

"We're really behind and we have a lot of work to do," he added.

Clark, however, did see a few positives.

"I thought A.C. (Author Coleman) ran the ball hard," Clark said. "Chris (Huckabaa) ran the ball hard in the second half.

"There were some bright spots, but there were a lot of clouds," he added.

The season continues for both teams next Friday night.

The Straughn Tigers will host the T.R. Miller Tigers in the first region game of the year for both teams. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Pleasant Home will host Zion Chapel next Friday night with kickoff set for 7 p.m. It will be the home-opener for the Eagles.