The real start of Hinds Community College’s 2017 football season and Larry Williams’ head coaching career came in thrilling fashion Thursday night (Sept. 7) as the Hinds Eagles defeated the Itawamba Indians 35-31 when DJ Sims (Macon) ran one in the end zone giving the Eagles the lead with 32 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
“I’m obviously extremely happy and blessed to get my first win as a head coach, but even more than that I’m so proud of how our players and coaches fought hard all game and never gave up,” said Williams, diverting attention away from himself. “We had to a chance to put this game away and didn’t. We lost the lead with five minutes left in the game, and nobody put their heads down. Our guys stayed positive and took back the lead. That says a lot about the character of this ball club.”
In the first half, the Eagles got off to a fast start when freshman quarterback, Tylan Morton (Griffin, Ga.) launched a pass down the field and hit sophomore wide receiver, John Hightower (Landover, Md.), in stride for a 52-yard touchdown to give the Eagles the lead 7-0.
After an Indian field goal, the Eagle offense answered back when Morton threw a beautiful, over-the-shoulder 29-yard pass in the end zone to sophomore wide receiver, Chris Blair (Louisville), who hauled it in and increased Hinds’ lead to 14-3.
ICC rallied back by blocking a punt and scoring on a touchdown pass of their own to cut the deficit to 14-10 with 8:14 remaining in the half. Hinds quickly responded when Blair pulled in his second touchdown reception of the night via a 33-yard pass from Morton and improved the lead to 21-10.
Following the Eagle score, freshman defensive back Byron Galvin (Vicksburg), made a high-light reel, one-handed interception that gave the Hinds offense good field position. Morton would capitalize and connect on a 13-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver, Stephen Guidry (Livonia, La.) to further the lead to 28-10 with 3:51 remaining in the half.
ICC surged back to score with less than a minute before half and continued that momentum after half time by putting up 21 unanswered points to take the lead 31-28 with 5:17 remaining in the ball game.
The Eagle defensive, which made big stops when they counted the most all night, did just that when they forced ICC to go three and out giving the Eagle offense the ball back with 2:21 remaining in the game.
With no timeouts, the offense marched 40 yards down the field and scored on a two-yard touchdown run by Sims to seal the first victory of the season for Hinds. Last week’s game against Northwest Community College in Senatobia was ruled a “no contest” after it was called for lack of electricity during a storm.
The Eagles put up 473 yards of total offense on 296 yards passing and 177 yards rushing.
The Eagle football team will take on Southwest next Thursday, Sept. 14 in Coach Williams’ first start at home in Joe Renfroe Stadium on the Raymond Campus at 6:30 p.m.
You can watch the game live online here: http://www.hindsccsports.net/Channel_1
You can listen on the radio on ez 87.7 FM.
Make sure you follow the Eagle football team on twitter @HindsCC_FB for live updates and all things related Hinds football.