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Sunday, May 1, 2016

No break on schedule for Cavemen

Thursday, November 6, 2008

THE WRIGHT WAY: Cave City's big defensive lineman, Alan Wright, wraps up Hoxie's Adam Madden Oct. 31. Photo/Mullins
There's only one way to find out what kind of a football team you've got -- take on the best teams in your conference and see how you stack up against them.

However, it's best if you don't try to do that all at once.

But thanks to the way the schedule worked out in 2008, Cave City has been wading through the top teams in the 3-3A all in a row, all in the last three weeks of the season.

And after losing to Harrisburg the previous week, the Cavemen fell to the Hoxie Mustangs 46-10 Oct. 31 on Senior Night in Cave City.

The Cavemen (3-6, 1-5) close the season this week at Earle (7-2, 4-2), also one of the top teams in the conference, while Hoxie (8-1, 5-1) will battle Harrisburg (9-0, 6-0) for the conference title next week.

And that should be some title game, especially the way the Mustangs and Hornets have been playing late in the season.

Against Cave City, Hoxie had its ground game tuned up and running, fueled by a trio of hard-running backs.

Cave City, too, has three outstanding backs in Tyler Engleman (11 carries, 78 yards), Chase Gorman (eight carries, 67) and Jeremy Johnson (six rushes, 20 yards), but this was just not to be their night.

The Mustangs took a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter, thanks to a 6-yard touchdown run from Brad Cook (47 yards rushing) at the 5:42 mark of the first. Cook also kicked the PAT to give Hoxie a 7-0 advantage.

Hoxie's next score came with 53 ticks left in the first when Mustang quarterback Clay Hart found Cody West for a 16-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone on fourth-and-13. Cook missed the extra-point, leaving the Mustangs with a 13-0 lead.

Cave City got on the board in the second period, using an 11-play drive to move deep into Hoxie territory. After a couple of Cave City quarterback Dalton Carpenter's (five-for-10, 62 yards) passes were dropped, he hit Oscar Calderon on third down with a pass that moved the ball to the Hoxie 12-yard line. That's where William Boyd lined up and kicked a 29-yard field goal at the 7:44 mark to get Cave City its first points of the night.

But Hoxie answered with a nine-play, 80-yard drive on its next series.

Houston Waldrupe (94 yards rushing) crossed the goal line from three yards out at the 4:15 mark to give Hoxie a 19-3 lead.

Then things got even worse for Cave City.

Seeing their next drive stall at their own 39-yard line with 45 seconds remaining until the half, Cave City punted the football to Hoxie.

And with 16 ticks left, Hart hit Adam Madden with a 62-yard touchdown pass that went right down the middle of the field, dashing Cave City's hopes of keeping things close in the first half. Cook's PAT missed, but the Mustangs took a big 25-3 lead to intermission.

The Cavemen tried an onside kick to open the second half, but Hoxie recovered the football and put together a seven-play, 53-yard scoring march.

Cook ran in from 16 yards out at the 9:43 mark to extend Hoxie's lead to 32-3.

And with a touch under three minutes left in the second, Hoxie's defense made a big play.

At their own 36, facing a fourth-and-14 and desperate for points, the Cavemen tried a fake punt. This didn't work out well at all, as the play resulted in a fumble. A fumble that Hoxie's big 6-3, 300-pound lineman, Derek Johnson, a player who next year has signed to play with Mack Brown and the University of Texas, picked up and ran back 30 yards for a touchdown. Cook's extra-point pushed the Mustangs in front 39-3 after three.

Cave City did stitch together a nice touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, moving 61 yards in nine plays. Engleman crashed in from five yards out on first-and-goal with 6:03 left in the contest for the Cavemen's lone TD. Boyd kicked the PAT to make the score Hoxie 39, Cave City 10.

But Hoxie wasn't quite finished.

Madden took the ensuing Cave City kickoff and ran it back 95 yards right up the center of the field for the Mustangs' last touchdown of the game, putting the wraps on Hoxie's 46-10 victory.

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