The Stephens County Indian football team drops its first game of the 2013 season.
Hart County jumped on top early and used a big game from quarterback Dakota Mitchell to defeat the Indians 26-7 Friday at the Reservation.
Stephens County Head Coach Travis Noland said Hart County played well and earned the win, but the game gives the Indians a chance to improve.
“I have said all along I love this football team,” said Noland. “They are tough kids. They work extremely hard and they have great character and I think that shows in how they play. I think a lot of our youth and mistakes we made tonight showed some in some of those critical moments. I challenged them in the locker room that if they take responsibility for what they are responsible for, we will take responsibility for we are responsible for as coaches to get some things fixed. I still think we will have a good season.”
Mitchell threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Sean Harper on the Bulldogs’ first offensive play from scrimmage and added touchdown runs of 6 and 65 yards later in the game to carry the Hart County offense.
Jai Brown scored the lone Indian touchdown on a two-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Down 19-7 in the fourth quarter, the Indians had the ball inside the Hart County 20-yard line with a first down after the Bulldogs had a bad snap on fourth-and-inches, but turned it over on downs.
Two plays later, K.J. Moore scored on an 85-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs their final margin of victory.
Sapario Reese and Jai Brown each had about 80 rushing yards to lead the Indians.
The loss drops Stephens County to 2-1 on the year, while Hart County moves to 3-0 with the win.
Next week, Stephens County enters Region 8-AAAA play with a road trip to Walnut Grove.
Arby’s Player of the Game: Jai Brown
Hart EMC Lineman of the Game: Dustin Bivins
Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic Sub of the Game: Zeb Noland
First Baptist Church Spirit Award: Tyrik Combs