HED:In case you didn’t know, defense has stars

CATEGORY: FOL High School Football


HED:In case you didn’t know, defense has stars

By Wayne Clements

Daily Journal

Tyrone Fox was a central figure in Calhoun City’s overtime win over Falkner Friday, but that’d be hard to tell from the game story. I know. I wrote the story.

First things first: This isn’t an apology. Nobody complained. Some things must be left out of a story to get the most important details into the story. Many of Fox’s plays had to be left out to get the meat of the story in Saturday morning’s paper. It’s a judgment call that’s made with every story written on deadline.

But a performance like his shouldn’t go unnoticed.

“Tyrone is probably the most consistent defensive player we’ve got,” coach Mike Ray said. “I can play him at a lot of different positions. He’s just one of those people. I never have to worry about him on Friday night.”

Fox, a lineman, had four tackles for minus-24 yards, including a 9-yard loss on a sack of Falkner quarterback Shino Edgeston. He came up with an interception and recovered a fumble. That sounds like a good game; when he made these plays makes it a great game.

In the second quarter, Fox stopped Falkner tight end Toussainte Gillard for an 8-yard loss on a reverse on third-and-11. On Falkner’s next possession, Fox sacked Edgeston for a 9-yard loss on fourth-and-10 at the Calhoun City 28.

With time running out in the first half, Fox then chased down Falkner star running back Edward Prather for a 5-yard loss on second-and-goal from the 7-yard line. One play later, the half was over. In the Eagles’ remaining games, Prather will score on that same play plenty of times.

It gets better, believe it or not.

Fox came up with an interception with 3 minutes, 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the score tied 6-6. The pick gave Calhoun City a first down at the Falkner 12-yard line, a golden chance to win the game in regulation.

It didn’t happen, but Fox wasn’t done.

In overtime, Fox recovered Prather’s fumble on the second play, ending the Eagles’ chance to score. Two plays later, Bernard Sykes scored the game-winning touchdown.

Sykes drew the most attention in Saturday’s game story. Fox drew much of the praise from coach Mike Ray.

Fox, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound senior for the Wildcats, doesn’t run the ball. He doesn’t catch or throw passes. He doesn’t even kick extra points. Too often guys like him fail to get mentioned.

Playing through the rough spots

For those hoping to get a look at Smithville’s Daurice “Duce” Elliott Friday against Mantachie, you may be disappointed. Elliott and his brother, Doc, traveled to Connecticut this week to attend the funeral of their mother.

Their mother, who had been in intensive care for several weeks, died Friday morning. Her Seminole sons were given the news after Friday’s win over Hatley.

“I knew they’d been really upset about it for a couple of weeks, not being able to go see her because of the distance involved,” Smithville coach Dwight Bowling said. “Their father wanted to wait until after the game to tell them, so we went with his wishes.

“I’m not sure if they’ll be back by Friday or not. Of course, these things are definitely more important than a football game.”

The Elliott brothers start at cornerback for the Seminoles. Duce, a senior flanker, has 157 rushing yards, 110 return yards and 93 receiving yards. Doc is a sophomore.

A real pain in the neck

Speaking of Smithville, Bowling has had his own health troubles the past few weeks. After suffering through what was thought to be a pinched nerve in his neck, Bowling lost feeling in his right hand recently. An MRI Wednesday showed a ruptured disk between the sixth and seventh vertebra.

Doctors suggested surgery. Bowling wants a second opinion.

“They’re talking about putting me out of commission for 12 weeks,” Bowling said. “I can’t do that.”

The pain has subsided somewhat, he said, although he still doesn’t have full feeling in his hand.

Wayne Clements covers high school sports for the Daily Journal.

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