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Hornets score late touchdown to get win over Panthers


Coal Grove Hornets’ running back Malachai Wheeler (2) follows the block of Ben Compliment on the Chesapeake Panthers’ Landon Preston (33) during Friday’s OVC game. The Hornets rallied late to win xx-xx. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

CHESAPEAKE — Lots of points and last-second wins are getting to be quite a habit for the Coal Grove Hornets.
After outlasting Portsmouth 66-63 last week, the Hornets got a 2-yard scoring run by Austin Stapleton with just 25 seconds to play as they escaped with a 42-35 Ohio Valley Conference win over the Chesapeake Panthers on Friday.
Coal Grove led 35-21 entering the fourth quarter when the Panthers used the kicking game to tie the score.
The Hornets tried to seal the game late in the fourth quarter but a 38-yard field goal attempt was blocked and Ian Hicks returned the kick 60 yards for a touchdown.
Lucas Shepherd kicked the conversion and the Panthers were down 35-28.
Coal Grove then went three-and-out but the punt was also blocked and the Panthers had the ball at the Hornets’ 30-yard line.
Donald Richendollar then ran for the touchdown on the ensuing play and the game was tied with 2:39 to go.
But the Hornets then went 77 yards in eight plays highlighted by a 27-yard run by Chase Hall to begin the march and later a 14-yard run to the Panthers’ 10.
Hall ran for 8 yards and then Stapleton powered his way into the end zone for the winning score.
Coal Grove (3-2, 3-2) amassed 496 total yards — all on the ground — with Malachai Wheeler running 24 times for a personal career best of 269 yards and three touchdowns while Hall carried 10 times for 149 yards.
Stapleton added 60 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns including the game-winner.
Chesapeake (2-4, 2-4) ran for 228 yards as Richendollar carried 20 times for 186 yards and three touchdowns. He also hit 3-of-7 passes for 40 yards as the Panthers had 268 total yards.
Coal Grove jumped in front 7-0 to start the game as Wheeler broke loose on a 74-yard run and Justin Newcomb kicked the conversion.
A 43-yard run by Hall set up a 2-yard scoring run by Stapleton and the lead was 14-0 with 8:15 on the first quarter clock.
Chesapeake then drove 77 yards in eight plays as Richendollar had a key 38-yard run and Dilen Caldwell went the final 5 yards for the score at the 5:47 mark.
Coal Grove came right back behind the running of Hall and Wheeler to reach the 3-yard line and Stapleton punched it in from there for a 21-7 lead and 2:19 on the clock.
Chesapeake began a 65-yard drive in the first quarter that ended on the fourth play of the second quarter when Richendollar ran one-yard for the score and it was 21-14.
But the Hornets answered three plays later as Wheeler bolted 51 yards for the touchdown.
After the Hornets recovered a Chesapeake fumble, Wheeler had a 26-yard scoring run and it was 35-14.
But Richendollar broke free on a 54-yard touchdown run on the Panthers’ next play and it was 35-21 at the half.
Next Saturday, Coal Grove host Grandview Heights at 7 p.m.in the Division 6 Region 23 playoffs while Chesapeake visits Portsmouth West at 7 p.m. in the Division 5 Region 19 playoffs.
Coal Grove 21 14 0 7 = 42
Chesapeake 7 14 0 14 = 35
First Quarter
CG – Malachai Wheeler 74 run (Justin Newcomb) 11:08
CG – Austin Stapleton 2 run (Justin Newcomb kick) 8:15
Ch – Dilen Caldwell 2 run (Lucas Shepherd kick) 5:47
CG – Austin Stapleton (Justin Newcomb kick) 2:19
Second Quarter
Ch – Donald Richendollar 1 run (Lucas Shepherd kick) 10:40
CG – Malachai Wheeler 51 run (kick blocked) 9:24
CG – Malachai Wheeler 26 run (Austin Stapleton run) 2:22
Ch – Donald Richendollar 54 run (Lucas Shepherd kick) 2:02
Fourth Quarter
Ch – Ian Hicks blocked field goal return (Lucas Shepherd kick) 4:47
Ch – Donald Richendollar 30 run (Lucas Shepherd kick) 2:39
CG – Austin Stapleton 2 run (Justin Newcomb kick) 0:25
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CG Ch
First downs 20 10
Rushes-yards 55-496 40-228
Passing yards 0 40
Total yards 496 268
Cmp-Att-Int xx xx
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-2
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Individual Leaders
RUSHING —Coal Grove: Malachai Wheeler 24-269 3TD, Austin Stapleton 18-60 3TD, Chase Hall 10-149; Chesapeake: Donald Richendollar 20-186 3TD, Ian Hicks 4-8, Dilen Caldwell 7-6, Hunter Livingston 6-20.
PASSING — Coal Grove: Clay Ferguson 0-2-0; Chesapeake: Donald Richendollar 3-7-0 40.
RECEIVING — Coal Grove: None; Chesapeake: Ian Hicks 1-27, Thomas Sentz 2-13.