Hornets rout Raiders 32-7 as Lucas win CG debut
For The Tribune
COAL GROVE — It was a successful homecoming for Coal Grove’s Jay Lucas.
Making his head coaching debut at his alma mater, Lucas’ host Hornets held the visiting River Valley Raiders without an offensive touchdown, amassed over 400 yards of offense and scored the game’s final 25 points en route to a 32-7 season-opening victory on Friday night inside LeMaster Stadium.
Before the game, Lucas’ father – longtime and legendary Coal Grove coach Dave Lucas – was honored with a sign renaming the street which runs in front of the high school as Dave Lucas Lane.
Jay was his longtime assistant, but now the roles are reversed with Dave assisting his son.
“I thought our kids played really hard. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t an emotional time for me. Coal Grove has always been home. I’ve been around here all my life. We had to make some adjustments when we did and I thought they executed well on both sides of the ball, and I was really proud of them,” he said.
The Hornets scored the game’s final 25 points in the final 37 minutes and 34 seconds, and withstood a 55-minute weather delay in the second quarter by dominating both sides of the ball following it.
Coal Grove gained 405 total yards including 284 rushing on 52 carries.
The Lucas’ — long known for their ground-oriented trap-heavy running philosophy — aired it out on Friday for 16 attempts with nine completions.
Austin Stapleton struck for 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 19 carries, and Austin Stormes – on 10 totes and 53 yards with five receptions for 74 yards – scored on an 8-yard run with a minute-and-a-half in the first quarter to give the Hornets the lead for good.
Cory Borders, making his first start at quarterback for the graduated Nate Harmon, completed 8-of-14 passes for 116 yards.
His 6-yard completion to Jarren Hicks with five minutes remaining in the third quarter capped the scoring at 32-7.
Coal Grove outgained the Raiders by almost 300 yards (405-117) and stymied the injury-riddled Raiders to 33 rushing yards on 20 attempts.
The Hornets held a hefty 25-5 advantage in first downs, and forced the Raiders into four punts with three turnovers.
The second of two lost first-quarter fumbles, with 6:42 to play in the opening period, produced the Hornets’ first touchdown.
River Valley quarterback Jordan Burns completed a swing pass in the end zone, but Justin Hicks hit Jared Reese and jarred the ball loose, as Logan Sizemore recovered.
Lucas spoke to the physicality of which the Hornets hit the Raiders.
“We feel like we have a good group on the defensive side of the ball,” said Lucas. “The play that Justin made there set the tone. We have some good skilled players, but Coal Grove has always been pretty physical. We were going to challenge them up front and see where they ended up.”
The Raiders only score occurred just 15 seconds later when Cole Young returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards untouched up the middle.
But the Hornets hit back with a 55-yard, 10-play scoring drive that spanned five minutes and 53 seconds.
Coal Grove mixed runs with Stapleton and Stormes, as Stormed scored from 8 yards away with 1:34 left in the first quarter.
J.C. Damron made his second of two successful extra point kicks to make it 14-7, giving the Hornets the lead for good.
After an exchange of punts, the Raiders returned a punt 31 yards to the Coal Grove 17, but River Valley went three-and-out inside the red zone.
The weather delay hit at the 4:17 mark, and when it resumed, the Hornets were ready while the Raiders were not.
Coal Grove drove 87 yards in only five plays on the first possession following the break, as Stapleton scored from 13 yards away with 2:52 left in the first half.
From there, the Raiders ran just 14 plays from scrimmage as the Hornets started the third quarter with a nine-play, 75-yard march which consumed the opening four minutes.
Stapleton scored from a yard away making it 26-7.
After a River Valley three-and-out, Coal Grove ended the scoring with another five-play drive highlighted by Borders’ 32-yard pass to Justin Hicks – before his touchdown toss to Jarren Hicks.
The Hornets return home, and return to non-league action, next Friday night against Valley.
River Valley 7 0 0 0 = 7
Coal Grove 14 6 12 0 = 32
CG — Logan Sizemore fumble recovery in end zone (J.C. Damron kick), 6:42
RV — Cole Young 85 kickoff return (Trae Russell kick), 6:27
CG — Austin Stormes 8 run (J.C. Damron kick), 1:34
CG — Austin Stapleton, 13 run (pass failed), 2:52
CG ¬— Austin Stapleton, 1 run (kick failed), 8:00
CG — Jarren Hicks, 6 pass from Cory Borders (kick blocked), 4:58
First downs 5 25
Rushes-yards 20-33 52-284
Passing yards 84 121
Total yards 117 405
Cmp-Att-Int 5-15-1 9-16-1
Fumbles-lost 3-2 3-0
Penalties-yards 9-85 6-40
Punts-average 4-38.25 2-33
RUSHING —River Valley: Jordan Burns 7-3, Will Hash 5-1, Ryan Jones 3-10, Cole Young 1-8, Michael Conkle 1-8, Jared Reese 1-3, Team 2-0; Coal Grove: Austin Stapleton 19-115 2TD, Austin Stormes 10-53 TD, Cory Borders 5-50, Clay Ferguson 4-26, Trey Hunt 4-15, Chase Hall 4-5, Malachai Wheeler 3-10, Justin Hicks 2-9, Braylen Stuntebeck 1-1.
PASSING — River Valley: Jordan Burns 5-15-1-84; Coal Grove: Cory Borders 8-14-1-116 TD, Clay Ferguson 1-1-0-5, Braylen Stuntebeck 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — River Valley: Brandon Call 2-49, Cole Young 1-29, Will Hash 1-10, Jared Reese 1-(-4); Coal Grove: Austin Stormes 5-74, Justin Hicks 1-32, Malachai Wheeler 2-9, Jarren Hicks 1-6.