Hornets ball control, defense stop Redmen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

COAL GROVE – For the Coal Grove Hornets, a spread offense means giving the ball to more than one running back.

The Hornets used three running backs to rush for 203 yards and the defense held Rock Hill to 114 total yards as Coal Grove blanked the Redmen 21-0 Friday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

“Our offensive line play was the difference and our team offensively was balanced all night. Not one guy got the ball all the time. We spread it out over several guys,” Hornets coach Dave Lucas said.

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Rock Hill was limited to 33 plays for the game, 27 rushing. Coal Grove ran the ball 56 times for 220 yards while throwing one pass. Lucas praised the defense for its effort.

“The kids played hard and the defense played aggressively,” Lucas said. “We made some personnel changes this week because we knew quickness would make a difference.”

Last week Coal Grove was guilty of 11 turnovers in a 41-15 loss to South Point. The Hornets did not have a turnover against the Redmen who were victims of three miscues.

“Last week I told the kids it wasn’t just bad play, it was bad luck. This week showed a lot of character to bounce back from what happened last week,” Lucas said.

The Hornets are 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the league.

Rock Hill fell to 6-3 and 3-1 in the OVC. The Redmen can clinch at least a share of the title with a win against South Point.

Coach Todd Knipp praised Coal Grove for its effort but was disappointed in his team’s performance.

“Give their kids credit. They played extremely well. They controlled the clock and the tempo of the game. They didn’t turn the ball over and didn’t make any mistakes,” Redmen coach Todd Knipp said.

“Any time we needed to make a play, we had a breakdown. We shot ourselves in the foot with penalties or missed assignments.”

Coal Grove took the opening kickoff and drove 62 yards in 10 plays capped by Frank Delawder’s 14-yard scoring run and it was 6-0.

Rock Hill’s deepest penetration into Coal Grove territory came late in the first half.

The Redmen drove to the Hornets 23-yard line, but they fumbled on a second-down-4 play and Delawder recovered the ball at the 25.

In the second half, Rock Hill reached the Hornets 35 before a fourth down pass was dropped in the end zone.

Coal Grove answered with a 65-yard, 12-play drive that culminated with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Eric Davidson to Marty Holston, the only pass the Hornets threw.

Davidson threw to Delawder for the conversion and it was 14-0.

The Hornets recovered a fumble at the Rock Hill 42-yard line and eight plays later Delawder scored on a 1-yard run. Neil Taylor’s conversion kick sealed the win with 6:47 to play.

Delawder had 78 yards on 19 carries and Matt Cooper 74 yards on 18 attempts. Shane Jenkins added 51 yards on 10 carries.

Leading rusher Trent Blankenship did not play due to an injury.

Josh Moore returned to the Rock Hill lineup and ran for 54 yards on 10 carries. Leading rusher Jarrod Casey was held to 22 yards on eight attempts.

(NOTE: Ryan Walker contributed to this story.)