Ground pounding

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 18, 2007

Collins, Trojans prove they’re ready for season in jamboree

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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Meadowview knows one thing going into the season: It doesn’t have to worry much about a running game.

Brett Collins missed all of last season with a broken arm and ran like he was making up for lost time Friday night.

He rushed for 186 yards, 127 in the second half, in a 32-14 win over CCA in their jamboree game at Wasden Field. Collins scampered for a 30-yard touchdown that gave Meadowview a two-score lead with 2:03 left in the first quarter.

The Trojans rushed for 231 yards overall and outscored the Warriors 20-0 after going into halftime down by two points.

“Brett didn’t play a down last year, and he’s been chomping at the bit all summer,” Meadowview coach Rick Jackson said. “He’s got some talent, and you can see he wants to play. We have to look at the tape and see what we need to work on. The key is keeping everyone healthy.”

Falling down 12-0 was the jolt the Warriors needed to bring them to life. When the second quarter began, CCA looked like a different team.

Stanley Spencer capped a nine-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard score that closed the gap to 12-7.

CCA forced a three-and-out and took the lead on its next possession when quarterback Tarius Richardson broke free for a 42-yard touchdown around the left end.

Meadowview’s defense stiffened after halftime and the offense began clicking.

CCA’s four possessions in the second half resulted in two lost fumbles, a punt and a turnover on downs after the Trojans stuffed a goal line stand.

“I think we looked good, we’re just not going to play many people that have as many numbers as they do,” CCA coach Lee Holladay said. “That’s no excuse, that’s just the way it is. This is one of the best Meadowview teams I’ve seen in a long, long time. I wish we were in better shape, but that has a lot to do with the weather.

“We have a lot of people playing on both sides of the ball. We have some good athletes, we just have to keep doing the things we’ve done before.”

Randal Hamilton handled his induction into the Trojans’ offense with a 7-for-11 performance with 58 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

He set up the first score of the game with a 19-yard pass to Will Pitts, giving the Trojans the ball on the 3-yard line. Hamilton finished the job with a quarterback keeper, giving Meadowview a 6-0 lead after a missed extra point.

Collins immediately did some damage in the third quarter with a 17-yard score on Meadowview’s first drive. That gave the team a 19-12 lead.

Hamilton connected with Pitts on a 3-yard TD midway through the third, pushing the lead to 26-14.

Collins toted in the last score of the game, a 27-yarder nearly two minutes into the fourth quarter.

Despite a disappointing second half, CCA boasted a running game that stood up to Meadowview’s. Spencer racked up 128 yards on 13 carries, and Richardson had 81 yards on 10 carries.

“I thought we ran the ball pretty good. We’re going to run the ball first, second, third, fourth and fifth,” Holladay said. “Coaches my age would rather run the ball. I know the young guys like to throw the ball around, but there’s three things that can happen when you throw the ball. And two of them are bad.”

Jackson attributed the way the game tilted to adjustments by both teams.

“I thought CCA came out and made reads and made plays in the first half,” Jackson said. “For whatever reason, we didn’t play the rest of the first half. We came out of the locker room and made changes and made adjustments. Overall, I’m pleased with the way the summer has been. They’ve shown good effort all around.”