DCHS playoff hopes alive

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 31, 2004

PLANTERSVILLE – Defense and speed gave the Dallas County Hornets a shot at the playoffs Friday night,

as they defeated the visiting Bibb County Choctaws 35-14.

Hornets coach Rick Bush’s bend-but-don’t-break defense stepped up big in the first half of this regional game, as Dallas County held Bibb County scoreless.

Email newsletter signup

“Our defense was embarrassed by how we played last week,” Bush said. “They were determined this week to make sure we would get the job done. The kids promised me before the game that they would get it done tonight.”

In the first quarter, the Choctaws drove to the Dallas County 26-yard line before the Hornet defense forced Bibb County to turn the ball over on downs.

On the Hornets’ third offensive play from scrimmage, Dallas County scored when Rafel Miller outran the Choctaw defense down the sidelines for a 50-yard touchdown.

“We wanted to get our kids out on the corners,” Bush said, “because we thought we were a little faster than they were.”

Miller’s touchdown gave Dallas County a 6-0 lead after the failed PAT.

In their next possession, the Hornets marched 87 yards in five plays to go up 14-0 after a successful two-point conversion. The drive featured Brandon England, who rushed for 48 yards in the drive, including a 10-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Derrick McGhee completed all six of his passes in the quarter.

Fourteen penalties, including nine against Bibb County, slowed both offenses in the second quarter. However, the Hornets’ defense allowed the Choctaw offense to complete just eight of 18 passes in the first half.

The Dallas County defense continued to make big plays in the third quarter and keep the Chocktaw offense in check. Bibb County finally was able to cross the goal line late in the third quarter to cut the Hornets’ advantage to 14-6.

But the Hornets answered when Miller scampered off tackle and again outran the Bibb County defense for a 62-yard touchdown run to put the Hornets up 21-6.

The Hornets were first to cross the goal line in the fourth quarter, as they scored on a 51-yard. England capped the drive on a 5-yard jaunt around end behind the blocking of pulling guard Jesse Hill to make it 28-6.

Two Dallas County penalties gave Bibb County, allowing it to score on a 13-yard touchdown pass that cut the margin to 28-14 with 5:35 left in the game.

After Bibb County’s unsuccessful onside kick, the Hornets added another touchdown on a 20-yard strike from McGhee to Michael Johnson that gave the Hornets a 35-14 advantage.

“This win puts us in the running for the playoffs,” an excited Bush said after the game. “This was a big victory for our kids. For the playoffs it comes down to what teams we beat versus the teams they (Southside and Bibb County) beat that have won the most games.”

Southside, Bibb County, and Dallas County are all tied for the third and fourth spots in the region.

Miller led the Hornets with 193 yards rushing and two touchdowns. England ran for 95 yards, while McGhee completed 11-of-13 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.

Dallas County improves to 6-3 for the season and 4-3 in the region. The Hornets hit the gridiron against Autaugaville on Thursday.