Even after a 4th of July break and a string of road games, the strength of the Hinesville Hurricanes hasn’t diminished to tropical storm status. The ’Canes maintained their intensity and blew away the Low Country Assassins, 11-0, on Saturday night at Long Bell Stadium.
Both teams battled through the first quarter when defense set the tone and the squads remained scoreless. The ’Canes first touchdown came in the second quarter when Frank Troup connected on a 35-yard pass to Kentarius Carlisle. Cedric Lovejoy made the 2-point conversion to put the ’Canes up 8-0.
Just before the close of the first half, the Assassins made an offensive drive that was cut short by a Marcus Simpson interception. That set up an Ed Smith field goal to close the half with the ’Canes up 11-0.
Simpson came back in the third quarter with another interception but the play was called back on an interference call. On the next ’Cane offensive drive Tracey Lewis broke free on a 30-yard-run but was called back for holding. The Assassins took over on downs but were also plagued by a series of false starts and penalties, negating their 40-yard gain.
In the fourth quarter the Assassins’ quarterback began to scramble and find the open man as the ’Canes defense shifted its coverage. However, fatigue and the game clock ran its course on the Assassins who let the clock run with less than 30 seconds and called the game.
The Hurricanes improved to 5-1. They’ll travel to Myrtle Beach on Saturday to play the South Carolina Predators.
Offensive coordinator Bobby Hawes will look to cement the blocking up front, which was plagued by gaps in coverage, essentially shutting down the ’Canes running backs. The ’Canes defense, made strong by the new 5-2 program put in place by defensive coordinator Jade Richards, will have to keep it together without their new coach, who said he is stepping aside.
"I wish the guys the best and I really appreciate all their hard work," Richards said. "I hope they stay focused and make it all the way to the championships."
He said he was proud of the players’ accomplishments this season.
Richards’ defense has helped the ’Canes hold their opponents to a mere 45 points this season, improving their record to 5-1, reversing their 2-5 regular season record from last year. The offense, under coach Bobby Hawes, has scored 205 points and the squad remains in first place in the Southeast division of the Southeastern American league.
Saturday’s game in Myrtle Beach is at 7 p.m.