War Dawgs have lofty goals for next season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Hinds AHS wide receiver Anthony Mayes (2) breaks the tackle of Seminary’s Nick Crowe during Friday’s 44-20 win by Seminary. (Meredith SpencerThe Vicksburg Post)

[11/16/04] At halftime of the Hinds AHS-Seminary playoff game, War Dawgs’ coach Michael Fields said, “they’re starting to wonder.”

“They” referred to a Seminary team that was riding a 26 game winning streak, two state championships and the state’s No. 1 ranking.

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Rightfully so, the game was knotted at 6 halfway through the game and Hinds AHS was preparing to receive the second-half kickoff.

“We weren’t playing the ball real well in the first half,” Seminary coach Lance Mancuso said. “Our defensive backs were real timid.”

Hinds had missed a pair of golden opportunities to score touchdowns in the first half, and when it did score to tie the game, the extra point sailed wide left.

“If we would have made that extra point I think it would have made a difference,” Fields said. “Whenever you get ahead, it does something for your psyche.”

Seminary found its stride in the second half, rolling off 24 straight points in the third quarter to take command of what was a close game. Standout running back Tim Holloway, who towered above many of the Hinds’ defenders, gained most of his 221 yards and scored three second-half touchdowns.

“It’s easy to see why he is so highly recruited,” Fields said.

As the near sellout crowd began to filter out late in the fourth quarter and everything decided but the final score, Hinds was able to score a pair of touchdowns to make the final respectable.

It also marked one more step in the ultimate rebuilding of the War Dawgs’ program.

Fields, who just completed his third season in his hometown, took over a team that was winless the year before. He has taken the War Dawgs to three straight playoff appearances, and this year the school won a playoff game for the first time in school history.

They did it riding the athleticism of all-everything Austin Divinity. The quarterback accounted for 28 touchdowns in his senior season and will be one of the few leaving after this year.

Fields said he is anxiously waiting the return of star running back Albert Williams. The junior rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, but missed most of this year with a leg injury.

The bulk of the offense and defense also are returning giving Fields plenty to look forward to.

“I told the guys to hold their heads up high and that we keep getting better and better every year,” Fields said. “… I feel like, especially after the 6-6 first half, that next we’ll be one of the favorites for the state championship.”