On a night when both teams punched and counter-punched, the Hornets of Huntland escaped Edward Suey Field with a hard-fought 28-20 win over the Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Saints Friday night.
Huntland built a 14-0 lead by halftime with rushing touchdowns near the end of the first and second quarters. However, after taking the second half kickoff, Huntland attempted to run from deep in their own territory when defensive lineman, Gilbert Russ, stripped the ball from the Huntland running back and took it in for a Saints score to narrow the gap to 14-7. After an exchange of possessions, the Saints took the ball on an 80-yard drive which ended in a 3-yard touchdown run by Gilbert Russ to tie the score, 14-14.
Huntland took a 21-14 lead with a touchdown by running back Tyler Smith with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter. But the “never-say-die” Saints fought back with a one-handed, end zone catch by Samuel Eastin from Ric Van Mali to narrow the score to 21-20 when the extra point attempt failed.
The Hornets counter-punched again by scoring with 5:25 remaining in the game to take a 28-20 lead. The Saints made a valiant effort to tie the score in the final minute and were passing into Huntland’s end zone when time ran out.
The Saints (1-3) are at home again Friday as they take on Friendship Christian School with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.