Jr. Hornets dominate Conway
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
If Hunter Collins had nightmares the night of Thursday, Oct. 6, they no doubt involved the numbers 7 and 24.
Collins, the punter for the Conway White Wampus Kittens football team, twice in the first half of his team’s game against the Bryant Junior Hornets had kicks blocked. Both times, the bodies flying at him were those of Bryant’s Justin Blankenship, who wears No. 7, and Tad Drennan, who wears 24.
The Hornets cashed in on both plays as part of a dominating performance in a first half in which they rolled to a 28-0 lead on the way to a 28-6 victory as they bounced back from their first loss of the season.
Bryant improved to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the South Division of the Central Arkansas Conference, keeping the heat on the division’s co-leaders Lake Hamilton and Sheridan, both 6-0 and 2-0.
The Hornets host Conway Blue on Thursday, Oct. 13, before traveling to Sheridan the next week for a showdown. Then, while Bryant’s taking on arch-rival Benton on Oct. 20, Sheridan travels to Lake Hamilton. A three-way tie for the division title, just like the year before (with the same three teams), is a definite possibility.
The Hornets scored on all four of their first-half possessions. To open the game, they drove 69 yards in 10 plays. Aspen Trevino, who piled up 100 yards on 15 carries in just the first half, got things started with a 15-yard run. Quarterback Ethan Powell completed a 14-yard pass to Jeremy Jordan then scrambled for 17 yards to the Conway 20. Trevino crashed the 5 on two carries but a penalty pushed the Hornets back and it wasn’t until a fourth-and-goal from the 9 that they found paydirt. Powell and Jordan connected again to get the 6. Austin Bradley’s PAT made it 7-0.
Conway’s first play from scrimmage would be a taste of things to come. Running back Ivan Mendoza was cropped for a 3-yard loss by the Hornets’ Aaron Schrock.
Two plays later, Collins was back to punt and along flew Blankenship and Drennan to knock down his kick. Collins wound up with the ball and tried to advance it but he was dropped at the 20.
From there, the Hornets needed five plays to score. Trevino converted a fourth-and-3 from the 13 by slashing to the 1. Powell snuck it in from there and Bradley made it 14-0.
Conway managed its initial first down of the game on its subsequent possession but at the end of Alex Goff’s run, he was separated from the ball and Bryant’s Dylan Chism recovered.
From the Conway 48, Trevino ripped off a 16-yard run. A play later, Powell, who was 4 of 6 for 42 yards while playing only in the first half, connected with Tim Ezel at the 19. On the next play, Trevino, sprung by a block from wide receiver Caleb Jobe, sprinted for the TD.
Bradley made it 21-0 with just under six minutes left in the half.
The Kittens managed their second first down and reached midfield. But, on a third-and-8, Chism and Drennan dropped running back Caleb Dayer for a 5 yard loss and Collins returned to punt.
Again, however, Drennan and Blankenship showed up. This time, Jobe scooped up the loose ball and lunged to the 22. Three carries by Trevino got it to the 3. Powell kept to the 1 and, a play later, Trevino crashed in for a touchdown with :17 left in the half.
Bradley made it 28-0.
Just about everybody played for the Hornets in the second half. Conway scored with 2:48 left in the game on a 7-yard run by Matt Holbrook, capping a 10-play, 65-yard drive.
Behind the running of Colton Girlinghouse, the Hornets ate up the rest of the clock after that.