Baker Hauls in Game-Winning TD
With the Hundred Hornets down 30-26 with 2:06 in the game, the Hornets would go on a miracle finish to remember. The Hancock Panthers kicked off after just taking the lead with 2:14 remaining, and the Hornets Cody Soles returned the kick to their-own 40-yard to start the winning drive with only 2:06 left on the Cosgray fast-moving clock.
After a pair snaps went through the Hornets quarterback hands, the Hornets were now facing an impossible third down and 32-yards just to get a new set of downs with less than 1:30 left in the game.
The Hornets senior quarterback Logan Norris got loose from a couple Panther defenders and heaved a pass to Martin Baker that was tipped by a Panther covering Baker, and tipped again off his fingertips and he hauled it in in stride for a miraculous reception of 82-yards to go on top, 32-30 with 1:04 showing left in regulation.
Hancock fell on a shot kick at mid-field, to start their final series. The Panther quarterback who broke countless tackles all night, once again broke loose and picked up 9-yards, but a holding call on the play pushed back the Panthers to their-own 45-yard line. A quick pass got Hancock to the Hornets 28-yard line with .16 seconds remain, but on the Panthers next play that had the quarterback scrambling once again, it looked like they were going to humble the Hornets once more. However, Baker stepped in front of a Panther receiver for an interception to seal the game.
“Jacob Kuhn may have had the biggest play of the night with the great block to spring Martin free on the TD catch to seal the game. It is a great time to be a Hundred Hornet. ” said Hundred Head Coach DJ Bryd.
Hancock started the game with a nice run-back on the games opening kick to midfield. After a 7-yard run, the Panthers fumbled the ball, but gained 4-yards and a first down. The Hornets defense held the Panthers to no-gain, and called a quick time-out. After the short break, they tacked on a yard, and picked up a first down on a beautiful 20-yard pitch and catch for a first and goal at the 9-yard line. The Panthers threw 3-straight incomplete passes and was facing a fourth and goal at the 9-yard line. And once again, Hancock went to the air, and for the first of four batted balls by Cody Poe, the Hornets held the Panthers on downs.
After a pair of positive runs by Poe, Norris went to his favorite receiver Cody Soles for a 36-yard throw and catch for a new set of downs. Poe, once again picked up positive yardage on the next two plays, but this time Norris completed a pass to Baker for another first down.
From their, Norris picked up 9-yards on a keeper, but the Panther defense would make a tackle for a loss of yardage. Coach Bryd called Norris’s number and he delivered with a 12-yard TD run to give the Home-Coming hosts a 6-0 lead with 3:05 left in period one.
However, the lead didn’t last long as #4 raced down the Hornets sideline for a 70-yard TD scamper to take a 8-6 lead.
David Derby fell on the Hancock ensuring squib kick at the the Hancock 47-yard line to start their next drive.
After a QB sack, Bryce Bartrug picked up 9-yards, but on the next play Norris would be picked off to end the first quarter of non-stop action.
After picking up a new set of downs on their second play of the second period, the Hancock quarterback was being hounded by Poe and for the first of two batted balls went right into Dylan Walton’s arm for his first of 2-interceptions.
Hundred would pick up a first down, but Baker would try to gain more yards after the catch, but was stripped of the ball, and Hancock took over at the 40-yard line.
The Panthers wasted little time getting down the Hornets 2-yard line, but Baker redeemed himself when he stripped and recovered the ball at the 2-yard line.
The Panthers held and forced a Hundred punt from the end-zone, and Bakers kick went back into Panther territory after a block in the back with 2:11 remaining in the first half.
It didn’t take Hancock long to score, as their quarterback eluded countless Hornets defenders and lofted a 50-yard TD pass to push their lead to 14-6 after the 2-point conversion run, by their quarterback.
Hundred looked to get the equalizer, but fell a little short as the horn sounded to end the hotly contested first half of action.
Hundred started the second half at their own 30-yard line, and after 3-catches by Soles and a Norris keeper, the Hornets were in business. After another Soles catch, as well as one to Baker and Jacob Kuhn, the Hornets were deep into Panther territory with a first down. Eli Geho would haul in a Norris pass to the 1-yard line, then Bartrug got the call and waltzed in to close the gap to 14-12.
Once again Hancock was in business after a short Hundred kick close to mid-field. However, the combination of Poe to Walton off a blocked pass had the hosts licking their chops at the Panthers 15-yard line. However, Hancock returned the favor with a pick of their own to get it right back.
Hundred shot themselves in the foot, instead of taking the lead, Hancock would get a 73-yard quarterback scamper to build their lead to 22-12 after the two-point conversion run.
Hundred started their next drive at their own 40-yard line, and after a tackle for loss of yardage the combination of Norris to Soles got the party started, and would get as close as the 1-yard line before fumbling the ball.
The Hornets thought they had a safety on the fumble as the Hancock ball carrier was tackled as he went into the end-zone, but the ball was called dead at the 1-yard line. However, a long run and a block in the back brought the ball back to the 2-yard line, and this time Poe and company sacked the Hancock QB for a safety any-how.
Soles ran back the Hancock punt to the 11-yard line after a 15-yard penalty for a late tackle out of bounds that side-lined Soles for a few plays.
However, the Hornets were their own enemy as Norris was picked off once again in the end-zone to end the third period. However, the Hundred defense rose to their coaches challenge and got the ball back a little later at the Hornets 44-yard line on a nice defensive stand that forced a punt.
Soles picked up some yardage on an end-around and Poe ran down hill to give the home town the ball with a first down at the Hancock 17-yard line. Norris called his number once more for a TD to cut the deficit to 22-20 after a missed conversion pass.
However, Soles recovered the ensuing squib kick at the 47-yard line. Poe and Norris each picked up positive yardage on the ground, but it was the combination of Norris to Baker for 30-yards that game Hundred their first lead since, 6-0 with 5:03 remaining for a 26-22 lead.
However, the Hancock boys would go right down and scored with 2:15 left in regulation on a 7-yard run and the 2-point conversion run for a 30-26 lead.
Norris was 14-24 for 225-yards and 2-TDs, while rushing for 58-yards and 2-TDs on 11 carries. Baker caught 6-passes for a career-high 107-yards and a touchdown. Cody Soles also caught 6-passes for 99-yards and ran the ball twice for 18-yards, while Bartrug caught 1-pass for 6-yards and ran the ball twice for 22-yards and a touchdown. Geho and Kuhn each caught 1-pass for 9 and 4-yards, respectively. Poe was the workhorse for the Hornets, an ran the ball 19-times for 83-yards.
Defensively, there were many guys that had great games, with Dylan Walton leading the way with 10-tackles with 8-solo’s, two interceptions, 1-fumble recovery and a half a sack. Poe made 8-tackles, scored on a safety batted the ball 4-times with 2-that was caught for interceptions. Dylan Gump and David Derby also had 8-tackles each, while Norris made 7-tackles. Baker made 4-tackles, but he had 1-fumble recovery and 1-Interception, while Soles made 4-tackles and recovered a fumble.
Coach Bryd added, “I was really proud of our kids effort. The crowd support was awesome and these kids will remember this game for the rest of their lives. Our program is going in the right direction. I thought our offensive line blocked well. Cody Poe continues to get better with every carry and he ran very hard on Friday night. Logan Norris was solid like he is every game. Martin Baker and Cody Soles did a great job catching the football.
The Hornets have a few weeks off to get ready for their last 2-games with Montcalm away Nov.1 and will end their season at home against Clay-Battelle on Nov. 8 with both games starting at 7 p.m.