Hornets overcome double-digit deficit

The Hamilton Hornets overcame a double digit deficit in the 4th quarter to pull out a 28-23 victory against a large and talented North Platte Panther team at Alumni Field on senior night.

Penney High received the opening kickoff and scored in 45 seconds after starting the drive on their own 34 yard line. Quarterback Jaran Richman ran for 4 yards after a 5 yard penalty on North Platte made it 1st and 5 at the Hamilton 39. On 2nd and 1, Richman scrambled long enough to find senior tight end Telly Harper deep down the middle for the score. Brock Swindler's kick made it 7-0.

The Hornet defense forced a Panther punt 4 plays later. Penney's second possession started at their own 18. Three running plays, 2 by T.C. East and 1 by senior Kyle Elliott, gave Hamilton a first down at the Hornet 29. However, the drive soon stalled and North Platte took over on downs deep in Hamilton territory at the Penney 38. Faced with a 4th and 8 at the Hornet 36, the Panthers completed a pass to the Penney 1 yard line. Running back Aron Burke ran it in from there. Burke also ran in the 2-point conversion to give North Platte the lead, 8-7, and 5:57 left in the opening quarter. The Panther's on side kick failed when Caden Brown covered the ball at the North Platte 46.

Four plays later, Richman punted the ball to the Panther 6 yard line. North Platte converted three first downs and were looking at a 2nd and 8 at the Hamilton 37 when the first quarter ended. A 1 yard loss, and an incomplete pass that was tipped by East near the line of scrimmage made it 4th and 9 at the Hornet 28. The Panthers kept the drive alive with a pass reception at the Penney 13 yard line. Three rushes later, Jordan Hendricks scored from the 1. Hendricks also ran in the 2-point conversion to give North Platte a 16-7 advantage with 10:03 remaining in the 2nd quarter.

The Panther kickoff went out of bounds giving the Hornets a 1st and 10 at their own 35 yard line. Richman quickly gave Hamilton a first down at the North Platte 40 after a 25 yard run. On 3rd and 9, Richman found Telly Harper open for a first down on the Panther 26. An off sides call against North Platte, and a 6 yard run by Elliott gave Penney a first down at the Panther 15. Elliott would score on a 3rd and 5 run from the ten yard line. The 2-point conversion run failed, but the Hornets cut the deficit to three, 16-13, with 6:26 left in the half.

North Platte began their final possession of the first half on their own 35. After ten consecutive running plays and two first downs, the Panthers threw an incomplete pass on 4th and 6 at the Penney 37 where the opening half ended. North Platte ran the 2nd half kickoff to their own 47 yard line. Two runs and two penalties against the Hornets gave the Panthers a first down on the Hamilton 11 yard line. Penney's defense stiffened and forced a 23 yard field goal attempt that was wide left. Hamilton's possession began on their own 20 yard line. On 3rd and 7, Richman completed a pass to LaTroy Harper for a first down at the North Platte 46. Two rushes by East sandwiched around a run by Richman gave the Hornets a first down at the Panther 33. However, the drive stalled and North Platte took over on downs at their own 31. The Panther's converted two first downs and were looking at a 3rd and 7 at the Penney 22 when the 3rd quarter ended.

The 4th quarter started with a touchdown pass from North Platte quarterback Anthony Hernandez to tight end Kyle Ewing. Ewing kicked the extra point giving the Panthers a 23-13 advantage and 11:52 remaining in the game.

Kenny Pulley returned the kickoff to the Hamilton 38 yard line. LaTroy Harper ran the ball for 9 yards and Elliott gave the Hornets a first down with a run to the Penney 49. On second and ten, Richmond hit Latroy Harper for the 40 yard score. They also teamed up for a 2-point conversion pass closing the deficit to two, 23-21, and 10:08 left in the 4th quarter.

Following the kickoff, North Platte started on their own 36 yard line. Seven plays and two first downs later, the Hornet defense stopped a 4th and 2 play on the Hamilton 11.

Senior Korby Ford made a great catch on a 2nd and eleven play to give Penney a first down at the Hornet 22. Two runs by East resulted in another first down on the Hornet 33. On 4th and seven Richman hit Ford along the Panther side line for what would have been a first down, but the defender took the ball away and returned it to the North Platte 46.

Again the Hamilton defense rose to the occasion and forced a Panther punt after three plays. Penney started the game winning drive from their own 21 yard line and 2:20 left on the game clock. A ten yard penalty on Hamilton backed them up to their own 11 yard line. A twelve yard pass to Ford from Richman followed by a Richman to Derek Dixon pass gave the Hornets a first down at the North Platte 49. A 4 yard pass to LaTroy Harper and an incomplete pass led to a first down run by Richman to the Panther 29. Richman hooked up with LaTroy Harper at the North Platte 4, and first and goal. One play later the offensive line pushed the Panther line into the end zone allowing East to score with 28 seconds on the clock. Swindler's kick was good for a 28-23 score.
North Platte started their last possession on their own 30 yard line. On first and ten, Telly Harper intercepted a tipped pass and smartly went to the ground at the Panther 45 to seal the win. P

Penney High improves to 6-2, 5-1 in the KCI. Defensively, Kyle Elliott had a tremendous game in leading all Hornet tacklers with 19 (2 for loss), followed by Kenny Pulley, Korby Ford (1 for loss), and Telly Harper each with 6. Tyler Trosper (2 for loss) and Richman (1 for loss) recorded 5 tackles apiece, and Swindler, Garrett Trosper, and LaTroy Harper each had 3. East, Caden Brown, and senior Mason McFall were credited with 1 each. Richman completed 14 of 21 passes for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns. LaTroy Harper caught 8 balls for 114 yards and 1 TD, Telly Harper received 2 passes for 71 yards and a score, Derek Dixon caught 1 ball for 29 yards, and Ford tallied 21 yards on 3 receptions. Elliott rushed for 44 yards and 1 TD on 8 carries, East for 42 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, Richman for 42 net yards on 6 rushes, LaTroy Harper 16 yards on 2 carries, and Ford ran the ball twice for 2 yards. Swindler's kickoffs were very effective, and he made both of his extra point attempts.

The offensive line, including seniors Drake Brown and Devin Trosper, also had a good game giving quarterback Richman time to pass for 235 yards and the backs to rush for 146 more. PHS coach Obert was obviously pleased with the win. "The kids did a great job stepping up when we needed it most, especially defensively after a late fumble, and offensively on our last drive." Going into the final week of the regular season, everything is still in place for Hamilton to get a piece of the KCI crown and the number 1 seed in the District playoffs. An undefeated East Buchanan Bulldog team comes to town this Friday night for the final KCI conference and regular season game for each squad. 

The Caldwell County News

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

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