By Zac Carlisle
For the Monroe Journal
HATLEY – With division play in full swing, the Hatley Tigers (2-5) faced a tough opponent in week eight with the Baldwyn Bearcats. The Bearcats handed the Tigers their fifth loss of the year after a 58-7 win.
With the hopes of making the playoffs, the Tigers are still searching for a pair of Division 1-2A wins to make it.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Baldwyn came out running, which is the biggest strength of their offense. It only took them three plays to reach the end zone after running back Tyran Shinault ran for a three-yard touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, a Hatley fumble gave Baldwyn the ball deep in the Tigers' territory. After Baldwyn retained an offensive fumble, quarterback Corbin Scott found Shinault for a 17-yard TD pass.
The next Hatley possession led to an interception after an errant Jonathan Waycaster throw, which put Baldwyn deep into Hatley territory again. Following a six-yard touchdown pass, the Bearcats led 21-0 after only five minutes into the first quarter.
The first half for the Tigers was a routine of difficult situations after being pinned by Baldwyn touchbacks.
Going into halftime, the Bearcats held a 44-0 lead.
Coming into the second half, the Tigers’ mentality appeared to be different and their play more physical.
After a couple more Baldwyn touchdowns, Hatley produced a long drive into Baldwyn territory. The drive was a series of tough runs by the Tigers’ running backs. Hatley was finally able to get into the end zone after a three-yard Deion Hampton run.
“I thought we ran the ball extremely hard tonight,” Hatley head coach Patrick Schoolar said.
Baldwyn managed to be too much for the Tigers resulting in a 58-7 final score. The Bearcats’ running backs were able to produce long runs, and their defense was able to stop plays in the backfield.
“We got out-played and out-coached by a better football team,” Schoolar said. “I thought our guys didn’t quit. They had a chance to quit at halftime, but they didn’t. It shows character and how much they have matured.”
The next couple of games for Hatley will prove to be important if they want to make the playoffs. Next week, the Tigers travel to Mantachie to face the 5-3 Mustangs.