Hornets use ground game to top Redmen

Published 12:45 am Monday, September 28, 2015

Jim Walker



PEDRO — Just because Coal Grove only has one offensive starter and three defensive starters returning from last season doesn’t mean the Hornets have forgotten how to challenge for the league title.

Despite the lack of veteran players, the Hornets took another big step as they look to defend their Ohio Valley Conference title by holding off the Rock Hill Redmen 33-21 on Friday.

Coal Grove is now 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the OVC. Rock Hill is 3-2 and 1-1 in the league.

“It was emotional. It’s a new program and we’re doing some new things. The more we win the more they believe. They’re starting to believe and they’re starting to come together as a team,” said Hornets’ first-year head coach Brian Kidd who was a standout running back and linebacker for Rock Hill in high school.

The Hornets used a balanced backfield to pile of rushing yardage as they had 391 of their 416 total yards on the ground.

Jacob Clark was the main weapon for the Hornets with 164 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

Tanner Henry had 139 yards on 19 carries with three touchdowns while quarterback Daniel “Rudy” Rutherford got 69 yards on 12 attempts. He also threw for a touchdown.

“We moved the ball pretty well. We just start out and see who has a hot hand or what the defense is allowing us to do. Sometimes it’s one kid, sometimes it’s another,” said Kidd.

Rock Hill ran for 322 yards led by the tandem of Chance Blankenship and Danny Long. Blankenship racked up 186 yards on 20 carries and Long carried 15 times for 132 yards.

Coal Grove got the first touchdown of the game on a 3-yard pass from Rutherford to Clark in the first quarter to cap a 40-yard drive. Jeb Jones kicked the conversion.

The Redmen then went 80 yads in seven plays to get right back in it on a 45-yard scoring run by Long and it was 7-6, but Henry gave the Hornets some breathing room with a 40-yard scoring run on a third-and-2 play and it was 14-6 at the half.

Henry’s 5-yard scoring run with 3:25 left in the third quarter made it 21-6 as Coal Grove went 65 yards in just three plays.

But Blankenship quickly put the Redmen back in the game as he broke loose on a 59-yard touchdown gallop on the second play following the kickoff.

Mason Darby threw to Zach Harrison for the conversion and it was 21-14.

Coal Grove again went on a scoring drive covering 65 yards in five plays with After a 6-yard loss on a sack, Henry ran 65 yards to the 2-yard line where he scored with just four seconds left on the clock and it was 27-14.

Rock Hill drove 82 yards in 11 plays with Mason Darby throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal to Long with 7:35 to play that cut the Hornets’ lead to 27-21 after Trystan Matney’s conversion kick.

But Coal Grove answered the challenge with a 45-yard, 8-play scoring drive that culminated on a 10-yard touchdown run by Henry with 4:06 to play and it was 33-21.

Coal Grove 7 7 13 6 = 33

Rock Hill 0 6 8 7 = 21

First Quarter

CG — Jacob Clark 3 pass from Daniel Rutherford (Jeb Jones kick) 8:53

Second Quarter

RH — Danny Long 45 run (kick blocked) 11:49

CG — Tanner Henry 40 run (Jeb Jones kick) 8:37

Third Quarter

CG — Tanner Henry 5 run (Jeb Jones kick) 3:25

RH — Chance Blankenship 59 run (Zach Harrison pass from Mason Darby) 2:29

CG — Tanner Henry 2 run (kick failed) 0:04

Fourth Quarter

RH — Danny Long 4 pass from Mason Darby (Trystan Matney kick) 7:35

CG — Tanner Henry 10 run (pass failed) 3:47



First downs 18 12

Rushes-yards 51-391 39-322

Passing yards 25 4

Total yards 416 326

Cmp-Att-Int 4-6-0 1-7-1

Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 5-61 7-75

Punts-average 1-37.0 3-28.3


Individual Leaders

RUSHING —Coal Grove: Jacob Clark 11-164 TD, Tanner Dolen 3-11, Tanner Henry 19-139 3-TD, Daniel Rutherford 12-69, Chase McKnight 1-7, Kimo Baldwin 3-6, Isaac Howard 1-2; Rock Hill: Chance Blankenship 20-186 TD, Danny Long 15-132 TD, Brady Knipp 4-3, Trystan Matney 2-7, Mason Darby 1-minus 6.

PASSING — Coal Grove: Daniel Rutherford 4-6-0 25 TD; Rock Hill: Mason Darby 1-7-1 4 TD.

RECEIVING — Coal Grove: Jacob Clark 3-11 TD, Chase McKnight 1-14; Rock Hill: Danny Long 1-4 TD.