Hornets roll in showdown
COAL GROVE — In a game where both teams came into it looking to grab the lead in the Ohio Valley Conference championship race, the Coal Grove Hornets ran away from the Chesapeake Panthers, 46-14.
After a Coal Grove fumble on the opening kickoff, the Hornets forced a turnover on downs and took over at their own 23.
In a methodical drive, Coal Grove scored the only touchdown in the first half when Alex Bare found Sean Paulus for a 16-yard touchdown pass. Tanner Murphy added the two-point conversion to make the score 8-0. The drive covered 77 yards in 19 plays and took 10:23 off the first quarter clock.
“I didn’t realize the drive was that long, but it was fun to watch the kids execute that well over a drive that long,” Coal Grove coach Dave Lucas said.
“The kids work hard all week and it is fun to watch them do the things they practice every day.”
In the third quarter, Coal Grove exploded to a 22-0 lead when Brandon Hogsten scored from 3 yards out and Alex Bare intercepted Panthers’ quarterback Caleb Lindsey and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.
Chesapeake (4-5, 2-1) would cut into the Hornets’ lead when Jacob Collins took a handoff up the middle, found a seam, and outraced the Coal Grove defenders for a 53-yard touchdown.
Nate Jones added the two-point conversion to make the score 22-8 at the end of the quarter.
Collins finished the game with 72 yards on five carries and a touchdown.
Coal Grove (5-3, 3-0) began another long drive that spilled over into the first play of the fourth quarter when the Hornets faced a fourth down.
Jesse Rigsby rolled out and found Conor Markins for a 10-yard scoring pass. Hogsten added the two-point conversion to give Coal Grove a 30-8 lead with 11:51 to go in the game. The drive covered 61 yards in 16 plays and took 8:34 off the second half clock.
Chesapeake looked to cut the lead again when Javon Thompson took the ensuing kickoff 70 yards down to the Hornets 9-yard line. After Nate Jones gained 8 yards on first down, the Panthers were turned away from the 1-yard line on second and third down. On fourth down, a Panthers’ fumble was recovered by Coal Grove at their own 5-yard line.
The Hornets next scoring drive covered 95 yards in eight plays and was capped off by a Rigsby pass to Markins from 12 yards out. Hogsten added the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 38-8 with 6:51 to go in the game.
The drive was highlighted by a 35-yard run by Isaiah Gunther and a 43-yard run by Hogsten. Markins finished with three catches for 30 yards and two touchdowns.
After another long kickoff return by Thompson, three plays later he bookended the drive with a 13-yard run. The two-point try failed and the score was 38-14 with 5:36 to go.
Coal Grove set the final score at 46-14 when Kyle Estep capped a 5-play, 47-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run and Hogsten added the two-point conversion.
Estep finished the game with 50 yards on 15 carries.
Hogsten led the Hornets with 106 yards on 17 carries and a score, and Isaiah Gunther got 81 yards on 10 carries.
Nate Jones had 70 yards on 12 carries for the Panthers.
“Our kids played steady throughout the game, and Chesapeake has a nice team and you can’t take anything away from them,” Lucas said.
“I don’t know if it was the conditions or what, but (Chesapeake) lost the ball a couple of times and we were able to recover (the fumbles) and intercept one and get a couple quick scores and get some separation there in the third quarter.”
Both teams finish out the regular season with OVC play next week as Chesapeake travels to Rock Hill and Coal Grove hosts South Point.
Coal Grove 8 0 14 24 = 46
Chesapeake 0 0 8 6 = 14
CG – Sean Paulus 16 pass from Alex Bare (Tanner Murphy run) 0:54
CG – Brandon Hogsten 3 run (run failed) 9:07
CG – Alex Bare 55 interception return (Estep pass from Bare) 8:45
CH – Jacob Collins 53 run (Nate Jones run) 8:26
CG – Conor Markins 10 pass from Jesse Rigsby (Hogsten run) 11:51
CG – Conor Markins 12 pass from Rigsby (Hogsten run) 6:51
CH – Javon Thompson 13 run (run failed) 5:36
CG – Kyle Estep 4 run (Murphy run) 2:18
First downs 23 5
Rushes-yards 58-287 26-168
Passing yards 55 0
Total yards 342 168
Cmp-Att-Int 5-7-1 0-5-1
Penalties-yards 4-30 5-51
Punts-average 0-0.00 0-0.00
RUSHING – Coal Grove: Brandon Hogsten 17-106 TD, Isaiah Gunther 10-81, Kyle Estep 15-50 TD, Alex Bare 12-32, Tanner Murphy 4-18; Chesapeake: Jacob Collins 5-72 TD, Nate Jones 12-70, Javon Thompson 2-15 TD, Mikey Walters 2-9, Caleb Lindsey 2-2.
PASSING – Coal Grove: Alex Bare 3-5-33 TD, Jesse Rigsby 2-2-22 2-TD; Chesapeake: Caleb Lindsey 0-4-0, Nate Jones 0-1-0.
RECEIVING – Coal Grove: Conor Markins 3-30 2-TD, Sean Paulus 2-25 TD; Chesapeake: None.