Jaran Richman #15 tackles the ball carrier near the Hornet sideline in front of Telly Harper #88.Drake Brown #68, Ethan Thompson #60, Cole Ford #55, Devin Trosper #74, and Kyle Elliott #31 provide plenty of protection on this pass by Jaran Richman #15.Jaran Richman #15 tackles the ball carrier near the Hornet sideline in front of Telly Harper #88.

Hornets defeat Skyline and head to State

The Hamilton Hornets are headed back to the Class I Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship game after defeating the Skyline Tigers in Urbana this past weekend, 29-12.

Penney High's defense held the high powered Tiger offense to its lowest total of the season while the Hornet offense scored the second highest number of points allowed by the previously undefeated team from Urbana. Hamilton used a balanced offense to keep the Skyline defense guessing, rushing for 192 yards and passing for another 162. Hamilton's defense was just as effective causing four Tiger turnovers in the semi-final contest. The weather conditions were less than ideal with a 30-40 mile an hour wind blowing in from the NNW and temperatures in the mid 30's. Penney would receive the opening kickoff, heading into the wind. Hamilton's initial possession would result in a touchdown pass from Jaran Richman to Korby Ford from 15 yards out. The try for extra point was held up by the wind and fell short of the crossbar, but the Hornets were on top 6-0.

Skyline would move the ball down the field and deep into Penney territory on their first possession, but the Hamilton defense stood tall and caused the Tigers to turn the ball over on downs at the Hornet 5 yard.

 Penney would move the ball steadily toward the Urbana goal line, but ended up turning the ball over on downs when the drive stalled at the Skyline 22 yard line.

With 10:04 on the 2nd quarter clock, defensive back Jaran Richman caused a Tiger fumble and recovered the pig skin at the Hamilton 45. During this possession, Telly Harper made a great catch on a low throw for a first down at the Urbana 40 yard line, but the drive soon stalled forcing a punt by Richman. 

Skyline would soon turn the ball over for the 2nd time when Telly Harper picked off a Tiger pass and returned it to the Urbana 43 which ultimately resulted in a 6 yard touchdown run by T.C. East Richman ran in the 2-point conversion giving the Hornets a 14-0 lead. Following a well-placed kick off by Brock Swindler, Skyline was unable to keep control of the ball and the clock, turning the ball over on downs to Penney with 30 seconds remaining in the half.

A pass completion from Richman to Korby Ford led to a first down at the Tiger 8 with 13 seconds left in the half, Richman hit LaTroy Harper for an 8 yard TD. Swindler's kick gave Hamilton a 21-0 half time lead.

Penney started the second half kicking off into the wind. Urbana would put together a long scoring drive with the final 20 yards coming via the pass. The extra point kick was no good leaving the Hornets on top 21-6.

Hamilton's first possession in the second half ended at the Skyline 43 when a 4th down play failed. However, it wasn't long before the Hornets would get the ball back when Richman intercepted a pass in the end zone. Penney was able to move the ball down the field to the Tiger 25 yard line where they faced a 4th and 2 when Urbana called time out. After the time out, Skyline stopped the Hornet 4th down play and took over on downs at their own 24. The Tigers would end up scoring on a 12 yard run 27 seconds later.

The Hamilton defense stopped the very important 2-point conversion to maintain a two possession game, 21-12.

Richman secured the onside kick near mid field. Urbana called their 2nd time out with 3:31 left in the game. Penney looking at a 3rd and 4 on the Skyline 17. After the time out, the Hornets were able to convert the 3rd down play for a first down. The Tigers took their final time out with 2:52 on the 4th quarter clock. Hamilton looking at a 2nd and 5 on the Urbana 9 yard line. Penney would tack on their final touchdown when Richman scored up the middle from the 1 yard line. The 2-point conversion pass from Richman to Telly Harper over the middle made the final score 29-12. LaTroy Harper would hand Skyline their final turnover when he intercepted a Tiger pass giving Hamilton the ball for the final 24 seconds.

Senior linebacker Kyle Elliott led the Hornet defense with 11 total tackles followed by senior linebacker Telly Harper with 10, linebacker Kenny Pulley (1 quarterback sack and 1 for loss) and defensive back Richman each recorded 6 tackles, defensive linemen Tyler Trosper (2 sacks and 2 for loss) and senior Mason McFall each had 5 tackles, senior defensive back Korby Ford and defensive back LaTroy Harper each made 3 tackles, senior defensive back Wyatt Gregory and defensive back Brock Swindler had 2 apiece, linebacker Cole Whitt, defensive lineman Garrett Trosper, and linebacker T.C. East (1 for loss) were each credited with 1. Despite the cold and windy conditions, Richman was able to complete 10 of 12 passes for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns, as well as running for 42 yards on 8 carries and 1 TD. T.C. East was a work horse carrying the ball 28 times for 113 yards and 1 touchdown. Kyle Elliott ran for 18 yards on 6 carries, Korby Ford 12 yards on 4 carries, and LaTroy Harper 1 carry for 3 yards. LaTroy was the leading receiver catching 6 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Korby Ford caught 3 balls for 72 yards and 1 touchdown, and Telly Harper caught one pass for 11 yards. Korby Ford returned 1 kickoff for 17 yards. The offensive line done a great job protecting Richman and making holes for the running backs. The blocking by the running backs and wide receivers was also important to the offense's success. Other keys to this victory included zero turnovers and only 4 penalties for 37 yards.

A very happy Coach Obert had this to say after the win," I felt we played loose and made plays when we had to. The kids did a great job adjusting to the wind and field conditions." He also remarked," Getting the stop and score just before halftime was huge. That allowed us to milk the clock a little in the second half." The 11-3 Hornets will face 14-0 Valle Catholic, a 16-13 winner over Marceline, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis at 2:15 on Saturday, November 28th for the Class I Championship. "Valle obviously has a great program, but we have a lot of momentum and are starting to play some good football at the right time," stated Obert.

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116
news@mycaldwellcounty.com

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