Four plays into their game Friday night at Metcalfe County, the Caverna Colonels looked as if they would dominate the host Hornets. Twenty-five plays later, it was clear Metcalfe County was in control of the football game.
After the Hornets went three-and-out on their first drive and tallied minus-4 yards, they dominated the remainder of the first quarter and led 26-0 after the initial 12 minutes. The game got no better — except for one play — for the Colonels and they lost 46-6.
“We just kind of fell apart,” Caverna head coach Rodney Middleton said. “They broke a big play on us and we let down after that. It’s the same thing I’ve been talking about all season.”
Metcalfe County head coach Freddie Harbison said there were three missed blocks on his team’s first drive.
“I got them over to the sideline and yelled at them a little bit about that,” the coach said as he smiled in his team’s locker room after the game. “We did a better job of blocking after that.”
The Hornets also did a good job of handing the ball off inside to their backs and gashing the Colonels’ defense up the middle.
Caverna’s first drive ended on an interception by Metcalfe’s Brandon Glass. He returned the pick to the Colonels’ two-yard line. A penalty on CHS pushed the ball to the one and Glass got to finish what he started with a one-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed and Metcalfe led 6-0 with 8:50 left in the first period.
The Hornets’ next drive also resulted in a touchdown. This time after a five play drive, Cole Shive, the lone senior on Metcalfe’s team this season, punched the ball into the end zone on a five-yard run. The Hornets took a shot at a two-point conversion, but it failed and they led 12-0 with 5:10 to go in the first period.
Metcalfe’s third score of the first quarter came on a 65-yard burst up the gut by Kyle Bryant with 3:02 to go in the period. Another failed two-point conversion left the Hornets with an 18-0 lead.
The Colonels’ ensuing drive ended with a punt attempt that went awry when Metcalfe’s players broke through Caverna’s blockers and swatted the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
With 1:24 still to play in the first quarter, the Hornets led 20-0 and they were not finished.
An unsportsmanlike penalty on the Colonels following the safety meant they had to free kick to the Hornets from their own 10-yard line.
Metcalfe’s next scoring drive started at Caverna’s 35 because of the penalty and two plays later they finished it with a 28-yard run by Shive. After another missed extra point, the Hornets led 26-0 with 37 seconds remaining in the opening period.
Middleton said it was an uphill battle from there for his team.
“We’re very fragile when it comes to big plays,” he said. “We have to become mentally tough. That just comes with time. We have five seniors and the rest of them are just young. It comes with maturity.”
The Colonels settled into the game better in the second quarter and pulled within 20 points with 2:41 to play in the half. Caverna ran a reverse to Anthony Phillips, who then threw the ball down field to Trevor Stephens. Stephens sidestepped a couple of Metcalfe defenders and outran the rest for his team’s only touchdown. In all, it was an 85-yard scoring play. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Colonels trailed 26-6.
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