Script flipped: Hornets knock off Bryan for first win

·4 min read

Sep. 3—HUNTSVILLE — Seniors were recognized as Huntsville football played its first home game and they did not disappoint.

The Hornets opened with an eight-play drive that proved they could do something they could not do last week. Run the ball.

Despite not having junior Jawann Giddens, Huntsville's running backs Keiron Lee and Jeremiah Winfrey powered their way behind an offensive line to a 21-14 win over the Vikings.

"I thought we played really well all four quarters," Huntsville head coach Rodney Southern said. "We didn't panic when they scored, boom-boom on us, which happens for inexperienced kids. I thought we got back to what we needed to do in running the football. We are going to have to win games like this. I thought they played really well tonight."

Last week in the Hornets opener, A&M Consolidated limited them to under 15-yards on the ground but that wasn't the case tonight. Lee and Winfrey would combine for 185 yards on the ground as the option was a key factor.

Sophomore quarterback Austin Taylor would add 82 yards and two scores, including a 46-yard option play that set up the Hornet's game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.

"I think it was a good step," Keiron Lee said. "We were able to put more points on the board and as an offense, we were able to do our thing tonight."

"The good thing is both backs carried the ball well and we did it without Jawann," Southern said. "The O-line is a group we have to rely on and I thought they played well tonight. We got lackadaisical in the third quarter but that's going to happen in games like this."

Lee would amount to 80 yards for the Hornets and a score.

While last week the Hornets tossed the ball 54 times, they did not have to this week. Taylor would drop back 14 times to pass and would complete nine of them for just 60 yards, but that was all he needed.

The Hornets defense also stepped up to the challenge and pitched a shutout for the first half. Huntsville would take a 14-0 lead into the half behind a solid outing. For the entire game, Huntsville allowed the Tigers 10 first downs but forced four turnovers.

Sophomore Braylon Phelps played a key role in the game snagging an intersection and forcing a fumble.

Both played key roles.

"I felt good." Braylon Phelps said. "We have to keep that same energy, that's all we have to do."

However, the Hornets came out flat after the half. Huntsville allowed a two-play 75-yard drive that resulted in the Viking's first score. After both teams punted on their next drive, Bryan found themselves back in the endzone to tie the game at 14.

The Hornet's defense would then answer back by not allowing another score in the game.

"Braylon's interception on the sideline was probably the best play of the night," Southern said. "They thought the ball was going there and I thought it was going there too. But those young guys are playing hard and when you play hard good things are going to happen."

While the Hornets got the win, it showed plenty of steps in the right direction. The Hornets would run the option and Taylor made solid reads on whether to dump it off. The offensive line also stepped up for the run game and in pass blocking.

Huntsville also played a rather clean game. They would commit nine penalties but only lose 55 yards, they would also not commit a single defensive penalty.

"Our line stepped up and Austin made the right decisions," Southern said. "Especially on the option that he got the big run. You don't want to pitch it there. I thought overall from top to bottom this was a well-played game. We didn't have a lot of penalties. There was a lot of good stuff we could build on."

Now the Hornets turn their head to another challenge. Next up the Hornets will face Belton in a reunion for Southern at his former school. Kickoff for that game is set for 7 p.m. next Friday in Belton.

But until then, the Hornets have to continue to build on what they have..

"We can just keep putting in effort at practice and doing our stuff," Lee said. "We just have to keep getting better."