By Rebecca Totty
HARMONY GROVE— Coach Ernie Horstcamp called his Harmony Grove Hornets team play “crisp” after defeating the Fouke Panthers 42-2 on a cool and drizzly night at Bill Manning Field on Friday.
The Hornets scored quickly after taking the opening kick-off to the Panther 41. RB Xaylon Falls scored on the second play from scrimmage with a 29 yard dash at 11:24 in the first quarter. Harmony Grove led 6-0 after the 2 point play failed.
Harmony Grove’s defense forced a turnover on downs on Fouke’s first possession. Then the offense orchestrated another scoring drive capped by a 52 yard pass play from QB Zach Smith to WR Damion Daniels with 5:19 to go in the first quarter.
The home team scored again at 10:33 in the second quarter when RB Mecca Arnold scored from 3 yards out. He also scored the 2-point conversion extending the lead to 14-0.
After forcing another Panther turnover on downs the offense scored 2 plays later on a 4 yard run by Falls. Daniel Hicks scored the 2-point conversion giving the Hornets a 30-0 lead with 8:38 to go in the first half.
Harmony Grove’s defense forced another turnover on downs, but the offense fumbled on the next play giving the ball back to the Panthers. They were not able to get anything going and promptly turned the ball over to the Hornets on downs. The Hornets scored on the next play when Smith again connected with Daniel for a 27 yard pass play for a touchdown at 5:31 in the second quarter. The 2-point conversion attempt failed leaving the score 36-0.
Each team had the ball two more times in the half but were unable to score.
The second half was played under the sportsmanship rule that allows the game clock to run continuously, except for time-outs, when one team has at least a 35 point lead over the other. The Panthers did score a safety at 11:20 in the fourth quarter after a bad center-quarterback exchange by the Hornets was covered in the end zone. The lead narrowed to 36-2.
Harmony Grove’s second team offense did score with about 4:50 to go in the game when RB Daniel Hill darted for 49 yards to score. The 2-point attempt failed setting the final score of 42-2.
The victory improves the Hornets’ record to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in 5 AAA Conference action. Fouke falls to 3-5 overall, 1-4 in the conference.
The Hornets will travel to Nevada County this Friday night to face the Prescott Curly Wolves in a game that could determine the conference championship. Both teams are undefeated in 5 AAA action. Kick-off is set for 7:00.