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Coal Grove outlasts Fairland again, 27-26

PROCTORVILLE — If the Coal Grove Hornets sang “Do Wop” songs, you can bet they’d

be singing, “Da do run run run, da do run run.”

When it comes to “do run,” that’s just what the Hornets like to do and they did it 59 times Friday night for 304 yards as they held off the Fairland Dragons 27-26 to begin Ohio Valley Conference play.

Tailback Trent Blankenship ran 35 times for 171 yards and two touchdowns while fullback Matt Cooper added 78 yards on 15 attempts and the winning score to lead the Hornets ground game.

Coal Grove completed just one of three just three passes for 9 yards.

“We rely heavily on our line and our line has been doing a good job,” Hornets coach Dave Lucas said.

“Matt is becoming a consistent runner for us. Trent’s a nice running back. When we get our fullback and tailback going behind our line, we’ve got a pretty good offense.”

Fairland (0-6) used its passing game again but added the running Jordan Kersey to help add some running punch to the offense.

Quarterback Cole Hatfield was 21 of 33 for 234 yards and three touchdowns, but he was intercepted twice.

Kersey ran six times for 74 yards and a score.

“There were two main factors. We couldn’t stop the run and we had too many penalties,” Fairland coach Brent Wilcoxon said.

Fairland was whistled 11 times for 95 yards in penalties. Coal Grove had just two penalties for 20 yards.

Fairland scored first on a 20-yard pss from Hatifled to Michael Lamb to lead 6-0.

Coal Grove’s first touchdown came after an interception Corey Newman interception at the Fairland 41-yard line set up a four-play scoring drive for the Hornets.

Blankenship covered most of the yardage as he ran 28 yards for the touchdown and Neil Taylor’s conversion kick put the Hornets up 7-6.

In the second quarter, the Hornets went 49 yards in 11 plays as Blankenship capped the march with a 3-yard run to make it 14-6.

But Fairland answered with another Hatfield-to-Lamb hookup, this time for 9 yards to make it 14-12.

In the second half, Fairland took an 18-14 lead when Jordan Kersey got loose on a 54-yard scoring run.

Coal Grove (4-2) then went 68 yards to regain the lead at 21-18 on a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Eric Davidson.

The Dragons took a 26-21 lead when Lamb caught his third TD pass from 26 yards out. Hatfield ran for the conversion.

Coal Grove then chewed up the clock with an 83-yard, 12-play drive that ended with Cooper going 2 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to make it 27-26 with 4:03 left.

Fairland ran the ensuing kickoff back to the 45-yard line and gained 10 yards on the next play.

But two penalties moved the ball back to the Fairland 35. On the next play, Newman got his second interception with 2:20 to play to halt the drive and preserve the win.

Coal Grove was hampered by turnovers. The Hornets lost four of five fumbles.

“We drove the ball. We dropped the ball a few times that kept it close. It was at times when we had pretty good field positions. They knocked two of them out. They played hard. They’re not an 0-6 team.