Hornets fall to Wildcats in first round of playoffs
In a neutral playoff game, the Lake Hornets were overcome by the Calhoun City Wildcats, who boasted a record of 9-2. This was a first-round playoff game for both teams, which means that with this win the Wildcats will progress to round two and Lake’s phenomenal season comes to an end.
Coach Tate Hanna said, “We lost 32-6. Calhoun City was a good team. We never got anything going on either side of the ball. The score was 16-6 at halftime. We came out very flat.” Considering the fact that the Wildcats averaged 46 points per game this season, a score of 32 is demonstrative of the major effort that the Hornets put forth defensively. Additionally, Calhoun City’s rushing game is markedly effective — they average 499.3 yards per game — so for the Wildcats to be held at 357 yards of rushing also says good things about Lake’s defense.
The first quarter was tight. The Wildcats only scored eight points, and the Hornets scored zero points. The Hornet defense could not quite keep the lid on the Wildcats’ offense. Rushing, the Wildcats ran the ball 49 times for 357 yards. Three of Calhoun City’s touchdowns were carried into the end zone.
With their only score of the night, the Hornets closed the score gap slightly. At halftime, the score was Lake 6, Calhoun City 16. Passing, Calhoun City completed six out of seven attempted passes for 60 yards. Of their four touchdowns, one was a completed pass in the end zone. The Hornets had a season low total offense of 140 yards against Calhoun City, with 76 yards passing and 64 yards rushing.
After halftime, the Wildcats stayed consistent — they scored a touchdown in the third and fourth quarters each. The Hornets were unable to gain traction offensively in the second half and so remained scoreless for the entirety of the second half.
When asked what challenges were encountered against the Wildcats, Coach Hanna said, “They were very sound on defense. They caused a lot of problems for us up front on the offensive line by moving around a lot and stunting.” Sometimes called a twist, a stunt is a planned maneuver by a pair of players of the defensive team by which they exchange roles to better slip past blockers of the offensive team at the beginning of a play. “This made it a big challenge for us to figure out who to block,” Coach Weems continued. The Wildcats proved that a strong defense is a strong offense.
Of the team and their accomplishments, Coach Hanna said, “I am very proud of what we did this season. We finished with a record of 8-3 and tied for first place in the region. To go from a record of 1-9 last season and last in the region to what we accomplished, is something to be proud of. Our kids worked hard all year and improved every week. I am proud of our eight seniors and what they have done for our program. It has been a fun season and we set the foundation for the future.”
Congratulations to Coach Hanna and Lake’s varsity football team on a highly successful season. Good luck to the Hornets as they look forward to next season.