Indians stumble out of gate in ’07

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2007

COURTLAND—This is not the way Southampton High School football wanted to start its season. The Indians were outplayed on both sides of the line, had two punts blocked and had three costly turnovers. Tabb took advantage of all of it for a 52-13 romp in a Bay Rivers District tilt Friday night.

Things looked good for the Indians (0-1) early on. Southampton had 113 yards of offense in the first quarter and took a 7-0 lead on the first drive of the game. Southampton marched the ball 86 yards on seven plays and opened the scoring when Alonzo Holemon ran it in from one yard out at the 8:38 mark. Marcus Inman’s extra point made it 7-0. The drive was highlighted by a 55-yard run on a sweep by quarterback Sidney Rawls.

But it became obvious quickly that Southampton’s defense was not going to match up. Less than two minutes later, the Tigers countered with a score on the next series. Corey Patrick ran the kickoff to the Southampton 46. Five plays later, Corey Legister hit paydirt from five yards out. Corey Pike missed the kick and Southampton still led 7-6.

The teams exchanged fumbles, but Southampton could go nowhere on its next drive. Punter Eli Matthews booted the ball right into an oncoming Michael Beville, who raced 40 yards for a touchdown with 10 seconds to play in the first quarter. The extra-point run failed, but Tabb went up for good 12-7.

On the Indians’ next series, Matthews had another punt blocked and Tabb recovered on the Southampton 33. Two plays later, Meltoya Jones scrambled 26 yards up the middle for a touchdown at the 9:34 mark of the second quarter. Pike’s extra point made it 19-7.

The Tigers scored again late in the half. Rawls, under heavy pressure all night, was called for intentional grounding. Matthews had to punt from the Southampton end zone. He got the ball off and Tabb recovered on the Southampton 36. A holding call moved the ball back to the 46, but Tabb quarterback Jeffrey Schurott hit Brian O’Shei on the left sideline, and O’Shei raced for a touchdown with six seconds to play in the half. The extra point kick made it 26-7.

Southampton made the game interesting early in the third quarter. After stopping the Tigers on a three-and-out, the Indians scored three plays later when Rawls connected with Taylor Revelle over the middle for a 43-yard touchdown strike to cut the Tabb lead to 26-13.

The Tigers, unfazed, came back for three more scores in the third quarter, two of them set up by Rawls interceptions. Legister finished the game with three touchdowns, including a 17-yard rumble through three SHS tacklers.

Littleton Parker said all his team can do now is go back to the beginning.

&uot;We have to go back to the drawing board and get it done. That’s all we can do,&uot; Parker said. &uot;I knew they had a good ball club and they built on last year. They’ve got a good ball club, no doubt about it, but we are better than what we showed tonight. I don’t think we came out flat. We just got caught up in the ball game and didn’t execute.&uot;

Rawls led the Southampton rushing with 64 yards and Bobby Ellsworth gained 45 yards on the ground.

The Indians play at Franklin at 7 p.m. on Friday. Parker said he is not planning on anything special for what has become a huge rivalry.

&uot;Franklin knows what we are going to do and we know what they are going to do,&uot; he said.