Simpson loses to Hartfield 31-14
The Simpson Cougars faced off with Hartfield Academy Friday night in Flowood.
Hartfield kicked off to Simpson to open the game. The Cougars went on a 17 play drive that stalled out on the Hartfield 17 yard line. The Simpson defense forced a three and out and a Hartfield punt. The Cougars took over at their own 27 yard line and drove 73 yards in 13 plays capped off by a Caleb Garner 5 yard touchdown run. Michael Winstead added the 2-point conversion run and with 7:53 left in the half Simpson led 8-0.
The Cougar defense forced another three and out and a Hartfield punt that Simpson could not handle, and Hartfield recovered on the Simpson 16 yard line. Hartfield scored in three plays when Cruz Garner connected with Erick Short from 6 yards out. Weston Adcock’s PAT was good and with 4:12 to go in the half Simpson led 8-7. The Cougars took seven plays to drive 55 yards capped off by a Caleb Garner 6 yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion run was no good and with 50 seconds to go in the half Simpson led 14-7. Hartfield missed a 45 yard field goal as time expired in the half.
Simpson kicked to Hartfield to start the second half. Hartfield needed only three plays to score capped off by a Cruz Garner to Erick Short 53 yard touchdown pass. Weston Adcock tacked on the PAT and with 10:42 to go in the third quarter, the score was tied 14 to 14. The Cougars had a three and out and were forced to punt. Hartfield drove 63 yards in seven plays capped off by a Cruz Garner to Jake Jesiolowski 33 yard touchdown pass. Weston Adcock added the PAT and with 5:47 left in the third quarter Hartfield led 21-14. Simpson’s next drive resulted in a fumble recovered by Hartfield at their 44 yard line. The Hawks drove 56 yards in six plays and scored on a Cruz Garner 40 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Buckhalter. Weston Adcock added the PAT and with 48 seconds to go in the third quarter Hartfield increased its lead to 28-14. Simpson’s next possession resulted in a turnover on downs at the Hartfield 39 yard line. Hartfield drove 14 plays down to the Simpson 15 yard line before the drive stalled. Weston Adcock kicked a 32 yard field goal with 1:54 left in the game to increase Hartfield’s lead to 31-14. Simpson turned the ball over on downs, and Hartfield kneeled twice to end the game. Final score was Hartfield 31 Simpson 14.
The loss dropped Simpson’s record to 1-1 in district play and 3-2 on the season. The Cougars were led offensively in the rushing game by Caleb Garner with 21 carries for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns and Michael Winstead 21 carries for 108 yards and a two point conversion run. The Cougars were led on defense by Andrew Smith with 12 total tackles, Caden Coulson 10 total tackles, and Caleb Garner 9 total tackles. Getting a sack or tackle for loss were Andrew Smith 2, Caden Coulson 1, and Barrett Thompson 1.
In team stats Simpson had 244 yards of total offense, 244 rushing yards, and picked up 17 first downs. Hartfield had 297 yards of total offense, 145 rushing yards, 152 passing yards, and picked up 14 first downs. Simpson will host Lamar School from Meridian on Friday, Sept. 27, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. This will be the 25th meeting between Simpson and Lamar. Simpson holds a 16-8 series lead and lost last year 38-30 in the regular season and 34-20 in the State Championship game.
The Junior High Cougars defeated Park Place Christian Academy 46-8. The JH Cougars will host Hartfield Academy on Thursday, Sept. 26, with the 7th and 8th grade playing a fifth quarter at 5:30 p.m. followed by the 8th and 9th grade game.