on September 1, 2007 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Keep on rolling

CENTRAL — For the second straight week to open its season, the Daniel High School football team avenged a loss from last season – this time rolling to a 28-12 win over the AAAA T.L. Hanna Yellow Jackets Friday at Singleton Field in Central.

After the teams traded punts to open the game, the Jackets forced another Daniel three-and-out before breaking the scoreless tie as junior Brandon Williams capped a five-play drive with a score from four yards out. Hanna took a 6-0 lead after the extra-point attempt failed.

Daniel (2-0) responded with a drive of its own, going 65 yards in eight plays and – on the first play of the second quarter – junior back Michael Wingard broke off a 29-yard run but fumbled the ball at the four-yard line. Sophomore Zach Hellard, however, recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, and the Lions took a 7-6 lead.

Hanna (1-2) went on top again late in the first half as sophomore back Ladarius Norris took it in from seven-yards out for a touchdown. The two-point try failed, but Hanna held a 12-7 lead with 2:56 to go in the second quarter – aided greatly by two Daniel penalties, a holding and an unsportsmanlike conduct, that took the ball from the 24-yard line to the seven on the drive.

After the Jackets brought up another fourth down for Daniel, they called timeout to try to build on their lead – a strategy that ultimately backfired. The Lions forced three straight incompletions and forced a punt with just over 30 seconds to go in the half. That punt never occurred, though, as the snap was low to John Bailey, and he mishandled it. The Lions tackled him for a 13-yard loss and took over at the Hanna 32-yard line.

On the very next play, Lions quarterback Justin Walker found Wingard slanting across the middle, and the speedy back took it 32 yards to paydirt. The Lions added a two-point conversion on a run by Wingard and led 15-12 going into halftime.

“It was great,” Wingard said. “I was just happy to help put the team on top and go into the half with the lead.”

Midway through the third quarter, Wingard broke loose again – this time for a 54-yard touchdown run to give his team a 21-12 lead.

“We finally got Michael going,” said Daniel head coach Randy Robinson. “We knew what Michael can do – we see it practice. Finally, we got a chance to see him run it in front of a Friday night crowd.”

Wingard finished the game with 21 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns – one rushing and one receiving.

“It was big – last year they blew us out,” he said. “So, we wanted to get at them bad – as a team and as a unit.”

The Lions added another touchdown on the third play of the fourth quarter on a six-yard run by Trenton Walker that made the score 28-12, where it finished.

The Lions held Hanna to just 110 yards on the ground and did so without standout linebacker Wynton Botchway, the team’s leading tackler last season, who missed the game with a high-ankle sprain.

Sophomore corner DeAndre Hopkins had another stellar game, picking off a pass by Tyler Brennan in the first half – his fourth pick of the season. Hopkins also virtually shut down Jackets’ star receiver Quinton Payton, who had one catch for 10 yards – on the very last play of the game.

“(Payton)’s a talented player,” Robinson said. “He was the focal point. We worked on him every time we lined up with our defense in practice.”

Daniel has another tough test ahead, as it goes on the road to face Westside next Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Daniel 28, T.L. Hanna 12

TLH 6 6 0 0 — 12

DWD 0 15 6 7 — 28

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

TLH—Williams 4 run (kick failed), 3:27

Second Quarter

DWD—Hellard 4 fumble recovery (Schiff kick), 11:47

TLH—Norris 7 run (run failed), 2:56

DWD—Wingard 32 pass from J. Walker (Wingard run), 0:23

Third Quarter

DWD—Wingard 54 run (kick failed), 6:44

Fourth Quarter

DWD—T. Walker 6 run (Schiff kick), 11:09

TEAM STATISTICS

TLH DWD

First Downs 11 7

Rushes-yards 23-110 41-247

Passing yards 66 44

Comp-Att-Int 7-23-3 3-10-2

Punts 2-31 5-30

Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0

Penalties-yards 4-40 8-73

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

PASSING—Daniel, J. Walker 3-10-2-44; Hanna, Brennan 7-19-1-66, Martin 0-4-2-0.

RUSHING—Daniel, Wingard 21-152, T. Walker 16-60, J. Walker 2-25, Jacks 2-10; Hanna, Norris 17-83, Martin 2-27, Brennan 1-9, Williams 1-4, Bailey 1-(-13).

RECEIVING—Daniel, Wingard 1-32, Moore 2-12; Hanna, Stowers 4-46, Norris 2-10, Payton 1-10.