Hornets freshmen forge rare lopsided win at Lake Hamilton
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By Rob Patrick
PEARCY — Granted, there were a handful of players with casts and crutches in blue jeans on their sideline and only time will tell if this year’s team is of vintage quality, but anytime you can defeat a Lake Hamilton football team, particularly in recent years, you’ve earned it.
And, if you manage the unheard of and win convincingly? Well, it bodes pretty well for the rest of your season.
Kenny Horn, the head coach of the Bryant Hornets freshman team, really wasn’t sure about the 2010 edition of his team going into the season opener at Lake Hamilton. But he found out plenty and to his admitted surprise, the Hornets rolled to a 37-6 win.[more]
The margin of victory was the largest for a Bryant team against Lake Hamilton’s freshmen dating back to the early ‘90’s. Bryant beat the Junior Wolves, 35-14 in 2007, 28-0 in 2002, and 30-8 in 1998.
Wesley Akers threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns on 11 of 14 passing. He also sneaked in a TD on the ground along the way.
Both teams scored on their first possessions so it was a tied and still anybody’s game when a pair of plays — one on offense, the other on defense — helped the Hornets take control of the game.
In answer to Lake Hamilton’s game-tying score, the Hornets had marched from their own 35 to the Lake Hamilton 18. But a bad snap forced Akers to retreat and fall on the ball all the way back at the 37.
That was the last play of the first quarter, so the teams went to their respective sidelines while the officials marked the ball at the other end of the field. Despite the fact that the 37 was still on the scoreboard, marking the spot of the ball at the end of the period, when the teams changed ends, the officials marked the ball at the Lake Hamilton 42.
And no one on the field or sideline caught it.
Instead of a third-and-29, the Hornets faced a third-and-34 at the Wolves’ 42.
No problem, as it turned out. Giles had slipped into the backfield when play resumed and, after a fake and a slight rollout to the right, Akers found Giles all alone down the left sideline. His pass was on target, Giles hauled it in and, not only had the Hornets made up for the lost yardage and the mistaken spot, they scored.Akers passed to Austin Miller for the two-point conversion and the Hornets held a tenuous 14-6 lead.
The teams traded punts and, with 3:23 left in the half, the Wolves had it at their own 29. James Gibson stuffed the first play, an off-tackle run that lost a yard. On the next play, Wolves quarterback Levi Rengstorf faded to pass. Apparently trying to set up a screen pass, Rengstorf dropped back only to find his intended receiver well covered in the flat by safety Jason Browning. The quarterback had to pull down the ball and retreat further to try to find the room to look for another receiver.
There was no room and there was no time as a trio of Hornets descended on Rengstorf. Linebacker Austin May blasted him and the ball flew loose toward the end zone.
And just whom would you suspect came up with the fumble? It was Browning, who originally foiled the play. At first, he tried to scoop and score but couldn’t find the handle, so he fell on the ball at the 7.
Madre London got to the 1 with a pair of runs then, with 1:14 left in the half, Akers snuck it in for the touchdown. He also ran for the two-point conversion and, suddenly, Bryant had a 22-6 lead, which held at halftime after Jacob Irby made an interception on the last play of the half.
To that point, the Bryant defense had held the Wolves to just one first down and a net of just 23 yards of total offense.
And things didn’t improve off the bat in the second half. The Wolves managed a third-and-1 at their own 44. But on the next snap, the Hornets buried running back Mason Vincent for no gain.
Lake Hamilton was going to go for it, but a procedure penalty knocked them back 5 yards and a punt ensued.
By then, the Hornets offensive line was starting to blow the Wolves’ defenders off the line of scrimmage. It took very little time for Bryant to drive to another score. Akers connected with Colton Burton for 16 yards then London got loose on runs of 18 and 11 yards. Though a holding penalty negated much of the subsequent play, Burton worked free in the flat and took Akers’ aerial the distance on a 19-yard pass play with 4:19 left in the third quarter.
Akers passed to Giles for the conversion and Bryant’s lead was 30-6.
Moments later, Giles intercepted an overthrow and returned to the Wolves’ 27. From there, Akers broke a keeper for 24 yards to set up London’s 3-yard touchdown plunge.
Davis Nossaman came on to kick the extra point this time and, when he knocked it through, Bryant led 37-6.
Lake Hamilton answered with a drive that ate up the rest of the third quarter and almost half of the fourth. When the Wolves reached the Bryant 10, a pair of incomplete passes ended the drive.
With reserves in the ballgame, Bryant’s Aaron Leonard took a pitch from Dakota Besancon and slashed and dashed his way 50 yards to the Lake Hamilton 41.
Behind more of Leonard’s running — he wound up the Hornets’ leading rusher with 80 yards in seven tries — Bryant marched to the Lake Hamilton 16 before time ran out.
Bryant had opened the game with a long run by Giles on the return of the kick. The covered the rest of the territory in five plays capped by Akers’ 20-yard toss to Miller in the left corner of the end zone.
Lake Hamilton got into position to tie it on a long return by Hunter Lipton of the subsequent kickoff. Bryant’s Darrian Jarrett saved the touchdown but, on a third-and-7 from the 19, Lipton caught a pass from Rengstorf for the touchdown.
It would be the Wolves’ lone score and, for much of the first three quarters of the game, it accounted for their only first down. They didn’t manage another one until after Bryant had built their 37-6 lead.
The Hornets freshmen return to Garland County next Thursday to play Hot Springs.
JUNIOR HORNETS 37, JUNIOR WOLVES 6
Score by quarters
BRYANT 6 16 15 0 — 37
Lake Hamilton 6 0 0 0 — 6
BRYANT — Miller 20 pass from Akers (run failed), 5:10
LAKE HAMILTON — Lipton 19 pass from Rengstorf (pass failed), 3:20
BRYANT — Giles 42 pass from Akers (Miller pass from Akers), 7:50
BRYANT — Akers 1 run (Akers run), 1:14
BRYANT — Burton 19 pass from Akers (Giles pass from Akers), 4:19
BRYANT — London 3 run (Nossaman kick), 2:38
First downs 15 5
Rushes-yds 24-132 22-57
Passing 11-14-0 3-10-2
Passing yards 176 33
Punts-avg. 1-30.0 2-32.5
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-25 5-35
Rushing: BRYANT, Leonard 7-80, London 9-52, Akers 7-5, Besancon 1-(-6); LAKE HAMILTON, Sawrie 6-36, Eastburn 5-26, Shirley 4-11, Faught 2-6, Vincent 2-2, Hill 1-(-1), Lipton 1-(-2), Rengstorf 1-(-21).
Passing (C-A-I-Y): BRYANT, Akers 11-14-0-176; LAKE HAMILTON, Rengstorf 3-5-1-33, Sawrie 0-5-1-0.
Receiving: BRYANT, Giles 3-68, Howard 3-43, Burton 2-35, Miller 2-26, London 1-4; LAKE HAMILTON, Lipton 2-28, Faught 1-5.