Jr. Hornets fall on late score

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Harrisburg Junior Hornets hosted the Piggott Junior Mohawks in junior high football action last Thursday. Piggott scored with just over a minute left go up 28-20. Harrisburg's defense was unable to stop the two-point conversion thus ending a chance for a tying score as Piggott claimed a 30-20 victory.

Harrisburg's Dillon Russell follows the block of Malik Versie during the Junior Hornets game with Piggott last Thursday in Harrisburg. (DT Photo/Anthony Cossey)

Piggott opened the game with a squib kick that Harrisburg recovered at their own 38-yard line. Connor Haag guided his team down the field before keeping the ball on an option play and going 21 yards for the touchdown. Haag was stopped short on the two-point try as the Junior Hornets jumped out to the early 6-0 lead. Piggott answered the Harrisburg score with a drive that consisted of all running plays. The Junior Mohawks tied the game on a one-yard run with 2:40 left in the opening period. The two-point try was no good leaving the score tied at 6-6. Piggott again pooch kicked the ball with Harrisburg recovering at their own 42-yard line. The Junior Hornets moved the ball down to the Piggott 39-yard line with the help of 21-yard pass from Haag to Dillon Russell. Harrisburg was forced to punt with Piggott returning the ball out to their own 43-yard line with nine seconds left in the first quarter.

After running on every down, Piggott goes to the air and connects on a 40-yard pass play to open the second quarter giving them first and ten on the Harrisburg 23-yard line. Piggott went back to the ground game as they drove down and scored on an 11-yard run to go up 12-6 with 6:37 left in the second quarter. The two-point conversion run was good making the score 14-6 Junior Mohawks. Russell took a double hand off from Malik Versie and scampers 49 yards for the Harrisburg touchdown with 5:13 left before half. The two-point pass play was no good leaving the score 14-12 Piggott. Russell saved a sure touchdown on the kick off as he was the last man left so stop the return. The Junior Mohawks started their drive on the Harrisburg 46-yard line. Piggott's running attack struck again as they took the ball in from 29 yards out for the score. The successful two-point play increase the Piggott lead to 22-12 with 2:57 left in the quarter. Melvin Bell's fair catch on the kick off set the Junior Hornets up with first down on their own 48-yard line. Russell got behind the secondary with 2:15 left but couldn't come up with the catch for Harrisburg. Haag kept the drive alive with a quarterback keeper on fourth down to the Piggott 32-yard line. The drive ended as Haag's pass was intercepted on fourth down with 47 seconds left before halftime. Piggott ran out the clock and took a 22-12 lead into half time.

Piggott got the ball to start the second half and fumbled the ball away to Harrisburg on their own 39-yard line with 7:49 left in the third. The Junior Hornets capitalized on the turnover as Russell took an inside handoff and run 34 yards for the touchdown. Haag ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 22-20 Piggott with 6:39 to go in the third quarter. Piggott returned the kick off down to the Harrisburg 34-yard line with 6:28 left in the quarter. The Junior Hornet defense got strong as they stopped the Junior Mohawks on downs to take at their own 24-yard line with 4:32 left in the third quarter. Haag's 25 yard run kept the drive going with 2:20 left in the quarter. The third quarter ended with Harrisburg facing a fourth and six at Piggott 26-yard line.

The fourth quarter opened with Harrisburg going for it on fourth and six. Haag's pass fell incomplete and Piggott took over on their own 26-yard line with 7:56 left. Both defenses played well in the final quarter. Piggott with 54 seconds left in the game to go up 28-20. The Junior Hornets had to stop the two-point to have a chance for a possible tie game. Piggott punched the two-point run in to extend their lead to 30-20. Harrisburg took the kick off and drove down to the Piggott 32-yard line before turning the ball over on downs with 16 seconds left to play. Piggott ran out the clock to end the game.

"I can't be more proud of my team tonight," Harrisburg coach Sean Hammond said after the game. "I know it's a loss, but that's the hardest we've played all year long for four quarters," Hammond added.

Russell finished the night with 130 yards rushing and two touchdowns as Haag added 109 on the ground and a touchdown.

Walker Hammond led the defensive charge with 13 tackles from his linebacker spot.

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