Hornets drop second round game
Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 17, 2002
It appeared that Dallas County was on its way to a second round victory in the state playoffs until a missed extra point and a blocked punt swung the momentum in favor of host Daleville.
The Hornets watched their 13-7 fourth quarter lead wash away as the Warhawks scored four unanswered touchdowns to achieve a 34-13 victory and advance to play UMS-Wright in the quarter-finals.
On a night of off and on rain, the Hornet offense ran hot and cold, sometimes driving the distance and other times stalling out.
It was the Warhawk offense, however, that got going first, taking their opening drive 71 yards in 16 plays while consuming eight minutes of the first quarter.
Dray Haynes scored the touchdown on an 11-yard run around left end to put the home team up in the early going.
Jason West added the first of four extra points on the night, and Daleville led 7-0.
Dallas County took their opening drive to their opponent’s 35-yard line.
On fourth and four, a wide-open Randall Browder could not find the handle on a Donovan Dixon quick pass, and the ball went over on downs.
The Hornets’ second drive was more successful.
Dallas County steamed for 65 yards in just five plays, using the big run effectively.
Dixon reached the end zone on an eight-yard keeper to put the Hornets on the board early in the second quarter.
Antonio Shelton hit the PAT and the score was tied 7-7.
Dallas County was unable to capitalize on a Daleville fumble, moving the ball to the Warhawk 21 before losing the ball on downs.
Thus, the halftime score remained knotted at seven apiece.
The second half promised better fortunes for Dallas County as receiver Clifford Lyons returned the opening kickoff back to the Warhawk 31.
The one-two punch of James Jones and Donovan Dixon moved the ball into the end zone in six plays.
A quarterback sneak on first and goal at the one put the Hornets in the lead 13-7 with 9:22 left in the third quarter.
Two series later, Daleville put together a 45-yard scoring drive to tie the game at 13-all when Alvin Winters scrambled in from the six.
West’s PAT gave the Warhawks a one-point lead with 10:35 left in the game.
The Hornets had a chance for a comeback, but a devastating blocked punt deep in the own territory turned the tide of momentum against them.
On the first play following the blocked punt, the Warhawks’ Winters raced 40 yards unscathed for a touchdown, and the floodgates were open.
Daleville pummeled a tired Dallas County defense for two additional fourth quarter touchdowns to achieve the final margin of victory.
Despite the tough loss, Dallas County finished 10-2 on the season, the best since the state championship team in 1990 went 14-3.
The 2002 squad also broke school-scoring records and finished runner-up in Class 4A, Region 4.