The Hamburg Lion football team brought home another win after traveling to West Helena to play Central last Friday.

 The Lions beat the Cougars 47-12 with five of those touchdowns scored by Nick McNeil who had 10 receptions thrown by quarterback Brett Rice for 323 yards. Rice threw 15 for 19 with 384 total passing yards. Coach Cecil Ray Cossey said those are the best statistics from a quarterback and wide receiver during his time at Hamburg. “Those are incredible numbers,” Cossey said.

The Lions dominated the night from start to finish, but Cossey said that they faced some of the best players in the conference.

The Cougars are down on numbers this year, but Cossey said they still have some of the best players in the conference. “Coach Smith does a great job up there and runs a classy program,” Cossey said. “Their defensive tackle, No. 43 was incredible and he was without a doubt the best defensive lineman that we have seen in my 7 years at Hamburg,” Cossey said.

The Lions have worked hard and continued to make improvements, but Cossey said he knows they still aren’t playing their best football. Specifically, Cossey said the front seven on defense has to continue to improve.

“I feel like we have one more major step of improvement to make before we are playing our best,” he said. “We saw flashes of improvement against Helena, but we must be able to run fit properly every single play and as a defense, we are not there yet,” Cossey said. On the offensive side of the ball Cossey said he wants to see his team be able to run and pass in the same night. “We have scored a lot of points these past few weeks, but we will need to be more balanced in order to win the big games moving forward,” Cossey said.

Though the season has been anything but normal, Cossey said he believes his team is slowly starting to get on track. “We finally feel like we are back on track to where we would be in a ‘normal’ season,” he said. There have been multiple cancellations and schedule changes and more are expected. Hamburg is one of the few schools that have been able to play six games. “It has been tough at times, but our coaches and players have remained diligent following the guidelines, and it is really starting to pay off,” Cossey said. “When you consider what other teams and schools are going through right now, I am very proud of how our program and school district have put safety first and followed the guidelines,” Cossey said.

The Ashley Bowl that was scheduled for Friday in Hamburg was canceled by Crossett. “I hate that for our teams, and I hate that for all of Ashley County,” he said. “Hamburg-Crossett week is a week everyone looks forward to, and for the first time in a long time, we will all miss out on that this year,” he said. In previous weeks, Cossey has found replacement game, but he said he isn’t planning to schedule a non-conference game in its place. “Unlike previous weeks when we scheduled non-conference games, we are going to play it slow this week and be ready if a conference game should happen to come open,” Cossey said.

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