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'Canes lose to reigning champs
James Sharp III (51) looks down at a Prime player after he and his teammates knocked him to the ground. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon


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The Hinesville Hurricanes suffered a devastating loss to their division rivals, the Atlanta Prime, in the regular season home opener at Lewis Frasier Middle School Saturday night.
The game was a “wake up call”for the players, head coach James Sharp said. The local team fell to the two-time reigning champions, 38-0.
“They are the defending champions and they came out with big bodies. It was a wake up call and we are going to change up some of our strategies,” Sharp said.
At the start of the first quarter, the Hurricanes turned the ball over on downs giving the Prime good field position. The Prime moved the ball and on fourth down it appeared the Hurricanes had stopped the Prime short of the first down. But the official spotted the ball and the Prime gained a new series of downs, much to the dismay of the fans and the coaches.
The ’Canes defense held strong and Sumpter Ramsey broke up a possible touchdown pass on the Prime’s third down attempt. The defense was able to keep the Prime out of the end zone for the entire first quarter.
However, the Prime had the ball deep in Canes territory for the start of the second quarter and on second down, they took the ball in for a score. The Prime then completed a two-point conversion making it an 8-0 game.
The Hurricanes offense struggled with the deep throws forcing a few interceptions, and the Prime took advantage by maintaining good field position throughout most of the game.
“We couldn’t get the good field position like we wanted to. We held them the whole first quarter, but after that we made some mistakes and they had great field position,” Sharp said.
Timothy Sapp made a touchdown saving tackle on the 22-yard line, but the Prime scored on the next play. Ramsey broke up two more passes that would have been scores, but despite the impeccable performance by the defense and a blocked extra point, the Prime was up 26-0 to end the half.
The Hurricanes never stopped trying and many players played on both offense and defense. The offense began to open up the running game in the fourth quarter led by Joseph Matavao, with several runs going right up the middle of the Prime defense who was showing signs of fatigue.
In the end it was not enough to overpower the reigning champions who claimed their first win of the regular season (38-0).
“I’m not too concerned about this first loss. We will tighten up and be all right for the next one,” Sharp said.
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