Hornets to host Gallia

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2000

COAL GROVE – Forget last season.

Thursday, August 31, 2000

COAL GROVE – Forget last season. The Coal Grove Hornets have.

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After winning just once last season, the Hornets have already matched that win total with a season-opening win over Lucasville Valley.

Not only did the Hornets win, but they snapped the Indians 41-game regular season winning streak.

Next up for the Hornets this Friday will be the Gallipolis Blue Devils, a team that handed Coal Grove a 42-8 setback last season.

Gallipolis went 10-3 and reached the Division III regional finals before being eliminated.

But gone are several key players including quarterback Jeremy Payton and receivers Heath Rothgeb and Cody Lane.

Despite the loses, Coal Grove coach Nick Miller said the Blue Devils are not void of talent.

"The Simmons kid is a good runner, but he might be even better at free safety," Miller said. "And I like their quarterback. He does a nice job. They’re still going to be a very good team."

Senior Ike Simmons (6-3, 195) is back at fullback and he’s bigger than last season. The halfback is Bobby Jones (5-10, 165) while Jon Lawhorn (5-11, 160) is the wingback and junior David Brodeur (5-9, 160) takes over at quarterback.

Gallipolis lost some quality linemen, but leading the returning corps is senior tight end Jeff Mullins (6-3, 235) and tackle J. T. Spencer-Howell (6-1, 215).

"We matched up a little better this season than last year. They’re not real big, but they still has some speed and quickness," Miller said.

The defense starts only four seniors: end Allen Skinner, tackles Clayton Wood and Spencer-Howell, and Lawhorn at strong safety.

The linebackers are young with junior Nick Merola (5-11, 185) and sophomore Clarke Saunders (6-0, 185).

Coal Grove defensive back Ryan Brown was injured this week and his status for Friday is doubtful.