Dallas County gets first win of season

Published 12:45 am Saturday, September 20, 2008

PLANTERSVILLE — The Dallas County Hornets’ game Friday night was good for them in more ways than they knew — 32 ways to be exact.

The Hornets (1-3) went on a defensive and special teams attack led by Keymiya Harrell and Andrew Mahan that paved the way to a 32-0 region win over Holt.

The Ironmen’s offense stalled twice in the end zone, and a blocked field goal gave DCHS its second touchdown of the game.

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“I think our defense did have pretty good penetration,” Mahan said. “We really showed up tonight. Our backs were against the wall, and I think we really needed the win.”

Harrell racked up a pair of sacks in the game, and Mahan got his hand on a 28-yard field goal try that T.J. Smith picked up and returned 89 yards for a score with less than a minute left in the first quarter. A missed extra point gave the Hornets a 12-0 lead.

DCHS first got on the board four and a half minutes into the game when Justin McAfee hooked up with Mahan on a 6-yard slant route up the gut of the defense. Mahan’s only two catches of the game were for scores, the other an 18-yard catch that put his team ahead 26-0 with 3:08 left in the first half.

McAfee finished 8-of-16 passing with 67 yards, two touchdowns and an interception splitting time with Brook Ross.

Sophomore back Brandon Jackson, a punishing runner at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, got 49 yards and a touchdown on five carries, more touches than he’s had during any of the previous three games.

The Hornets’ running attack heavily outweighed their production through the air — 267 to 80 — but their passing game was more efficient than it had been all season.

Coach John Higgins said they committed to passing on first down more.

“We’re going to have to throw the ball to win ball games, and we’re going to continue to throw it,” Higgins said. “I’ve got a lot of work to do with getting everything, but it looked a lot better tonight than it has.”

DCHS’s other score in the first half was a 9-yard run by McAfee with 7:30 left. He slipped the ball through a pair of defenders’ hands to hit Hunter Butts for a 2-point conversion.

The only other trip to the red zone for the Ironmen (1-3) in the first half resulted in a turnover on downs, but they took the ball right back on a Davin Scott interception.

Jackson put the final score on the board with a 27-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.