Hornets Move on to District Semi-Finals

The Hamilton Hornets football team moved on to the semi-finals of the Class I, District 8 tournament with a convincing 42-8 victory over the visiting Gallatin Bulldogs last Friday night.

Penney High is a much improved team since struggling to defeat the Bulldogs 19-8 in the second game of the season. LaTroy Harper electrified the home crowd when he ran the opening kickoff 85 yards in 14 seconds for the score. T.C. East kicked the extra point for an early 7-0 Hornet lead. Cale Whitt tackled the kickoff returner at the Gallatin 31 yard line. Penney High's defense caused the Bulldogs to punt on 4th and 6. LaTroy returned the punt to the Hamilton 37. Two runs by East gave the Hornets a first down at the Gallatin 37. On third and 8, Jaran Richman found Mason McFall open for a first down at the Bulldog 12. However the drive stalled after a fumbled snap, a short run and two incomplete passes. Gallatin took over on downs at their own 17 yard line. Two runs and an incomplete pass forced a second Bulldog punt.

On Penney's first play from scrimmage following the punt, Korby Ford ran through the defense for a 59 yard touchdown, and 6:19 left in the first quarter. East's kick upped the score to 14-0. Gallatin started their next possession from the Bulldog 39. The first play from scrimmage resulted in a first down at the Penney 39. On the next play, Garrett Trosper tackled the ball carrier for a 2 yard loss. An incomplete pass and a quarterback sack led to another Gallatin punt. Hamilton's next possession started on their own 21. A second and ten pass from Richman to LaTroy gave the Hornets a first down at the Penney 32. The possession stalled at the 36 yard line of the Hornets forcing a punt by McFall. The Bulldogs started this possession at their own 29. A quarterback sack by East led to a punt by Gallatin. LaTroy received the punt at the Hamilton 30 yard line and he ran through the Bulldog defense for another special teams score. East made the extra point kick and Penney led 21-0 with 3 seconds remaining in the first period.

Following the punt, Gallatin began the second quarter with a first down at their 34 yard line. A second down pass completion gave the Bulldogs a first down at the Hamilton 36. Another pass completion brought about another first down at the Hornet 25. Gallatin would record a subsequent first down at the Penney 13, but they would eventually turn the ball over on downs at the 4 yard line of Hamilton. Two rushes by East gave the Hornets a first down at their own 15. Penney would make another first down at the Hamilton 30 before the drive stalled forcing a McFall punt.

The Bulldogs next drive began at their own 37. The Hornet's Tyler Trosper sacked the quarterback on second down and two plays later Gallatin was forced to punt. Penney's final drive in the first half began at the Bulldog 46 yard line. On 4th and 1, Richman ran for a first down to the Gallatin 21. A 3rd down pass from Richman to LaTroy gave Hamilton a first and goal at the 1. Richman scored with 26 seconds left in the opening half. The extra point try hit the right upright and bounced away, but the Hornets lead was 27-0.

The final play of the half was a quarterback sack by Kyle Elliott. The Bulldogs returned the second half kickoff to the Gallatin 44. The Bulldogs would record a first down at the Penney 43 before the drive stalled at the Hamilton 37 when East stopped the ball carrier short of the first down and the Hornets took over on downs. Korby Ford ran 18 yards for a first down at the Gallatin 45. On second and ten, Richman ran through the Bulldog defense for the score. The two point conversion pass from Richman to Elliott made the score 35-0 and 7:54 on the 3rd quarter clock. Gallatin's next possession started at their own 35. After a first down at mid field and facing a 3rd and 6, Garrett Trosper sacked the quarterback for a 5 yard loss. Penney would later take over on downs at the Bulldog 46. Two runs by East gave the Hornets a first down at the Gallatin 39. Three plays later, Richman hit LaTroy for a touchdown. McFall kicked the extra point and Hamilton led 42-0 with 25 seconds remaining in the 3rd period. 

The 4th quarter began with the Bulldogs at their own 38 and a first and ten. On 4th and 13, Tristen Wilson dropped back to punt. After fumbling the snap, Wilson took off and ran along the Gallatin sideline for 65 yards and the score. Wyatt Bird ran in the 2-point conversion making the final score 42-8 with 9:47 on the clock.

Both squads were able to give their reserves playing time during the final minutes of the game. Garrett Trosper led the Hornets on defense with 8 tackles, including 1 sack and 3 tackles for loss. Both Richman and Caden Brown recorded 6 tackles, Elliott had 5 tackles (1 sack and 1 tackle for loss) as did Kenny Pulley. McFall registered 4 tackles (1 sack and 2 for loss) and so did Korby Ford. Tyler Trosper (2 sacks and 2 for loss), Noah Daul (1 for loss), and Cale Whitt each had 3. Two tackles were made by East (1 sack and 1 for loss) and Joseph Christensen. LaTroy assisted on 1 tackle. Richman threw for 109 yards and a touchdown completing 7 passes in 14 attempts, as well as running for 58 yards and 2 TDs in 7 rushes. East ran for 81 yards on 16 carries, Ford 77 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 2 carries, and Nick Hartley ran for 15 yards on 3 carries. LaTroy caught 5 balls for 81 yards and a score plus his kickoff return and punt return both for touchdowns. Ford caught 1 pass for 5 yards. East kicked 3 extra points and McFall 1. Jacob Roberts returned 1 punt 2 yards.

Hornet Coach Obert was obviously very pleased with the way his team performed. "Special teams played great and our defense played excellent! Offensively we were able to complete some big plays." Penney High's record improves to 7-3 and they will travel to Bethany where they will face the South Harrison Bulldogs in a Class I, District 8 semi-final game. South Harrison defeated the Hornets in the first game of the season, 17-6. Regarding this week's contest, Obert had this to say: " We are looking forward to the opportunity of playing South Harrison again."

The winner will play the victor between Polo and Maysville at the highest seeded team's field on Friday, November 6th for the District Championship.    

The Caldwell County News

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

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