The Halifax County Middle School football team got its season started on the right foot Wednesday with a 46-14 win over Laurel Park Middle School at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium.
“The young men gave me exactly what I asked for and that was perfect effort,” said Lions head coach LeVar Medley.
“I let them know we are not going to do everything right, but if we play with perfect effort, when can clean up the rest of the stuff.”
Halifax County Middle School wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard as the Lions scored on their first offensive possession of the game with quarterback Atavion Mabins connecting with Jesse Powell on a 60-yard pass play for a touchdown.
Laurel Park Middle School answered by returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown with 6:34 left in the first quarter and deadlocked the game at 8-8. Halifax County Middle School didn’t let the game stay tied very long.
The Lions answered on their next offensive possession with Mabins hitting Kanya Caddle on a 52-yard pass play for a touchdown. Brandon Scott ran for the two-point conversion to put the Lions up 16-8 with 5:02 left in the opening quarter.
Halifax County Middle School’s defensive unit followed with a quick score as the Lions’ Josh Miller intercepted a pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown with 3:51 left in the first quarter. Miller added the two-point conversion to extend the Lions’ lead to 24-8.
After the Lions’ defense backed Laurel Park Middle School toward its own end zone, Laurel Park Middle School intentionally took a safety, giving the Lions a 26-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Halifax County Middle School extended its lead in the second quarter when Malachi Bunker scored on a 23-yard run with 2:52 left in the first half. The two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the Lions with a 32-8 lead.
The Lions added another score before the first half ended, with Mabins connecting with Caddle for a touchdown for the second time in the game, this time on a 25-yard pass across the middle of the field. An attempted two-point conversion failed, but the Lions led 38-8 with 1:55 left in the first half.
Holding the big lead, Halifax County Middle School was content to keep the ball on the ground in the second half with Miller handling most of the running. Miller gave the Lions their last score of the game by capping an eight-play drive on a 20-yard run for a touchdown.
“He showed great determination on the drive by breaking tackles and not going down on first contact,” Medley noted.
Laurel Park Middle School scored a touchdown in the second half, but it was far too little to late as the Lions easily hung on for the win.