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September 28, 2013

HS FOOTBALL: Haines leads Dragons to 53-22 win over Clarksville

Florida transfer rushes for 231 yards, scores 3 times

CLARKSVILLE — Bobby Haines became a student at Silver Creek High School after making the long move from Florida.

But a man of faith such as Dragons football coach Mike Donahue, who is also a reverend, could be forgiven for wondering if the Sunshine State transfer dropped straight down onto campus from football Heaven.

Instead of walking on water, Haines appeared as if he could glide across it Friday at Clarksville, parting the sea of would-be Generals tacklers for 231 yards rushing and three total touchdowns in a 53-22 triumph in Mid-Southern Conference play.

“We came out focused, ready to play ball,” said Haines, who scored on touchdown runs of 6 and 16 yards and recovered his own fumble in the end zone for another score after a 25-yard run. “We came out here ready to win.”

Haines’ play wasn’t completely divine. He did lose three fumbles and was even benched for two series in the second half, but more often than not, he redeemed himself with another one of his big-time runs. He had 10 carries that resulted in runs of 15 yards or better.

“The offensive line did their blocking assignments to a T, and the defense came out and executed,” Haines said. “The credit goes to the offensive line. Without those big holes, my lead blocking from my fullback (Brad Graham), all that (production) wouldn’t be possible.”

Silver Creek (3-3, 2-3 MSC) rediscovered its offense against Clarksville (0-6, 0-5). The Dragons had scored a combined 27 points in their previous three games but zoomed past that total by halftime in building a 34-16 lead that could have been more lopsided if not for two turnovers in the red zone.

In the process, Silver Creek matched its win total from last season, the second since varsity football was resurrected at the school starting in 2011. The Dragons are aiming for a minimum of six wins and are halfway there with three games remaining before sectional play.

As soon as Silver Creek touched the ball offensively in the first half, it didn’t take long for a touchdown to follow. The Dragons’ four touchdowns took a total of 11 plays, with three possessions taking three plays to reach the end zone and the other taking a mere two. The team’s fifth TD before intermission resulted from a 68-yard kickoff return by sophomore Austin Hasting.

“I cut to the left and saw Bobby [Haines] give me a lead block to the right, and I just took it to the outside,” Hasting said.

Although Silver Creek was scoring at will, Hasting’s return was pivotal. On the play prior, junior receiver Luis Bisoso scored on a perfectly executed reverse, and junior quarterback Wyatt Kissel lept into the end zone for the two-point conversion as Clarksville cut its deficit to 22-16 with 5:16 left before halftime.

After Hasting’s spectacular special teams play, Silver Creek forced a Generals punt, and Graham immediately tore off a 40-yard run. That set up a 16-yard scoring jaunt by Haines as the Dragons’ lead swelled to 34-16.

Clarksville hung tight for most of the first half after senior tailback Marquise Parrish opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 41-yard touchdown run. Junior Andrew Wright had an interception in the end zone off a deflection by junior teammate Marshall Helton, and the Generals also recovered a fumble by Haines inside the Clarksville 10-yard line.

Turnovers plagued both teams in the second half. Haines lost a fumble on two of Silver Creek’s first three possessions. He then took a seat for two series, and Silver Creek had mixed results, scoring on a 1-yard bootleg run by junior quarterback Jake Meadors before Wright ended the next drive with his second interception.

“I was pretty disappointed,” Haines said of coughing up the ball multiple times, “but you learn from your mistakes.”

He did indeed. On his last carry, a pitch left, Haines faced a herd of tacklers. He spun, reversed field and raced for 32 yards, eclipsing the 200-yard mark on the play.

Clarksville scored on a 12-yard connection between Wright and sophomore Jonathon Booth in the fourth quarter, but Silver Creek responded with a 30-yard TD grab by Hasting from Meadors, who then hit senior wide receiver Drew Sherrow with a 7-yard TD strike.

“(Meadors) threw a perfect pass to me,” said Hasting, who finished with five catches for 90 yards. “It was right over the top of the defender, just perfect position.”

Meadors threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while completing 9 of 13 passes with two interceptions. Graham added 99 yards rushing on 13 carries, and junior Jason Gent had an interception.

Parrish rushed for 115 yards on 23 carries for Clarksville. Kissel completed 9 of 21 passes for 87 yards before leaving the game with an injury. Wright came on in the second half in his absence.

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