Even with all the homecoming festivities on Friday, the Hamburg High School football players did not let that distract them from getting a big win over Monticello that evening.

“They enjoyed the Homecoming ceremonies and made a lot of great memories, but they were never distracted from the task at hand,” Coach Cecil Ray Cossey said.

“It was a great way to start the conference season, especially considering that Monticello came in hot right after a convincing 30-13 win at Star City last week.”

The game started strong when Jamal Brewer returned the very first kick off of the game for a Lion touchdown, but it was called back due to penalty. The setback didn’t stop the Lions or keep them from getting on the board in their opening possession.

The Lions scored first, making the score 7-0. The Billies answered with a touchdown but missed the extra point.

When the Billies kicked back off, the Lions returned it for a touchdown and extra point, making the score 14-6.

The Lions went into the half with a 21-6 lead. Cossey said that the coaches spent half time reminding the players to not get too comfortable and there was a whole half of football left to play.

“We talked nearly all halftime urging our guys to not relax and to be ready to withstand a push from Monticello,” he said. 

After the half, Monticello made two great plays closing the gap.  

“The score was 27-20 before we knew it,” Cossey said.

That’s when strategy and practice came into the game

“Facing a 3rd and 21, we called a trick play that we’ve been working on for weeks, a double pass,” he said. 

Quarterback Brett Rice passed to Nick McNeil and then to Jamal Brewer for a 56-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 34-20. 

“We never looked back after that big time play by those three,” Cossey said. 

The Lions finished strong with a 46-20 win over the Monticello Billies.

Armodd Taylor turned in another strong performance at running back with 27 carries for 135 yards and five touchdowns. Gavin Harrod and Bruin Barnes paced the defense with double digit tackles each. Brewer continued his streak with another interception, which he returned for a touchdown, but it was also called back due to penalty.

The Lions are currently looking for an opponent to play this week as the Star City game that was on the schedule has been canceled. Cossey said there are no other opponents in their conference open at this time.

“With all the uncertainty on scheduling and preparation, we must focus on what we can control. And, we must get better every single day,” Cossey said.

The Lions are currently scheduled to travel to West Helena on Oct. 16 to play Central. They are also scheduled to host the Ashley Bowl against Crossett on Oct. 23.

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