The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Sports

August 27, 2011

Long, Long Night

Turnovers doom Hornets in drubbing to rival Brenham

BRENHAM — With his players huddled up around him, Huntsville coach Shane Martin turned and pointed at the scoreboard. Mercifully, the lights were already off.

“Look up there, this game is over,” Martin told the Hornets.

Gone were the bright lights that told the story — Cubs 65, Hornets 16.

Truthfully, this game was over at halftime. After Huntsville scored a quick touchdown on a 40-yard pass from senior Daniel Hazlewood to sophomore Christain Champine early in the first quarter, Brenham put 44 points on the board before the break.

The Cubs capitalized on six Huntsville turnovers in the first half, converting four of those into touchdowns and quickly putting the game out of reach.

Senior quarterback Dean Haveman threw five touchdown passes — three to Tre’mund Moore, one to Tyler Watts and another on a fake field goal to big Malcolm Brown, Brenham’s 295-pound defensive tackle.

“We shot ourselves in the foot way too much,” Huntsville offensive lineman Aundra Long said. “The mistakes we made on our part hurt us. Turnovers were big, but we also weren’t doing things we know how to do. Simple things, like tackling.”

The Hornets didn’t do a lot of tackling against a talented Brenham team that was trying to redeem itself after losing to Kingwood Park in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs last fall. Just about everything the Cubs tried worked Friday.

Brenham running back Klartel Claridy rushed for 182 yards and one touchdown in the first half. Haveman, who was starting his first varsity game at quarterback, looked like a seasoned veteran. He completed 7-of-11 passes for 125 yards, but five of those throws went for touchdowns.

Holding a 21-7 lead at the end of the first period, the Cubs went on a scoring rampage midway through the second quarter. In a span of one minute and nine seconds, Brenham hung 20 more points on the board.

The Cubs forced two fumbles in that stretch and turned the game into a complete blowout.

“Games like this when you start turning the ball over, sometimes it snowballs on you,” Martin said. “You’ve got to find some way to stop it, but we couldn’t do that tonight. When we started sliding downhill, we couldn’t stop it.”

After Claridy evened the score at 7 with a 44-yard run, Moore caught two consecutive touchdown passes from Haveman. Moore made an acrobatic grab for his second score, falling backwards with cornerback Kent Albert covering closely. Somehow, though, Moore made the play look easy.

After Brown caught a 5-yard touchdown pass midway through the second period, Watts made a diving catch that may have been more impressive than Moore’s. Haveman raced to his right, and with two or three Hornets on his tail, the Cubs quarterback fired a bullet that looked like it was headed for the shiny, new turf in the right corner of the end zone.

Not so fast, sports fans. Watts zoomed across the end zone, went airborne and snagged the ball before tumbling out of bounds. That’s when it became clear: Brenham coach Glen West found plenty of able-bodied replacements for their stars of the last two seasons. Ty Schlottmann, Derek Edwards and Co. are gone, but the guys who took their place, plus Brown and his buddies on defense — Tim Cole, Troy Green and Jesse Baker — may prove to be an even more potent mix.

“There’s no doubt, Brenham has a good football team. They are very, very talented,” Martin said. “They reload every year, but we made them look even better tonight. You just can’t turn the ball over like we did and expect to stay in the game. You’ve also got to stop the run better than we did, plus you’ve got to be able to run the ball.

“We didn’t do any of that. The good thing is we’ve got some time to fix it.”

Martin, whose Hornets tacked on a safety and another Hazlewood-to-Champine touchdown in the fourth quarter, was down, but far from out following Friday’s loss. And he wisely told the Hornets to keep their heads up and come ready for work Monday.

“We’ve got to put this behind us and learn from it. It’s not the end of the world,” the coach said. “We can’t get our dobbers down. If we do, the same thing will happen next week against College Park.”

Senior Cameron Shirley said the Hornets aren’t going to let that happen. They’re going to pick each other up and keep working. The Huntsville players wholeheartedly believe they are better than their first performance of 2011.

“We’ve got to use this game as fuel to fire us up,” Shirley said. “Like last year’s playoff game against Montgomery, we don’t ever want to feel like this again. We want to put this sour taste in the other team’s stomach from now on.”

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