OSCEOLA—The Harmony Grove Hornets never got warmed up on a cold and windy night in Northeast Arkansas. They suffered a season ending 38-6 loss in the Class 3A state football playoffs at the hands of the Osceola Seminoles at Maurice Carthon Field on the campus of Osceola High School.
Coach Ernie Horstcamp’s Hornets were held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season. The Seminoles, led by Sr. QB M. J. Vance, managed two first half touchdowns. Vance scored the first one on an 8 yard run with 1:23 to go in the first quarter. He scored the other on a 33 yard rumble with 11:00 to go in the first half. The Seminoles scored both PAT’s and led 14-0 at halftime.
Harmony Grove’s defense had a stop on Osceola’s first possession
Harmony Grove stopped the home team on their first possession of the second half, then put together a 4 play 46 yard scoring drive. Sr. RB Xaylon Falls scored on a 28 yard with 8:44 to go in the third period. The 2 point conversion attempt failed, but the Seminoles’ lead was trimmed to 14-6. The Hornets wouldn’t score again.
Osceola, coached by former Camden Fairview assistant Robert Hooks, shutdown the Hornets after that, but their offense went on a roll. Sr. RB Dan Newson caught a pass from Vance and went 19 yards for a touchdown with 2:08 to go in the third quarter. Soph. TE A.J. Harris scored on a 27 yard pass from Vance with 10:34 to go in the fourth period. Sr. WR Greg Hooks, Jr also scored on a 27 yard pass from Vance with 9:49 to go in the contest. Both PAT’s were good giving the Seminoles a 35-6 lead. They also added an approximately 22 yard field goal for their final score with 4:38 to go in the game that set the final score of 38-6.
Adding to their offensive woes, the Hornets turned the ball over 4 times in the fourth quarter, 2 interceptions, and 2 fumbles. Two of those turnovers resulted in scoring drives for the Seminoles.
The game was played with high winds out of the north. After the contest, Horstcamp said the wind affected what could be done offensively, but was quick to tip his hat to the effort put forth by Osceola. He also praised this year’s senior class as one that raised the standard for the future of Hornet football. He noted these young men had played on teams that advanced to the Class 2A semifinals their sophomore year, the 3A quarterfinals last year, and the 3A semifinals this year.
The Hornets finished the season 11-3 overall, Osceola improved to 12-1 overall. They will face Harding Academy next Saturday night for the Class 3A championship at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.