The Hornets ran their record to 4-0 after a convincing, 37-8 win over Edmonson County at Brownsville Friday.
It didn’t take long for Hancock County to establish dominance over the Wildcats as Logan Willis ran 61 yards for a touchdown on the first offensive play of the game. The Hornets’ offensive line created a hole on the left side and the junior fullback sprinted through it then out raced the defense to the end zone. Noah Mize converted the 2-point try and HCHS led 8-0.
“We scored on that first play and we rolled from there,” HCHS coach Bobby Eubanks said. “Willis had another good night running behind our line.”
The Hornets got the ball back after the defense forced the Wildcats to punt and Willis got the call again. This time Willis had to break five tackles on his was to the goal line and he made it look easy. A 20-yard TD run followed by a successful conversion run by Kaleb Keown and the Hornets led 16-0 two minutes into the game.
Aiden Weatherholt and Christian Richards dropped the Wildcats quarterback for a big loss on Edmonson’s next possession and Alex Basham forced the home team into a punting situation when he sacked the QB.
“Alex was all over the field defensively,” Eubanks said.
Edmonson kept the ball through the remained of the first quarter but never threatened to score.
The Hancock offense took over early in the second and Willis and Cole Dixon each ran for a first down to inside Wildcats territory. Edmonson stepped up defensively when they sacked Dixon on third down, but the junior QB answered by completing a long pass on fourth down. Keown made the grab to give Hancock a first–and– goal and Dixon pushed the ball over for a one-yard TD. Mize added two points and the score was 24-0 with just over seven minutes left in the half.
The Hornets defense did the job again and a big play by Jake Frames forced the Wildcats to punt the ball away. A shanked kick gave Hancock County possession at the visitor’s 23 yard line.
A few plays later Willis reached paydirt for the third time. The bruiser took a handoff running left and after some nice blocks he ran untouched into the end zone from 21 yards out. The Hornets now led by a score of 30-0 with 3:40 remaining in the second period.
The Hornets final TD of the game came on a spectacular defensive play just before halftime. Aiden Embry broke through the line and drilled the Wildcats quarterback. The QB looked to have thrown the ball into the ground but the officials called it a free ball and Braydon Wathen scooped it up and ran in for a 25-yard return TD. Austin Volocko kicked the extra point to make the score 37-0.
The second half flew by due to the running clock rule.
Whenever one team is ahead by 36 points or more the clock runs continuously except during timeouts.
Edmonson’s lone TD came in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Michael Mills. The sophomore added the 2-point conversion to give his team its first points of the season.
“I would have liked to have seen us play a little sharper in the second half, but our defense played great and we got the win,” the coach said.
Willis led in rushing with 177 yards on 17 carries. That effort gave Willis 705 rushing yards for the season which ranks him first in the state among all Class 2A players. Willis ranks fifth in scoring with an average of 14.5 points scored per game. Dixon gained six yards on five carries and Mize ran three times for four yards.
Dixon completed 1 of 3 pass attempts for 33 yards. Keown made the catch.
Weatherholt and Jack Duncan shared the lead with 11 tackles each. They each had one tackle for loss while Weatherholt had two quarterback sacks to one for Duncan. Basham had eight stops with three TFLs and one sack, and Christian Richards had six stops and one sack. Wathen had six tackles and the fumble recovery for TD, Volocko made four tackles, Embry had three and one sack, Evan Ferry, Mize and Colin Johnson all had two tackles each, and Drew Lyday, Landyn Emmick and Frames (sack) all had one stop each.
By Steve Wimmer