Hayti football team overtakes St. Vincent in second half

Friday, October 26, 2012
St. Vincent’s Levi Gotto stiff-arms Hayti’s Karnard Humes during the first quarter of their Class 1 District 1 game Thursday in Perryville, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Hayti finished strong for a 20-14 come-from-behind victory over St. Vincent in a Class 1 District 1 elimination game on Thursday.

St. Vincent, the No. 4 seed, saw its playoff hopes dashed as No. 5 Hayti scored two second-half touchdowns to overcome a 14-6 deficit.

"It was a heckuva game," Hayti coach Justin Peden said. "St Vincent came ready to play. The first half we struggled a little bit, then we came out and made some adjustments defensively and came away with the win."

St. Vincent struck first on a 1-yard sweep by Levi Gotto for a 7-0 lead with 1 minute, 36 seconds left in the first quarter.

With 4:20 left in the first half, Hayti capped a 59-yard drive when speedster Karnard Humes sprinted around right end for a 5-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Hayti’s Maurion Newbill tries to break away from St. Vincent defenders Trenton Gremaud, left, Zac Heberlie and Lucas Janet during the second quarter of their Class 1 District 1 first-round game Thursday in Perryville, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

St. Vincent came back with a quick score on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Trent Elder to wideout Trenton Gremaud to take a 14-6 halftime lead.

"That's the way it's been all season," St. Vincent coach Paul Sauer said. "We play well for one half, then there in the second half, we just couldn't get anything going."

Hayti's offense began to click In the second half, with Humes breaking several long runs including a 41-yard jaunt for a touchdown with 2:11 left in the third period.

Humes finished with 132 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving.

"Karnard's a great athlete," Peden said. "He was our quarterback and we moved him to receiver to give him a chance to get the ball in space and make some moves. When you've got speed like that, you've got to use it. When he gets out there in the open field, it's hard to take him down."

St. Vincent, clinging to a 14-12 lead, saw its offense dry up in the second half, which was played in a driving rain for the most part.

Following a touchback on a St. Vincent punt, Hayti put together an 80-yard drive for the game-winning score.

Hayti marched downfield with relative ease, with

Humes contributing an electrifying 45-yard run and backfield mate Demetrius Luster rushing for solid gains.

"It's tough when you know what's coming and you

can't stop it," Sauer said. "I told the kids at halftime that the Humes kid was going to get his touches and we had to keep an eye on him. We knew what was coming; we just couldn't stop it."

If not for a botched interception attempt, it still could have been St.Vincent's night.

With the ball at the St. Vincent 19, a Hayti pass bounced off the hands of an Indian defender into the waiting arms of Humes, who rambled into the end zone for the decisive touchdown.

The closeness of the score was reflected in the total offense statistics. Hayti outgained St. Vincent 261 yards to 215.

St. Vincent (5-5) played without junior tailback Alex

Winkler, the Indians top offensive threat and defensive player. Winkler suffered a knee injury in a Week 9 loss to Jefferson.

"You hate to lose an athlete of his caliber," Sauer said. "He did a lot for us - offensively, defensively and special teams. Whether it would have made a difference, I don't know. We had tremendous effort all around. Our seniors are a great group and they moved our program in the right direction."

Hayti (4-5) advances to the district semifinals, where it will play top-seeded Portageville on Wednesday.

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