It was only fitting that coach Justin Conyers was surrounded by his family and what felt like nearly the entire Hallsville community when the bleachers emptied to celebrate his team’s district title win Friday.

Hallsville’s first-year coach left Battle after a strong six seasons in Columbia to be closer to his family and the Hallsville community. He’s already completely turned the Indians’ program around.

“To be able to bring a district title to this town, to this football team and this community that we have is simply amazing,” Conyers said.

Given that Hallsville went 3-7 and lost in the first round of the postseason last year, it is amazing.

Conyers and his players laud the brotherhood feel that he’s built in the locker room, but perhaps the most notable difference is what his football acumen has done for the team.

Christian High School, the loser of Friday night’s game by a 40-27 score, had athletes up and down the field. The Eagles’ corners were big and physical, their quarterback was a true dual-threat and they had size on their lines.Yet, Hallsville’s commitment to the run game and late-game execution allowed the Indians to pull away.

Hallsville only threw the ball twice all night. For a team that runs a run-pass-option and looks to get receivers the ball in space often, the Indians proved that they could adjust to a different style of game and grind out a win—the mark of a solid, well-coached team.

“Our offensive scheme is unstoppable, to be honest,” senior running back and linebacker Cooper Crane said after his two-touchdown performance that included a game-sealing interception as a cherry-on-top.

“Our head coach Justin Conyers — I’m so thankful for him. He’s everything for us.”

{p class=”p1”}Crane said he is 10 times more confident going into games this season, largely because of Conyer’s game plans and ability to prepare the team.

While teams are usually left scratching their heads, frustrated as a result of having to defend the versatility of an RPO offense, Friday night was won entirely in the trenches.

Even when Christian tied the game at 14 with an interception on the first drive of the second half, Hallsville didn’t panic and kept feeding the ball to Crane and fellow senior running back Mason Huskey. The Indians offensive line made key blocks all night and eventually the dam broke.

Huskey and Crane both made players miss near the line and zoomed past the second level of the defense time after time in the second half. Huskey finished with four touchdowns, and the fire-and-lightning duo were too much for the Eagles to handle.

On the Eagles’ final attempt to mount a comeback, Crane jumped a route over the middle of the field and picked off Eagles’ quarterback Kaden McMullen to seal the victory, fittingly.

The Indians are deservedly elated after winning a district title to cap off a decade in which playoff wins were sparse, but Conyers said he believes that the team has established itself as a real threat to go even further.

With all Conyers has accomplished already in his first season, it would be hard to bet against him. The Indians take on 11-1 Class 2 District champion Clark County at 7 p.m. Friday at home.

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