Hornets Drop Season Opener 52-22
Hundred took the opening kickoff from Notre Dame in the first game of the season Aug. 28 and moved it right down the field on runs by Dalton Kuhn, Shane Kuhn and Chris Varner. However, the Irish held to force a punt and took it to the house for the game’s first score and a 7-0 lead after the PAT.
The Hornets again blasted Notre Dame’s front line with runs by Stalnaker and Zach White. Hornet Dylan Murphy caught a Tyrell Watson pass to move the chains. Then, Varner and Dalton Kuhn picked up major yards before Notre Dame held the Hornets to a fourth down and short.
Watson used a hard count to draw the visitors off sides, giving them a first down. It gave Watson the opportunity to hit Chris Shackleford with a nifty 21 yard double reverse pass to put them on the board. Stalnaker bullied his way through the Irish line, knocking over a host of visitors for the two-point conversion run that gave the home team its first and only lead of the game at 8-7.
Notre Dame added a fourth down TD pass for 71 yards and scored on an interception return before the first period ended. The Irish would go on to defeat Hundred, 52-22.
Dalton Kuhn was injured in the first period and had to sit out the rest of the game.
Hundred had the ball to inside its own five yard line, posturing for a score. However, one play later, the Irish intercepted the ball, which led to a Notre Dame TD.
Other key plays in the first half included: a bad snap on a punt to give Notre Dame excellent field position that they took advantage to score; a Varner 17-yard end around run; a 30-yard run back off a Watson interception that led to another easy Irish tally; and a 43-yard Notre Dame quarterback touchdown run, all in the first half.
In the second half, the referees shortened the game to an eight-minute third quarter and a six-minute fourth period because of the heat.
Key plays for Hundred in the second half included: a quarterback sack by Jericho Park and Ray Yoho after the opening kick; a 49-yard interception return by Varner that led to a Stalnaker touchdown; a nice two-point conversion catch by Murphy; a huge quarterback sack by Jacob Watson; and a 37-yard Tyrell Watson keeper for the game’s final touchdown.
This was the first afternoon game at Cosgray Field since 1964 when lights were installed. The Hornets will not get their lights up again until late this season and will play all their home games on Saturdays at 1 p.m.
Tyrell Watson had 98 yards passing and one TD, while running for an additional 33 yards. He would have had a lot more, but was sacked four times. Dalton Kuhn had 26 yards rushing in the first quarter on five carries, while Varner led the way with 40 yards on seven totes. Shane Kuhn had 30 yards rushing, while Stalnaker added 23 yards and a TD. He also tallied a conversion run and White ran twice for 10 yards. Shackleford caught one pass for 46 yards and a TD, while Murphy netted 31 yards on three catches and a two-point conversion catch. Varner hauled in a pair of Tyrell Watson passes for 20 yards, while Shane Kuhn caught one pass for positive yards.
Parks led the defense with five tackles that included one sack and a tackle for loss of yardage. Varner added four tackles and an interception, while knocking down an Irish pass. Jacob Watson contributed a QB sack.
“I was really impressed the way Varner picked up his game offensively as well as defensively when Dalton went down,” said Hornet Head Coach Rex Rush. “This team has the best overall team chemistry that I have ever coached so far here at Hundred.”
Hundred’s next game is at home at 7:30 p.m., Friday against the Valley Lumberjacks in Pine Grove. However, Valley will donate the gate proceeds to the Hornets.
The arrangement makes it possible for fans to watch or attend the West Virginia Mountaineers in their season opener, Saturday in Morgantown.