Hornets light up scoreboard

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2005

COAL GROVE - Coal Grove coach Dave Lucas doesn't usually smile when the scoreboard shows an opponent scored 26 points, but the hall-of-fame coach was grinning ear-to-ear Friday.

The Hornets (3-1) used a "buzz saw" attack on the ground and a swarming defense to fly past the Sciotoville Community East Tartans (1-3) in a 50-26 battle that was closer than the score.

Except for a few plays, Coal Grove was able to contain East's high-powered offense that scored 62 points last week in an overtime loss to Matewan, W.Va. The Tartans rallied to score 20 in the second half but the Hornets countered with 22 fourth quarter points to seal the win.

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"I told (the team) I was most proud of the fact that when the game got close, they buckled their chin straps and came back and played," Lucas said. "(East) has a real good offense. We knew we had to try and find a way to stop them."

And stop them they did. Senior linebacker Colton Hitchcock had two fumble recoveries and Adam Bare made a key interception to highlight a defense that made big plays when needed. On the other side of the ball, the Hornets senior running back Justin Hyland continued to show he is a workhorse with 257 yards and four touchdowns.

"My line says they are going to get me a hole, so I keep pushing it," Hyland said with sweat rolling down his face.

The senior carried the ball more than 40 times for the second week in a row.

"They started getting tougher on us, so we just had to get tough and put it to them."

Overall, Coal Grove had 387 yards on the ground compared to East's 258 total.

"Our offensive line and Justin have a real good thing going. They block well and Justin is running well,"Lucas said. "But it is not a one person thing. We have a whole group of kids out there and they are executing well."

One of those "kids" is Nick Bazell, who worked with the rest of the linemen to open holes in the Tartan defense all night.

"We just had to get up there, move the ball well and get into them,"Bazell said. "… We made a few adjustments at half time and just went and made plays."

Neither team could sustain a drive early until Hitchcock recovered a fumble at the Tartans own 11 yard line. Two plays later, Hyland was celebrating a lead that went to 8-0 after the extra point.

But East had an answer with an 11-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a 5 yard touchdown run by Brent Downing.

Coal Grove took control in the second quarter, in part thanks to a little luck. Quarterback Eric Davidson found wide receiver Tyler Branch open down the right sidelines for a 26 yard completion. The ball popped loose as Branch went into the end zone but B.J. Harbolt was there to fall on it and give the Hornets a 14-6 lead.

After forcing a punt, Hyland capped a 7-play, 55-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to set the halftime margin at 20-6.

Midway through the third quarter, the Hornets scored on a two play drive. Running back Chris Chaffin exploded for a 67 yard touchdown down the left sidelines after a fake to Hyland fooled the defense. The score was 28-6 and looked like a rout.

Not to be outdone or go away, East scored in only three plays, capped by Arthur Henderson's 75 yard run that pulled the Tartans to 28-12.

After stuffing a fourth-down conversion, East exploded for a 50-yard pass from Brent Downing to Kevin Scott. The two-point conversion allowed the Tartans to make it a one possession game, 28-20, heading into the fourth.

East pulled to within two points on a 25-yard touchdown scamper by Henderson but the conversion failed. The Tartans would never threaten again.

Coal Grove's defense created two turnovers and the offense put together three more scoring drives in the fourth. Hyland capped two of the drives, one on a 37-yard dash down the right side line where he hurdled two defenders on his way to the end zone. Sophomore Daniel Kelly finished the Tartans off with a 5-yard score to set the final margin.


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First Quarter

CG – Justin Hyland 2 run (Hyland run) 5:28

SE – Brent Downing 5 run (pass failed) 0:59

Second Quarter

CG – B.J. Harbolt fumble recovery (run failed) 10:24

CG – Justin Hyland 10 run (run failed) 5:55

Third Quarter

CG – Chris Chaffin 67 run (Hyland run) 6:46

SE – Arthur Henderson 75 run (run failed) 5:22

SE – Kevin Scott 50 pass from Brent Downing (Henderson run) 1:55

Fourth Quarter

SE – Arthur Henderson 25 run (run failed) 10:45

CG – Justin Hyland 37 run (Hyland run) 8:18

CG – Justin Hyland 1 run (Hyland run) 5:04

CG – Daniel Kelly 5 run (run failed) 1:21



First downs






Passing yards



Total yards












Penalties-yards 5-35



Individual leaders

RUSHING – East: Arthur Henderson 15-146, Brent Downing 14-79, Dustin Bradford 2-38, Josh Bailey 1-minus 5; Coal Grove: Justin Hyland 42-257, Gary Moore 6-31, Trent Blankenship 4-31, Chris Chaffin 1-67, Daniel Kelly 1-5, Eric Davidson 1-minus 4.

PASSING – East: Brent Downing 5-11-1 94; Coal Grove: Eric Davidson 1-2-1 26.

RECEIVING – East: Kevin Scott 1-50; J.R. Little 3-42, Josh Bailey 1-8; Coal Grove: Tyler Branch 1-26.