8th Grade Maroon Team
The 8th grade Maroon Hornets faced their first big challenge of the season against the Pirates of Crandall. The Hornets could not get much offense going in the first half. Crandall on the other hand put up 26 first half points. With a late second quarter score, halftime found the Hornets down 26-6.
The second half was another story, as the Hornets came to life. This rally began with Jorian Ray returning the second half kick-off for a 76 yard touchdown. Ray was not finished in this contest. He had several crucial second half rushes, with the longest being for 35 yards.
Jaxon Stiles would also have an amazing second half with 42 yards on the ground and two touchdown passes. One for 15 yards to Gage Friedrich and another to Kendrick Hurd for 36 yards. Gary Sweat added the extra point conversion bringing the contest to a score of 26-20 in favor of the Pirates.
The Pirates found the endzone in the third quarter to extend their lead to 32-20. But the Hornets were far from finished. The defense was stiff in the second half causing three Pirate turnovers.
Led by Sweat, Friedrich, Michael Allen, and a swarm of other Hornets, the defense kept the Hornets within striking distance. And strike they would.
Sweat would find paydirt in the third quarter, bringing the contest to a score of 32-26, as the two point conversion failed. The offense was not finished for the evening. Stiles continued to take care of business with both his feet and his arm.
He had 32 rushing yards and threw a 15 yard TD pass to Friedrich to knot the game up at 32 points with just over 1:00 remaining on the clock. The Sweat two point rushing attempt was unsuccessful.
The Hornets caused a late Pirate turnover the retain possession with 42 seconds on the clock. With a “Hook and Ladder”, and a throwback pass, the Hornets provided a thrilling end to the contest but could not find the endzone. This match-up ended in a 32-32 tie.
8th Grade White Team
The Hornets 8th grade White team hosted the Crandall Pirates Thursday night. Athens fell 6-0 in a complete defensive battle. Athens came out and swarmed to the football throughout the game.
The Hornets depth was on full display defensively as they were able to rotate in fresh players from start to finish.
The defensive line played exceptionally well, making multiple tackles for a loss and the secondary held up well in passing situations. Jakhi Arroyo lead the team in carries again.
Cesar Ornelas started the game at quarterback for the Hornets and will look to build on his first outing against Quinlan Ford as the 7th and 8th grade white teams will play a combined game against the Panthers.