HARPURSVILLE – In what some deemed to be a close matchup – based on years past – the Harpursville-Afton Hornets made short work of a Oxford football team which just couldn’t seem to get anything going, losing 34-0.
The matchup which for the past two years prior was decided by a mere three-points – was decided by a devastating 34 point margin, as the Hornets rushed for monster gains against the Blackhawks on Saturday, Oct 1. – racking up 348 total rushing yards.
The success that Harpursville-Afton enjoyed in the game – couple with their natural running style of football – had the Hornets complete just one of three passes for five yards receiving, as they simply weren’t forced to look to the air.
Instead, Madison Hoover led the deadly attack on the ground for the Hornets notching his game up for an impressive day which saw him record just 10 carries taking those opportunities for 201 yards on the ground and scoring three touchdowns – two rushing one receiving.
Hoover scored each of the first three touchdowns in the game – all coming in the first half of play. Hoover first ripped off a long 57 yard run to the house with 5:06 left in the first quarter. Hoover then looked to the air, where he caught the lone completion in the game for the Hornets, for a five yard touchdown pass from Tyler King with 11:54 left in the second quarter. And to simply put the nail in the coffin early for the visiting Blackhawks, Hoover bested his earlier run when he sped to a 72 yard touchdown for the late score in the second quarter.
“We had a huge game today, first drive we get the ball and we're driving then we had four holding penalties, four holding penalties. We were on their thirty yard line,” said Oxford head coach Jeff Newton. “Harpursville did what they needed to do, they looked good running their plays. We stopped them in the first couple series and I thought it was going to be another dog fight.”
Newton and his Oxford Blackhawks walked to the locker room at the halftime break trailing the Hornets 20-0.
The halftime did little to help the reeling Blackhawks, as they surrendered two additional rushing touchdowns to the Hornets in the second half of play – one in the third from Mitchell Weist from seven yards out, and one in the fourth from Kevin Hubbard from one yard out for the final score.
In the loss for Oxford, the silver lining was two defensive standouts – Jon Heggie, 12 tackles; and Mickerson Clune six tackles, five for losses and a forced fumble – stood out among others, as did youngster running-back Xavier Cruz who handled the ball 21 times and managed 95 rushing yards.
Quarterback play for Oxford was subpar on the day as Chris Martin completed just three of 13 attempts for an underwhelming 48 yards and two interceptions. Backup quarterback Darren Law however stepped in in the game completing two for three for 34 yards – beneficiaries on the night in the mostly lackluster passing attack was Jon Heggie with three catches for 48 yards, and Charles White with one snag for 33 yards...