The Hornets dominated on both sides of the ball during a 37-0 victory over the Ohio County Eagles last Friday at Hartford. Hancock County improved its season record to 3-0 with the win. Hornet quarterback Dylan Morris came of age during the game as the junior signal caller threw three touchdown passes.
“Dylan had a career night. Our offense exploded onto the scene and we’re hoping to keep that momentum going,” HCHS coach Bobby Eubanks said.
The game began with the home team accepting the opening kickoff and driving the ball down the field with multiple first downs. The Eagles’ Luke Barton nearly scored before a fumble was recovered at the two yard line by Aiden Weatherholt.
The HCHS offense was unable to move the ball and Christian Yanez was forced to punt from his own end zone. Ohio County took over at the Hornet 39 yard line but the Hancock defense stepped up and forced a turnover on downs. That was about it for the Eagle offense.
The Hornet offense began to work its aerial attack in the second quarter when Morris connected with Landen Garrison for a nice gain into Eagle territory. Morris was in shotgun formation when he found Cooper Jones on a back shoulder pass that resulted in a 39-yard touchdown catch down the right sidelines. Aiden Thrasher scored the 2-point conversion.
Wyatt Emmick dropped the QB for a big loss on Ohio County’s next possession and the two teams went to the locker rooms with Hancock County leading 8-0 at halftime. The Hornets received the ball to begin the second half and two plays later they faced a third-and-16 from their own 26 yard line.
Morris threw deep to Yanez and the freshman made the catch at the 43 yard line and raced in for a 74-yard TD reception. Garrison made the grab on the conversion play and the Hornets now led 16-0.
The Hornet “D” shut down the Eagle offense and Garrison made a nifty punt return to the Eagle 36 yard line.
Chris Gillispie and Jack Roberts advanced the ball on the ground to the 25 then Morris went back to the air and connected with Garrison on a 25-yard TD reception down the right sideline. A pass from Morris to Luke Pritchard was good for the conversion and the Hornets led 24-0 with 6:28 left in the
Ross Powers delivered some big hits later in the quarter and the defense forced another punt by Ohio County. Morris hit Garrison with a pass up the middle of the field and senior receiver held on for a 26 yard gain to the Eagles 30. Weatherholt later scored on a 12-yard TD run followed by a Yanez extra point the put the score at 31-0 with 8:29 left in the game.
Garrison, Weatherholt, Powers and a gang of Hornets made some big hits defensively and a botched punt attempt resulted in a first-and-10 for the Hornets at the Eagles five yard line. Thrasher took the handoff and ran up the middle for the game’s final TD.
“Defensively, our guys played really well. They’ve kept us in games and we held them to under 100 yards of total offense. We’re really proud of the effort,” coach Eubanks said.
Morris finished his career best game by completing 15 of 20 pass attempts for 283 yards with three TDs. Garrison made seven catches for 115 yards, Jones caught six for 90 yards, Yanez two for 80, Bradyn Morris and Brady Eubanks had one reception for five yards each.
“Dylan is getting more comfortable and our receivers are running good routes and catching balls when they need to. Our line is giving Dylan time to throw and hopefully this will open up our run game,” Eubanks said.
Gillispie ran 10 times for 29 yards, Dylan gained 13 yards, Weatherholt had 12 yards, Roberts five yards, Thrasher and Pritchard three yards each.
Tyce Boling was 1 of 2 on extra point tries.
Weatherholt made 13 tackles with two TFLs and one sack. Powers had 12 tackles with four TFLs, Wyatt Emmick made eight stops, with one TFL and one sack, Hayden Shearn made eight tackles and one TFL, Garrison six stops and one TFL, Eli Embry five tackles and one TFL, Jones, Roberts, Trevan Coiles and Aiden Embry (two TFLs) all made four tackles, Carson Clark made two and Lawson Ward one TFL.
By Steve Wimmer