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Dragons swat the Hornets 38-7

Penalties and turnovers coupled with one of the best running backs in the state would be more than the Loyd Star Hornets (2-4) could handle as they fell 38-7 to the Pisgah Dragons (4-2) on Friday night at home.

Pisgah boasts senior running back Don Ragsdale who is considered by one newspaper to be one of the best 12 players in the state. Ragsdale came into the game averaging 326 rushing yards per game.

Loyd Star kept Ragsdale in check on the first drive of the night and stiffened in their own territory to force Pisgah to settle for a 25-yard Bryce Lofton field goal. It would be the next drive when Ragsdale showed the Hornet faithful at W.E. “Sambo” Smith Field why he has already received multiple Division I offers.

The powerful tailback sprinted and weaved through the defense for an 85-yard scoring run that put his team up 10-0. Ragsdale scored another rushing touchdown in the third quarter, but played somewhat sparingly after his team moved out to a 24-0 halftime lead.

The Hornet offense found early success running between the tackles with Qua Berry and De’Mario Clay both ripping off big runs against the Dragon defense. Loyd Star quarterback Cullen Keene was getting his first start of the season after replacing an injured Dane Smith. Penalties of the pre-snap variety (offsides, delay of game) dogged the Hornets early in the game and stunted more than one promising drive. Loyd Star got on the board late in the game when senior Patrick Price scooped up a fumble and raced 60-yards for the lone Hornet scoring drive.

“We didn’t tackle, which is something we worked really hard on all week,” said Hornet head coach Bryan Ford. “We knew that we would have to wrap up and really come to the ball defensively and it was frustrating to see us not execute,” said Ford. “We’ll go back to work on Monday and get ready for a big game next week.”

Next up for the Hornets is a “Possum Bowl” special as Loyd Star hosts Bogue Chitto for homecoming and what will be the first region game of the season for both teams.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.