Haynes Academy showed an ability to strike quickly and be patient in a 27-14 victory at Pearl River.
It took the Yellow Jackets just two plays to move 86 yards on its first possession. The Yellow Jackets amassed 287 yards total offense.
Quarterback Charlie Magaw hit Blayde Bott for a 76-yard gain on the first play to the Rebels 10 before Malike Bailey went up the middle for the score. Janny Meza added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
“The coaches had a great game plan coming in, and we were able to execute it and not make that many mistakes,” Magaw said. “We still have to keep working hard in practice to keep getting better.”
Haynes Academy (4-1) also displayed the ability to make Pearl River (3-2) pay for mistakes. On the ensuing drive, the Rebels fumbled on the fourth play of their first possession, and the Yellow Jackets capitalized by marching 55 yards on 10 plays, with Magaw running in from the 1 to push the lead to 14-0 with less than five minutes in the first quarter.
“I think we put together a solid plan, trying to mix the run and pass,” Haynes Academy coach Paul Longo said. “We saw a few things in film we tried to capitalize on, and the kids worked hard all week. We tried to play mistake-free as best as we could.”
The first half was a model of efficiency for the Yellow Jackets on both sides of the ball. On defense they turned a pair of Pearl River fumbles into scoring drives. Also, the Rebels crossed midfield once in five first-half possessions.
Magaw helped the Yellow Jackets on another score just before the end of the first half when he hit Bott for a 16-yard score with two minutes left for a 21-0 lead.
“We talk about being a smash-mouth team, and Haynes came out, more physical than we were,” Pearl River coach Mike LaBourdette said. “They whipped us up front on both sides of the ball. There’s no excuses, and I told my team that.”
The Rebels took LaBourdette’s message to heart in the second half, not allowing the Yellow Jackets offense in the end zone, although they did return an interception for a touchdown.
Pearl River avoided the shutout with less than six minutes to play, when Jace Littleton completed a 10-play, 76-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. A minute later, Kenny Stewart scored from 5 yards out, cutting the Haynes lead to 27-14. But, that was as close as they would get.
“We weren’t getting off of our blocks in the first half and playing like we were capable of playing,” Littleton said. “In the second half, we did better.”