Weaver, Hinds throttle Pearl River

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 22, 2000

John Lewis of Hinds makes a big first-down catch late in the second quarter as Pearl River’s Terry Sibley looks on. (The Vicksburg Post/MARK THORNTON)

POPLARVILLE John Weaver did almost as much Thursday night to shut out Pearl River as the hosts did to themselves.

Weaver, a former Warren Central standout, punted three times to the Wildcats’ 1-yard line, and once inside the 5 to pin Pearl River deep all night and preserve a 25-0 win in the South Division opener for both teams.

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“Pinning them at the 1 was the best thing we could have done,” said Weaver, who came into the game as the fourth highest rated punter in the state. “It wasn’t just me. I had 10 other guys helping me out, especially Chris Porter. I need to buy him a steak dinner,” he added with a chuckle.

The Eagles’ special teams kept Pearl River pinned deep, then the defense did the rest.

LSU signee Ranney Davis blocked one of two field goal attempts and Hinds forced the hosts into four turnovers on a rain-soaked field.

“We’re 1-0 in division and were able to keep a zero on the board, so that’s always good,” Davis said. “We didn’t bear down like we should have. I don’t think we really started playing until the second quarter.”

The defense held Pearl River (1-3, 0-1) to 36 yards passing and 101 rushing.

“We gave them two opportunities close to the goal line to score,” Pearl River coach Keith Daniels said. “They are capable of beating people without turnovers and without field position because they are such a good team.”

Brad Banks led the sometimes sputtering offense with 256 yards passing and had a touchdown passing and rushing as the Eagles gained 355 total yards.

Former Vicksburg High standout Thomas McKnight had 76 yards and a 9-yard scoring run in the first quarter.

Banks connected with Rodrecus Rand on a 51-yard strike on the final play of the first quarter, but the 2-point conversion failed and left Hinds with a 12-0 lead at the end of the first.

A Trey Crum field goal midway through the second gave Hinds a 15-0 halftime lead. Crum added a 27-yarder with 7:35 left in the game and Banks plunged in from 1-yard out after the Eagles recovered a fumble for the final score.

Despite the team’s second shutout in four games, Hinds coach Gene Murphy was not pleased.

“We were hoping tonight to finally show some maturity on offense and in the first half, we didn’t,” Hinds coach Gene Murphy said. “We had a lot of needless mistakes and we weren’t in sync.

“In the second half, I thought we improved as a team, but we have such a long way to go in a short period of time and we can’t continue to play spotty like that. Sooner or later, we have to play as a team.”