Hornets sting Crusaders in comeback
Published 11:20 pm Saturday, September 5, 2015
Parker Flowers’ touchdown pass to Michael Harvey in the closing seconds gave the Loyd Star Hornets a razor-thin 28-27 win over the Sacred Heart Crusaders Friday night.
“Both teams came out competed really well tonight,” said Loyd Star coach Adam Cook. “I am extremely proud of the way the guys played on both sides of the ball until the very end.”
On the first play from the line of scrimmage, Flowers took the snap and fumbled the ball on a scramble, with Sacred Heart’s Paul Rowell Jr. recovering.
The Crusaders’ offense relied on the rushing attack of Campbell Kline and Will Agnew to move the ball down the field. With 9:27 left in the first quarter, the Crusaders scored the first points of the night to take a 7-0 lead.
After a rough start, Loyd Star returned to the field and relied on the arm of Flowers and the legs of both Javion Beard and Flowers to move the ball down the field. After failing to complete a third down conversion, the Hornets were forced to punt the ball away.
After a strong defensive stand by Loyd Star, the Hornets’ offense took over and moved the ball down the field, with Flowers punching in a rushing touchdown to give Loyd Star its first score of the night with 2:35 left in first quarter. The Hornets were unsuccessful on their extra point kick and trailed 7-6.
In the second quarter, the Crusaders continued their rushing attack as Klein and Agnew marched the ball down the field. After a few costly penalties, the Crusaders struggled to advance the ball as Loyd Star’s defense once again held their ground to get ball back.
With 3:01 left in the first half, the Hornets cashed in their second touchdown of the game to secure a 12-7 lead after failing to convert on the two-point conversion.
With 33 seconds left in the half, the Crusaders relied on their rushing attack to regain control of the contest at 14-12.
In final seconds of the half, Loyd Star’s freshmen return specialist James Beard used his blazing speed on the ensuing kickoff to give his Hornets the lead with a TD. Loyd Star was successful on the two-point conversion on a run attempt by Flowers. At halftime, Loyd Star led 20-14.
In the third quarter, both teams continued to pound the ball on the ground, but could not score as the third frame ended with Loyd Star leading 20-14.
With 11:52 left in the fourth quarter, Sacred Heart running back Joseph Bishop punched in a rushing touchdown to give his Crusaders a 21-20 lead.
The Crusaders managed to score another touchdown with 7:35 left in the fourth quarter on an Agnew rushing touchdown, but after a failed extra-point attempt the Crusaders led 27-20.
With time closing out for the Hornets, Flowers marched his Hornets down the field for a quick touchdown strike as he connected with Michael Harvey with 42 seconds left. The Hornets elected to go for two-point conversion and were successful on the rush attempt by Flowers to secure a 28-27 win.
“This was a great game, said Sacred Heart coach Lonny Schraeder. “I am proud of my guys. They played their hearts out until the very end.”
Offensively, Flowers powered the Hornets by completing 12-of-27 passes for 236 yards. He also rushed for 41 yards on 14 carries.
James Beard was the top receiver for Loyd Star with four catches for 93 yards. Patrick Price provided two catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Agnew was the leader on the Crusaders’ offense with 71 yards rushing. Klein contributed 39 yards rushing. Paul Rowell Jr. had 37 rushing yards.
Defensively, Flowers paced the Hornets with 22 tackles. Anfernee Claire provided 11 stops. Bradyn Brister and Avery Leggett contributed nine tackles each. Konner Allen and Thomas Patterson had eight tackles apiece.
Prior to opening kickoff, Loyd Star held a special ceremony to retire Peyton Flowers’ No. 42 jersey as football fans gathered to cheer on the special occasion. Flowers died last year following an injury in Loyd Star’s homecoming game.
The Hornets (2-1) will resume action Friday as they host the Franklin County Bulldogs (2-1). Sacred Heart (1-2) will travel to Mount Olive (0-3). Kickoff is at 7 p.m.