Phoenix can’t keep up in 2nd half

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS SATURDAY - By Alex Far­rer

— The Sono­rav­ille de­fense did their best to hold Dar­ling­ton off the scoreboard, but even­tu­ally the Tigers’ ef­fi­cient run­ning game broke through to lead them to a non-re­gion home vic­tory.

After a score­less first half, the Phoenix saw Dar­ling­ton punch in three touch­downs in the fi­nal two quar­ters, all from run­ning back Kolin Rogers to send Sono­rav­ille to a 20-0 road loss.

Rogers racked up 94 yards to lead the Tigers (3-0) in rush­ing, and 67 of those yards came in the sec­ond half. After an un­suc­cess­ful open­ing pos­ses­sion of the third quar­ter for Sono­rav­ille (1-1), a short punt set up Dar­ling­ton with the ball at the Phoenix 20. A few plays later, Rogers put his team ahead with a nine-yard touch­down run early in the third quar­ter.

Sono­rav­ille’s Blade Bryant re­turned the en­su­ing kick­off for 78 yards to the Dar­ling­ton 20 to re­gain some mo­men­tum for his team, but the chance to get back even or cut into the lead wasn’t to be as a short field goal sailed wide right. It was one of three un­suc­cess­ful field goal at­tempts on the night for the Phoenix.

The Tigers added to their lead in the fourth quar­ter with an ef­fi­cient drive that was punc­tu­ated with a 13-yard touch­down run by Rogers, and then they put the game com­pletely away with an eight­yard TD scam­per by Rogers with 3:11 to play in the ball­game. Alex Lid­dle made 2-of-3 of his ex­tra points on the night for Dar­ling­ton.

The Phoenix strug­gled to get any­thing con­sis­tent go­ing on of­fense for much of the night as they were held to a mod­est night in the yardage de­part­ment. Colton White­head led the rush­ing to­tals with 28 yards, and Tre Wil­liams added 15. Sopho­more quar­ter­back Cole God­frey threw for 47 yards on 7-of-13 pass­ing.

It was a de­fen­sive bat­tle in the first half as nei­ther team dented the scoreboard. Sono­rav­ille had a cou­ple field goal chances that went un­suc­cess­ful from 45 yards and 29 yards.

On the first at­tempt, Dar­ling­ton blocked the kick and ap­peared to be tak­ing the re­cov­ery back for a touch­down, but the play was blown dead on an in­ad­ver­tent whis­tle. The rule forced a re­play­ing of the down, and on the sec­ond at­tempt the kick fell short.

Sono­rav­ille put to­gether their best drive mid­way through the sec­ond quar­ter as they con­verted a fourth down to the Dar­ling­ton 13 yard line, but the drive stalled on a hold­ing penalty. The sec­ond field goal at­tempt hit off the up­right and fell short to give the Tigers back the ball.

Sono­rav­ille’s de­fense kept Dar­ling­ton in check for the en­tire first half as the host Tigers only crossed mid­field once and that drive was quickly stopped when the Phoenix de­fense re­cov­ered a fum­ble courtesy of Case Collins at his own 49.

The Phoenix jump into 6-AAA play next Fri­day when they travel to take on ri­val Cal­houn at Phil Reeve Sta­dium at 7:30 p.m.

MATTHEW McCON­NELL / For the Cal­houn Times

Sono­rav­ille’s Tre Wil­liams (15) tries to break away from mul­ti­ple Dar­ling­ton de­fend­ers in the first half on Fri­day.

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