HCC freshman boots Bulldogs

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 29, 2000

At right, Trey Crum, Hinds’ kicker, celebrates with holder John Weaver (12), a Warren Central product, after booting the game-winner Thursday night against Gulf Coast. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

RAYMOND When Gulf Coast’s kicking game failed, Hinds’ remained perfect. And so did the Eagles’ record.

Trey Crum, a left-footed freshman from Terry, booted a 40-yard field goal with 2:13 left in the game as No. 3 Hinds squeaked by division rival Gulf Coast, 31-28.

“I can’t compare this to anything,” Crum said. “This is awesome.”

Hinds (5-0, 2-0 South Division) was in position for the game-winner after back-to-back illegal procedure calls against the Bulldogs moved the kickoff back 10 yards.

Hinds started the final drive at its own 42 with 6:41 left to play. Seven plays and a near fumble later, Crum lined up at the 30-yard line of the Bulldogs (2-3, 1-1).

A low snap from center was scooped up by ex-Warren Central standout John Weaver and the kick split the uprights.

“We’ve put them in situations at practice where it comes down to the last kick and that guy out there has made those kicks in practice,” Hinds coach Gene Murphy said. “I think it’s an example of another phase coming through.”

After the field goal, with Gulf Coast on the 25, the “Brick Wall” defense, after allowing the most points and most yards of the year, came through when it mattered.

Jason Armstead, a speedy utility player from Moss Point who split time at quarterback, was sacked by Ranney Davis on second down, making it third-and-18 with time running out. Two plays later, Hinds took over and ran out the clock.

“We ran the clock down for the defense, then they did what they had to do,” said wide receiver Chauncey Stovall, who had 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Gulf Coast had 259 yards of total offense. Coming into the game, the Eagles had allowed 100 per game.

“I have to give all the credit to the defensive line. They flushed him out (of the pocket),” said Davis, an LSU signee. “We came through … it was a big win for us.”

In the first four games, the Eagles allowed a total of 10 points.

But GC’s Ricky Ricks hauled in two touchdowns, while quarterback Jake Page scored on a 3-yard run and Doug Gabriel scored from 8 yards out to put HCC behind.

“I thought our offense played extremely well for us against that defense, but we could not stop them,” Gulf Coast coach Steve Wright said.

After a pair of Crum field goals in the second quarter, Page scampered in to give GC a 7-6 lead, the first against Hinds all season.

Just as quickly, however, Hinds got touchdown catches of 73 and 18 yards by Stovall from Brad Banks to give the Eagles a 21-7 halftime lead. Banks finished with 202 yards on 11 completions.

“It was a matter of who was ready for the fourth quarter,” Stovall said. “We were ready.”

Gabriel’s TD run with 1:27 left in the third quarter pulled Gulf Coast to 21-14. A blocked punt led to a Ricks’ touchdown reception seconds into the fourth to knot the game at 21. Banks led the Eagles on a nine-play, 68-yard drive and scored on a 1-yard keeper to regain Hinds’ lead, 28-21.

“Coach told us to bear down and fight and that’s what we did,” Banks said of the final possession.

Ricks’ second TD catch, with 3:28 left, again tied the game at 28.

Hinds has a showdown Thursday at Northwest, a team that came into the year ranked No. 1 nationally. But NW which beat Hinds for the state title last year, was put on probation at the beginning of the year and is ineligible for postseason play.