Golden Bears shut down Speake
By Paul Stackhouse
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TOWN CREEK — There wasn't anything easy about Hazlewood High's 19-0 homecoming victory over Speake on Friday night. Whatever the Golden Bears received, it was earned.
These two teams tied for first in the Class 1A, Region 8 standings last year, and Hazlewood got a jump on this year's race with Friday's physical win.
After both teams failed to score in the first half, it was Hazlewood (2-0) that made the necessary adjustments and put together a winning game plan.
"We quit trying to score on every play and got our line to come off the ball in the second half," Hazlewood coach Aaron Goode said.
"That's what we're trained to do, drive the ball. We didn't do it in the first half, but we did it in the second half after getting things straight at the half."
The first two quarters were a defensive showcase for both teams. The Bobcats (1-1) managed 117 yards of offense in the first half, while Hazlewood had 96 yards.
After making the halftime adjustments, the Golden Bears received the opening kickoff and moved the ball 50 yards on five plays with senior tailback D.J. Jones scoring on a 13-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
With 1:52 remaining in the third period, Carlos Holden raced past the Speake defense for a 41-yard touchdown run to make it 13-0 going into the final quarter.
Holden's long touchdown run was the blow that took the Bobcats out of their ball-control game plan before Golden Bears' quarterback Keginald Jones' 1-yard touchdown run with 4:49 to play to play gave Hazlewood its final points.
"It was a counter trap," Holden said. "I took a counter step, the line opened up the hole, and I saw the end zone."
Speake coach Heath Grimes said Hazlewood's second touchdown forced the Bobcats into a different offensive scheme.
"We don't really have a comeback offense right now," Grimes said. "When they went up by 13, we had to try and change a few things, and we're just not ready for that.
"Working on the long pass is something we have to do. We have too much speed at wide receiver and slot receiver not to hit them on a long pass when they're open. My quarterback (T.J. Green) is a hard worker and a leader. I know he will make things right in practice."
Green connected on 2 of 9 passes for 42 yards while throwing one interception.
It appeared as if Speake was going to score on its first possession. The Bobcats drove 61 yards in 13 plays to the Hazlewood 6.
But the Golden Bears' defense stiffened, taking over on downs.
That was as close as Speake got to scoring.
"Speake has got a great football team," Goode said. "We had to work hard to get what we got out there."
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