Hornets sting Rams 26-6 in homecoming gamePublished 2:15am Saturday, September 29, 2012
PLANTERSVILLE — Stingy defense and a powerful rushing attack equaled a happy homecoming for the Dallas County Hornets, as they defeated the Francis Marion Rams 26-6 on Friday in a non-region contest.
The Hornets’ (2-3, 0-3 Class 4A-Region 3) defense forced four turnovers on the night, while their offense gained 334 yards on the ground alone, and while Dallas County head football coach Chris Littleton said there’s still work to be done, he’s happy with the win.
“We played well defensively. We just played good, sound defense and I felt like we came out with a sense of urgency on defense,” Littleton said. “Offensively, we moved the ball well up and down the field, but we had some struggles in the red zone and some things there that we’ve got to take care of, but it’s always good to get a win. I’m happy for the kids, especially getting a win on homecoming.”
Javaris Jackson, head football coach of Francis Marion (0-5, 0-3 Class 2A-Region 4), said he liked his team’s effort, but the Rams have got to correct their mistakes.
“We just made some mistakes and just got down. If we eliminate our mistakes, we eliminate our errors, and we were easily in this ball game,” Jackson said. “I feel my team played very well tonight. This is probably the best I’ve seen us play this season. But it’s going to get better before it gets worse.”
After Dallas County’s Demarius Berry recovered a fumble by the Francis Marion punter, the Hornets drove all the way to the Rams’ 3-yard line before a Berry rushing touchdown was called back because of a penalty, and the Hornets went on to turn the ball over on downs midway through the first quarter.
But the Hornets came up big again, as the ball was snapped over the Rams’ punter’s head at the 12-yard line and Dallas County’s Xavier Knight recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Wyatt Sanders tacked on the extra point to give Dallas County a 7-0 lead with 11:55 left in the second quarter.
The defense kept producing points for Dallas County, as Francis Marion quarterback Johnte Hoskins threw a backwards pass behind his receiver at his own 17-yard line, and Berry recovered it in the end zone for the Hornets with the extra point making it 14-0 with 4:29 left in the first half.
The Dallas County offense finally added to the scoreboard early in the second half after three scoreless trips to the red zone in the first half, as J’quan Carter capped off a 67-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown run to make the score 20-0 with 9:56 in the third quarter.
The Rams got a break after another Hornets’ touchdown was called back in the third quarter, and proceeded to drive 61 yards down the field and get their first score of the game off a 16-yard touchdown run by Hoskins to make it a 20-6 game with 19 seconds left in the third period.
But the Hornets finally put the game away with a 60-yard drive that started with another fumble recovery by Berry, as the long drive was capped off by Berry himself with a 22-yard touchdown with 42 seconds left in the game.
The Hornets had 368 yards of total offense, including 206 rushing yards on 24 carries by Berry, but as Littleton highlighted, they’ll look to improve their play in the red zone, as they had four unsuccessful trips there.
Jermere Jackson added 66 yards on eight carries for the Hornets.
The Rams had some offensive success on the night, including 236 total yards, as Hoskins led the way with 111 rushing yards on 11 carries and Kenneth Mickens added 71 yards rushing yards on 11 carries for the Rams.
The Hornets will take the field again Friday at Dadeville in a region game.
Francis Marion will also return to action Friday when it will travel to Cold Springs for a region contest.