Hornets sting Enterprise
The Loyd Star Hornets overcame a less-than-effective offensejust in time to defeat the visiting Enterprise Fighting YellowJackets 21-12 Friday night on W.E. “Sambo” Smith Field in a Region6-2A contest, a.k.a. the Sting Bowl.
The Hornets, with only 149 yards of total offense, evened theirrecord at 3-3 on the season (1-2 in Region 6-2A) while Enterprisedropped its fifth consecutive game to fall to 2-5 (0-3 in6-2A).
In his postgame comments to his team, Loyd Star first-year headcoach Ryan Ross said, “It’s always good to get a win, but theyoutplayed us in many areas.” Later, he said “Enterprise took it tous. I was proud of our guys for staying focused to the end. I wasproud of our special teams. They changed the game,”
Loyd Star blocked two second-quarter punts, leading to twotouchdowns.
Neither team seemed to have the desire to score early in thecontest. Enterprise finally got on the scoreboard with 0:25 to playin the first quarter. After a Taylor Herrington recovery of aHornets’ fumble, Jacket quarterback Cody Brister ran for a 10-yardtouchdown to complete a short three-play, 16-yard drive. A failedtwo-point conversion run left the Jackets with a 6-0 lead.
The Hornets tied the score with 5:06 to play in the secondquarter. Following Antoine Smith’s first of two punt blocks,quarterback Donald Shorter capped a three-play, 12-yard drive witha nine-yard touchdown pass to Glen Thomas. Alfred Henderson’s PATattempt was wide, leaving a 6-6 score.
With 1:52 to play in the half, lightning struck again as Smithblocked another punt. This one was returned 10 yards by AlexPizarras for the go-ahead touchdown. Shorter carried the ball forthe two-point conversion and a 14-6 game at the break.
Neither team was able to reach paydirt in the third quarter.However, the Jackets did find the end zone with 9:06 left in thefourth to draw within two points. After forcing a Loyd Star punt,Enterprise put together an 11-play, 70 yard march which ended on aone-yard Josh Nations touchdown run. A two-point conversion attemptappeared to have been successful, but was ruled otherwise, leavingthe score at 14-12.
Loyd Star put the game away on its next possession. Starting attheir own 41-yard line, the Hornets drove the ball down the fieldin 11 plays. Tradareous Wilson made it to the end zone on atwo-yard run. Henderson’s PAT was the final point of the night.
“Our kids played better than a week ago,” said Enterprise headcoach Roe Burns. “We stuck it to them and played hard. (But, a lackof) punt protection in the second quarter was the difference in thegame. I thought we scored on a two-point conversion in the secondquarter. Who knows what might have happened.”
Deon Pendleton led the Jackets’ offense with 102 yards on 24carries. Nations had 37 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.Brister picked up 18 yards and a score.
Brister completed two of nine passes for 25 yards. Pendleton hadone reception, for 19 yards, and Prather had the other catch. CalebFoster punted once for 34 yards; two other punts were blocked.
The Jackets picked up 13 first downs on the night and werepenalized 10 times for 78 yards. They recovered their onlyfumble.
Travis Leggett had 16 tackles to pace the Enterprise defense.Jake Walker had eight stops and Kevin Brizzard had seven. PeterAleman recorded a sack and Herrington had a fumble recovery.
Wilson topped the Hornets’ rushing game with 26 yards and atouchdown on 14 carries. Also picking up yards were Marquis Haynes,Moses Tillman, Joseph Shelby, Josh Smith, Antoine Smith andShorter.
Shorter and Shelby combined to complete four of nine passes for65 yards. Shorter completed one for a touchdown. Thomas had threecatches for 27 yards and a score while Antoine Smith had the otherreception.
The Hornets had eight first downs in the game. They werepenalized five times for 30 yards and lost their only fumble.Antoine Smith punted twice for a 33.5 yard average.
Loyd Star’s defensive statistics were not available after thegame.
Both teams will be at home for their next contests. Loyd Starhosts St. Andrew’s for Homecoming and Enterprise entertainsMcLaurin for region games.