Hornets hold off Tigers

The J.B. Pennington Tigers built a 22-20 halftime lead but couldn’t hold on as Locust Fork outscored the hosts 16-6 in the second half for a 22-20 win.

Locust Fork took an early 7-0 lead on a 1- yard run by Chase Biles and an extra point kick by Dakota Karluk.

The Tigers answered on the ensuing possession when Brandon Butts hooked up with Jacob Washburn on a 38-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion was no good but the Hornet lead was just 7-6 after one quarter.

Pennington took the lead in the second quarter when Butts capped off a 79-yard drive with a 13-yard run. Butts found Washburn on the two-point conversion and the Tigers led 14-7 with 9:27 to play in the second quarter.

Locust Fork needed one play to answer as Micah Stephens burst to the outside and sprinted 80 yards for the score. The extra point by Karluk tied the game, 14-14.

Pennington answered again with Butts capping a 14-play, 52-yard drive with a 1- yard run. The two-point conversion was good and the Tigers were on top 22-14 with 1:56 left in the half.

Locust Fork got a 4-yard touchdown pass from Todd Goodwin to Jake Branham just before the half ended but Washburn blocked the kick and the Tiger lead was 22- 20 at the half.

The Hornet defense tightened up in the second half and Locust Fork got a pair of short touchdown runs from Goodwin in each of the final two quarters. Goodwin tossed two-point conversions to Nick Long and Alex Long to extend the Hornet lead to 36-20 with 8:30 to play.

Pennington finally found an opening midway through the quarter. Butts found Bailey Dempsey on a 40-yard bomb to the Hornet 1.

Washburn crashed into the end zone on the next play but a missed extra point left the Tigers down 36-28 with 4:03 to play.

Pennington was in business again when Locust Fork fumbled on the next possession and the Tigers recovered at the Hornet 27.

The Locust Fork defense rose up, however, and sacks by David Doran and Isaiah Kirkley stopped the drive.

Pennington got one more chance but the Tigers ran out of time at midfield.

Locust Fork put together a great night on the ground with 403 yards but the Hornets managed just 32 yards passing.

Stephens led the Hornets with 225 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries while Chase Biles had 123 yards and a score on 14 attempts.

Pennington’s Butts completed 19 of 39 passing for 242 yards and a touchdown. He added 39 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Washburn had a huge game. The junior rushed 11 times for 48 yards and a touchdown and he caught nine passes for 100 yards and another score.

Chase Biles and Shiloh Biles led the Hornets with eight tackles each. Doran was a terror from his defensive end spot and finished with seven tackles, including two sacks. Kirkley finished with seven tackles, including a sack.

John Paul Ogle led the Tiger defense with eight tackles, one for loss. He caused and recovered a fumble. Washburn, Aubrey Bottomlee, and Travis Cleveland had seven tackles each.

Each team plays on Thursday night this week. Locust Fork (8-1) hosts Hokes Bluff (2- 7) while J.B. Pennington (1-8) goes to Susan Moore (3-6).