Hornets face, and pass, first real test of season at Riverview 27-18

Thursday, September 24, 2009
Bruce Pipes went high to deflect this potential pass reception which could have put the Raiders back in the lead with just seconds left in the half. Defense such as this has helped the Hornets reach 3-0 this season. (Democrat Tribune photo/Dan Brawner)

Right off the bat Harrisburg knew they were going to be for a game last Friday night at Riverview. The Raiders took the opening kickoff and, after some slight of hand between the deep receivers, sprinted to the Hornet 37 yard line. Three plays later, they were sitting with a first and goal at the Harrisburg two.

But, four times Riverview smashed into the line and four times the Hornets smashed back enough to keep them out of the end zone for the first victory of the night. There would be a lot of spectacular plays in the battle of the two unbeatens. In the end, though, the Hornets were the only ones left standing as they won going away, 27-18.

"It was an exciting game and went back and fourth," said coach Keith Davis. "We got some breaks and managed to get out of there with a win. I was glad to get it. They have a good team."

The Hornets proceeded to punch the ball out to their 38, but stalled there and set up to punt. The Raiders flooded in, however, and blocked the ball. It rolled back with some players from each team touching the ball. Finally, the Hornets ended up with it and a touchback in the process to put them in business once again at their 20.

A two yard gain by Zac Pretty was the first play of the two play drive.

"Pretty is a big play guy," continued Davis. "He didn't have the stats he had in the first two games, but he was taking some hits Friday night."

The second play went the distance as quarterback Zach Davis found Jake Streeter open down the right side for 78 yards with 4:18 left in the first quarter. Davis ran in the two point conversion and the Hornets had the lead, 8-0.

It didn't take long for the Raiders to recover as they returned the kickoff to the Hornet 45, then with the help of a roughing the passer penalty drove to the two yard line. Harrisburg had no stand in them this time as the Raiders went in to close the score to 8-6. The conversion was unsuccessful and the score stood with 1:29 left in the first period.

Riverview then came right back in the beginning of the second period. Harrisburg had come up empty on their next try and the Raiders needed just three plays to go ahead 12-8 following another failed PAT.

Then as if to make matters worse for the Hornets, the steady drizzle which had been plaguing both teams suddenly turned into a downpour. Four plays and out resulted in the Raiders getting the ball back on the 50.

However, it rained on Riverview's side of the field as well and they turned the ball over on downs after getting to the Harrisburg 30. At this point the Hornets seemed to come alive.

Aided by two passes from Davis to Streeter for 36 and 21 yards, Harrisburg needed only 10 plays to traverse the 70 yards for the go-ahead TD. The point after was incomplete, but the Hornets were ahead to stay, 14-12 with 3:51 left in the half.

"Friday night the communication was off because of the noise from the rain and all," Davis said with regard to the Hornet's no-huddle offense which requires calling the play from the line of scrimmage. "We go in and out with (the no-huddle formation) and are still trying to get it down. I don't think we've transferred into having more plays (per game) with it yet, but we'll hopefully get into that."

With the rains halting, the Hornets came out in the second half and immediately scored going 60 yards in five plays to go up 20-12 with 9:46 left in the third period. Once again Davis hit Street for two key passes of 28 and 27 yards to help generate the drive.

Neither team could produce any points until the fourth period when Riverview got back on the board again with a nine yard run. The two-point play which would have tied the game was stuffed, but the Raiders had closed the gap to 20-18 with 7:28 remaining in the game.

After exchanging punts, Harrisburg scored their final points of the night when Pretty went over from the five and Streeter kicked the PAT for the 27-18 win with 2:56 remaining.

Davis finished the game with 315 yards through the air while completing 19 of 32 passes with one TD and one interception. Streeter led the receiving with 209 yards on seven catches with one TD. He was followed by Zac Combs who went three for 39, Pretty who had three catches for 32 yards, Josh Fallon who caught five balls for 30 yards and Turner Norsworthy who had one reception for five yards. In the rushing department, Pretty got 58 yards on 18 carries while scoring two touchdowns. Davis had 18 yards largely from scrambling from five carries and a TD.

"It was a big win for us," Davis concluded. "Streeter had the top game on offense and Jordan Harper (did best) on defense. We threw the ball decently for a night like that. Hopefully that will improve with more efficiency. Any way we can get it done, we'll get it done."

The Hornets will have another test Friday when the host Rivercrest for a 7:30 p.m. game.

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