August 23, 2009 12:34:00 AM
STEENS -- Tyler Edwards had 107 yards rushing and Cody Taylor added 91 Friday night to lead the Hatley High School football team to a 60-0 victory against Immanuel in the season opener for both teams.
Grant Hawkins also had 41 yards rushing for Hatley, which relied on its ground game to force the action. The Tigers continued to push the ball to the outside, which led to several long yard gains by Taylor and Evans.
Hatley used a 50-yard kickoff return by Taylor to help open the scoring. The run helped set up a 27-yard touchdown carry from Tyler Evans.
In the third quarter, Immanuel tried to change the rhythm of the game thanks to key stops by Chase Boulware and Kasey Cunningham.
Immanuel''s offense also looked as if it was going to rebound, but interceptions by Evans and Derrick Hampton ended the Rams'' scoring hopes.
"Our players played very hard and put out a lot of effort late in the game," Immanuel first-year coach Shawn Gates said. "We put younger kids out there who are not used to being in that position and they really stepped it up when the older players needed a break."
Immanuel had one of its best scoring chances late in the game. Quarterback Ross Moore (6 of 12) helped leads Immanuel to the Hatley 9, but wet conditions caused him to fumble the snap. Hatley recovered with just seconds left in the game.
"It was a win, but we really need to work on our conditioning and execution on our offense," Hatley coach Sam Williams said. "We were worn out by the end of the game due to Immanuel''s hard-fought battle."
The victory helped Hatley equal its win total from last season. The Tigers, who will play in Class 2A, Region 1 in the Mississippi High School Activities Association, scored only 67 points and were shut out six times last season.
Michael Tate had 32 yards rushing to lead Immanuel, which plays in Class A, District 3 (North) of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools.
Gates said he plans to move Tate, a sophomore, to quarterback.
"This is going to be a learning experience," Gates said. "The next game we will match up with a team that is closer to our style of play and in our division."
Kasey Cunningham added 10 yards rushing for Immanuel, which plays host to Central Academy at 7 p.m. Friday.