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Loyd Star Hornets hold off the McLaurin Tigers, 47-33

After beginning the season on the road in a jamboree at Bogue Chitto and then last week at Sacred Heart, the Loyd Star Hornets were home at W. E. “Sambo” Smith Field for the first time of the season. They used that home field advantage to beat McLaurin 47-33 Friday.

The Hornets dressed in all black with silver headgear and faced the visiting Tigers. The Tigers are coached by former Loyd Star head coach Sidney Wheatley. The Hornets kicked off and the Tigers picked up a couple of first downs before being stuffed on a fourth down.

The Hornets took over and scored on their first possession, beginning with a punishing run by senior fullback Zach Baker. A Dane Smith completion to Jared Smith for 13 yards would give the Hornets first and goal at the 9-yard line. Baker would punch it in from 9 yards out to put the Hornets up 6-0. The two point conversion was successful on a run by Eric Birch.

McLaurin would take their second possession beginning at the 25. After a penalty the Tigers would complete an 87-yard TD pass and the two-point attempt would be successful making it a tie game at 8-8.

The Hornets would take their next possession and march it down the field with Dane Smith bootlegging it in for a 4-yard TD. The two-point attempt was unsuccessful making the score 14-8.

Zach Baker would punch another touchdown in for the Hornets making it 20-8.

McLaurin scored on their next possession with a 13-yard pass to make it 20-14. The PAT was successful making it 20-15.

  Lamareo Clay made a big play right before the half by picking off an option pitch and running it 86 yards to the McLaurin 4-yard line. The Hornets had time for one play and it was stuffed by the Tiger defense.

The Hornets took the opening kickoff of the second half and took it the length of the field scoring on a 4-yard run by Dane Smith. The PAT by Cole Carpenter was good putting the Hornets up by a score of 27-15. The Hornets would score on their next possession on a 3-yard run by Baker.

Kenny Bacon of McLaurin would take the kickoff from the Hornets 88 yards for the score making the score 34-21.

Loyd Star would take their next possession completing the 56-yard drive on a Zach Nevels 37-yard run. The PAT was no good. The Hornets led 40-21.

Kenny Bacon would take the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for another Tiger touchdown, making the score 40-27. The Hornets would fumble on their next possession and the Tigers would capitalize on the turnover with a 6-yard TD by Marquez Wells. The PAT was no good but the Tigers had made it a one-possession game. The Hornets would then do what they needed to do. Behind the blocking of the offensive line, Baker and Zabien Price would smash the ball for a 50-yard drive, finished off by a 8-yard run by Eric Birch. The PAT was good by Carpenter and the Hornets had a 47-33 lead, which happened to be the final score.

Coach Brian Ford was pleased with the overall performance.

“The defensive backfield play must improve, as well as tackling and the making of big plays. But we kept playing,” he said. “At the end, when we needed to score Zabien Price and Zach Baker as well as the offensive line just took control and we scored putting the game away.”

The Hornets were led in tackles by Braden Ezell with seven tackles and Parker Bracey with five. Dane Smith and Jamareo Clay both had interceptions.

Loyd Star moves to 2-0 and hosts Salem next week.

Story by Ricky Myers