Alto annihilates Hawkins 55-0: ‘Mean Sting’ defense negates Hawks’ offense to -13 yards

by By Robin D. Best Contributing Sports Writer
Photo by Savana Dover Photo by Savana Dover

It was Alto’s best overall game performance in years—and hopefully Hawkins’ worst.

Between an unforgiving offense and an unremitting defense, the Yellowjackets surged to 421 yards offense, while holding Hawkins to -13, in a 55-0 trouncing Friday evening.

The Hawks had one passing attempt resulting in a pick-six interception for Alto; and had 44 rushes for a total of -13 yards.

Alto head football Coach Ricky Meeks was impressed by his team’s effort in the game.

“Very proud of our guys playing from start to finish,” Coach Meeks said. “(They) ‘Came out and played hard from the start with a lot of class. Handled everything the right way.

“We’re making strides in the right direction at the right time of the year,” he added.

For most of the first quarter, both teams battled fiercely. But it became apparent that the game was being played on the Hawks’ end of the field, with Alto not quite getting a scoring driving going.

Hawkins was quickly becoming frustrated with a series of swarming Yellowjacket invasions and three-and-outs.

Late in the first quarter, with a series of steadily improving rushes, junior quarterback Harmon West (No. 10), handed the ball off to sophomore running back Vi’Dareous High (No. 2) who blasted the ball in from three yards out on a first-and-goal from the Hawkins’ three yard line.

The two-point-conversion was tagged on and with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter, Alto was up-and-running, 8-zip.

“We finally had a game with no turnovers,” Coach Meeks said. “And minimized the penalties. That is the thing we talked about all year, when we could finally get to that point and play the game the way it’s meant to be played, we have a chance to be pretty good. And we finally did that tonight.”

Alto’s defense put on its best performance all year.

Hawkins’ offense only approached mid-field twice during the contest and both times found itself being knocked backwards within one or two plays.

Any periods of positive yardage for the Hawks were quickly met with undesired retreats, primarily related to an unrelenting Alto defense.

To Hawkins’ credit, the Hawks battled fiercely throughout the game, never giving up and making Alto earn every step in the game. It was apparent to fans in attendance that the Hawkins team was very well disciplined and well-coached.

As sometimes happens in football, it was not to be Hawkins’ night.

Alto’s second score came with 1:21 remaining in the opening quarter, when senior back Dalton Mabry (No. 11) returned a Hawks punt 50 yards for the score, sliding under the would-be tackler to get into the end zone.

With 1:23 remaining in the first, Alto led 15-0.

Alto’s defensive effort was unmatched with most of the players on the field actively racking up impressive stats, including:

Harmon West (junior, No. 10): 11 tackles, 1 TFL (tackles for a loss)

Cayle Irvin (junior, No. 55): 9 tackles, 1 TFL;

Bubba Mumphrey (senior, No. 52); 8 tackles, 2 TFL;

Corbin Threadgill (senior, No., 24): 7 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1 Sack;

Lane Jackson: (senior, No. 17) 6 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1 Sack;

Fred Thacker: 6 tackles, 1 TFL (senior, No. 2); and

Dalton Mabry: (junior, NO. 51): 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 50 yd punt return for TD.
With less than two minutes gone in the second quarter, junior wide receiver, Skylar Atkins (No. 19) caught a 44-yard West pass for a touchdown, bringing the score to 23-0, following a Thacker two-point-conversion.

With 10:58 remaining in the opening half, Alto was quickly establishing dominance in all three phases of the game, including offense, defense and special teams.

Alto had 421 yards of total offense, including 333 yards rushing and 88 yards through the air.

High led the Jackets in rushing, with 136 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns, a startling 15.11 yards-per-carry.

Senior back Isaiah Gaddis (No. 4) was second in rushing yards, with 63 yards on four carries, including a 58-yard touchdown run, for a yards-per-carry average of 15.75.

Atkings was third with two carries for 51 yards, including his 44-yard touchdown run.

Thacker carried the ball seven times for 48 yards and one touchdown.

Junior back Aaron Skinner (No. 9) carried the ball seven times 35 yards and one touchdown.

Following an interception in the second quarter, High ran 49 yards for a touchdown

With 8:50 remaining in the second inning, Alto expanded its lead, 29-0.

Before halftime, Alto added two more touchdowns:

With 4:42 remaining, Thacker took a West 10 yards for a score on a first-and-goal from the Hawkins 10 yard line to bring the score to 35-0; Alto; and with 2:32 left in the opening half, West rifled an 11-yard pass to sophomore Jay Polk (No. 22) for a touchdown, brining the score to 42-0; Alto.

Special recognition for the dominance in the game goes out to linemen on offense and defense including junior Josh Castillo (No. 78); and senior Tylon Jacks (No. 77), who seriously pushed the Hawkins line around throughout the game, making both offensive and defensive plays work.
With Alto so far ahead, referees elected to let the clock run throughout the second half, with the only score being Skinner’s (No. 9) seven-yard touchdown run with 11:40 remaining in the game.

Friday night, the Jackets will end the regular season, traveling to Union Grove, north of Gladewater. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.