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Hurricanes win exhibition 21-15
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Center Khaalid Muhammad II watches as Aaron Randolph breaks through the blocks during Tuesday evening’s practice. The Hurricanes won their first exhibition game 21-15 against the Beaufort Broncos. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
The Hinesville Hurricanes played their fist preseason game  May 19 in Beaufort, S.C., against the Beaufort Broncos in a game benefiting the Lowcountry Food Bank.
The food bank benefitted from donations of canned and non-perishable food. The Hurricanes benefited with a 21-15 win over the Broncos.
According to Hurricanes coach Michael “Ice” Jones, there was a miscommunication and when the game was ready to start, only 16 of the Hurricanes were there and ready to go. Seven were still on the highway trying to get there.
“For most of the first quarter, we played ironman. We had just enough players to start the game and play defense,” Jones said.  “Within two to three plays, they were able to score and they thought we would be easy to beat.”
The Broncos did take the early lead with a 3-yard touchdown run by Brandon Lindo. The run was set up by a 54-yard slant pass to Lee Jones. The Broncos missed the extra point, but on the next possession, a turnover deep in the Broncos’ territory allowed them to take the lead with a field goal, making it 9-0.
As the rest of the Hurricane squad arrived and dressed, the tempo and the momentum changed. And it was all Hurricanes.
The Hurricane defense tightened the reigns and the Broncos’ quarterback Rickey Rinehardt felt the pressure. With less than two minutes left in the half, David Pendergrass intercepted a Rinehardt pass. Rinehardt would end the game with six interceptions.
Former Bradwell Institute standout fullback Joseph Matavao quickly took advantage of the field position and ran the ball in for 11 yards for the Hurricanes’ first touchdown
Matavao ran the ball 13 times throughout the game for the Hurricanes, dominating the Broncos’ defense.
The third quarter had turnovers from both teams, but the Hurricanes capitalizing on the situation. Timothy Sapp intercepted the ball twice, taking one of them in for a  50-yard touchdown. Jamie Sharp took another interception to the Broncos’ 1-yard line. On the next play, he plowed over the Bronco defense for the score, making it 21-9.
The fourth quarter was tense as the Broncos tried their comeback and Rinehardt connected for two passes, getting down to the Hurricanes’ 1-yard line. A quarterback sneak by the Broncos brought the game to 21-15, with ten seconds left on the clock.
“During the last four minutes, the team was feeling a little fatigued and they were able to score on us, but our guys held on for the win,” Jones said.
Matavao clinched the win for the Canes, grabbing the onside kick to end the game.
The exhibition game proved valuable for the players and coaches. Jones wasted no time evaluating the plays that worked and those that didn’t during Tuesday evening’s practice.
Jones explained what he hopes to learn from Saturday’s experience: “More execution, responsibility, know their assignments and come out victorious, is what we need to work on and maintain as we look forward to the next couple of games. If everyone plays their part, I think we can be 8-2 this season.”
The Hurricanes travel to Charleston, S.C., for the next preseason game at 7 p.m. on June 2.  Admission is $6 and children under 12 are admitted free. For more information, visit
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