The Hinesville Hurricanes posted a 36-0 win against the Tri-City Panthers Saturday night at Long Bell Stadium.
Despite the shutout, it didn’t start out a typical Hurricane romp.
After a lackadaisical first quarter the Hurricanes struggled on both sides of the ball. The Hurricanes fumbled twice and had trouble stopping Tri-County’s inside running game. Coach James Sharp called time out and summoned his defense to the sidelines.
“We can’t play with an attitude out here tonight. If a coach or teammate tells you something they are trying to help you. Play how you are coached to play, that’s all we have to do. We have to get more focused on both sides of the ball and play Hurricane football,” Sharp said.
The Hurricanes responded with quarterback Frank Troup connecting with receiver Charles Crossley for a 45-yard pass late in the first quarter.
Crossley rumbled in from 7 yards out for the Hurricanes first touchdown. Joe Matavo exploded into the end zone for the two-point play to give Hinesville an 8-0 lead.
Midway through the second quarter the Hurricanes defense held. Nose guard James Sharp III pummeled the Panther center, disrupting Tri-County’s running game.
Tri-County turned the ball over on downs giving the ’Canes superb field position. Troup hit Jarvis Taylor streaking down the opposite sideline with a 45-yard pass for the Hurricanes’ second touchdown of the quarter.
Tri-County got the ball on the kickoff, but fumbled deep in Hurricane territory on the first play of the series. Matavo found pay dirt from 10 yards out for the Hurricanes third touchdown of the second quarter.
Hinesville took a 22-0 lead into the half and never looked back. The ’Canes added scores from Dorian Gray and Kendrick Badger in the second half.
Defensively, the Hurricanes still have not allowed any team to score on them at home.
“It took us the entire first quarter to get in the end zone but we eventually got things going. We had to get them cobwebs off because we don’t practice regularly and we had been off for a couple of weeks. Once we got rolling though, we started to play like we normally do,” Troup said.
Hinesville is scheduled to travel to Darlington, S.C., Saturday to play the second game between the teams this season.
The Hurricanes defeated Darlington 44-0 on July 31 in Hinesville.