Saturday, October 23, 2010

SPORTS>>Falcons grab victory, put finish to skid

By Jason king
Leader sportswriter

The battle of the embattled winless teams went to North Pulaski in a 38-13 blowout over Crossett Friday at Falcon Stadium.

The Falcons (1-7, 1-4 5A-Southeast Conference) stuck with the run for all but two of their 309 total offensive yards.
Senior fullback Darius Cage led the way with nine carries for 113 and two touchdowns, while quarterback/running back Derrick Hart carried 15 times for 117 yards and a pair of scores, including a 38-yard touchdown run with 4:35 left to set the final score.

“We knew had to get the big guys the ball, so that’s what happened,” first-year Falcons coach Terrod Hatcher said. 

“The line blocked well compared to normal, so we’re excited about that. We’ve got a tough one coming up, so we’ll see if this helps us get a little momentum.”

Hatcher, 23, a Jacksonville High School alumnus, picked up his first career victory as a head coach. He was promoted from offensive coordinator late in the summer.

“Man, it was tough to lose so many; I’m not used to losing — I hate losing,” Hatcher said. “It feels good to get a win. 

So, we’ll see what happens later on.”

Cage gave the Falcons momentum on the first play of the second half when he broke free for a 68-yard touchdown run down the right side to give North Pulaski an 18-7 lead.

Sophomore Kaleb Meins scored a defensive touchdown for the Falcons with 2:10 left in the third when he picked up a fumble by Ferrell and returned it 44 yards. Hart ran in the two-point conversion to make it 26-7.

Crossett (0-8, 0-5) struggled to 134 yards of total offense, including a dismal 4-of-21 passing performance from Eagles quarterback Taylor Ferrell.

Most of Crossett’s yardage came courtesy of 15 North Pulaski penalties to the tune of 98 yards. Three of the penalties were personal fouls, and the Falcons racked up 11 motion penalties on offense.

“That’s our downfall; those penalties kill us,” Hatcher said.

Crossett was intent on using halfback Qua Brownboard as their workhorse back, but the Falcons defense had his number most of the night.

He wound up with 17 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown, but two of his last three rushes were for all but 16 of those yards.

The Falcons scored first on a 59-yard drive that took 12 plays and almost six minutes off the clock. Darius Cage’s seven-yard gain to start the drive was the biggest run of the series, as North Pulaski drudged its way onto the scoreboard with a one-yard sneak by Hart to cap it off with 4:20 left in the first quarter.

Austin Allen’s extra-point attempt was unsuccessful to keep the score 6-0.

Hart set up North Pulaski’s next score with a 35-yard run that took the Falcons from their own 39-yard line to the Crossett 13 after a face mask penalty against the Eagles was assessed.