Hornets fall 22-20 to Cross County in season opener

Thursday, September 6, 2018
Harrisburg's Drew Wright sacks Cross County's Kaden Harrell during high school football action this past Friday in Cherry Valley. (DT Photo/Anthony Cossey)

For the second year in a row Harrisburg (0-1) and Cross County have played nail-biters in their high school football games. The Thunderbirds (T-birds) came up with an interception off a tipped ball to preserve a 22-20 win over the Hornets last Friday night at Thunderbird Stadium in Cherry Valley.

Harrisburg won the toss and received first with Jamason King returning the kick-off to his own 24-yard line. Drew Wright gained five yards on first down before Jett Jackson found Ross Heeb for a gain to the 35-yard line. Jackson's next pass was intercepted only to see Cross County fumble the ball on the same play with Harrisburg recovering at their own 33-yard line. Jackson moved the ball into Cross County territory with a run to the 47-yard line with 10:17 left. Harrisburg moved the ball to the 32-yard line before a nine yard loss on a bad snapped forced the Hornets to punt. Cody Lawson's punt went out of bounds at the T-bird's 12-yard line with 8:40 left. Cross County found the end zone on their first possession with a long pass play to go up 6-0. The two-point pass conversion was good making it 8-0 Cross County with 6:38 left. The Hornets started their next possession on their own 33-yard line and moved the ball to the 45-yard line before Jacob Wallace broke off a 25 yard run to the T-birds' 30-yard line with 5:34 left. Facing fourth and five from the 26-yard line, Jackson hit Heeb on a quick hit as Heeb broke and tackle and ran 26 yards for the score. Parker Jones added the extra-point to make it 8-7 Cross County. The Thunderbirds moved the ball in Harrisburg territory before Marquel Miller came up with an interception for the Hornets at his own 36-yard line with 46 seconds left. The quarter ended during the Hornets' drive with Cross County up 8-7.

Facing fourth and 22, Harrisburg punted on the first play of the second quarter with Cross County getting the ball on their own 46 yard line. The T-birds moved the ball to the Harrisburg 32, converting a fourth and three on the way, only to turn the ball over on downs with 6:30 left. A nine yard pass to Heeb, an off-sides on the Cross County and a Jackson run moved the ball to the T-birds' 38-yard line with 5:06 left. A face mask penalty on Cross County moved the ball to the 19-yard line before Jackson hit Daniel Woodson with a touchdown pass only to see it called back for holding. Jackson's fourth down pass fell incomplete turning the ball over to the Thunderbirds with 3:08 left in the half. Cross County gave the ball back as they failed on a fourth down attempt with Harrisburg taking over at their own 39-yard line with 1:24 left. Harrisburg moved the ball to the 10-yard line, Jackson scrambled to the two-yard line before a sack caused time to run out with the T-birds leading 8-7 at the half.

Complete game article in October 6 edition of the PCDT!

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