Hornets finish year unbeaten in district
A Highlands defender gets past the block of Vernest Dotson (4) to send Edwin Dearring (2) flying through the air last Saturday at Alamo Stadium.
EAST CENTRAL -- For the second time in as many years, the East Central Hornet football team finished the regular season with a perfect District 28-5A record, and can once again call itself -- District Champion.
The Hornets really had the district title and playoff berth in the bag going into the game with Highlands, but Head Coach Robert Walker knew his team needed to play well, to close out the regular season on a high note, and to keep the players and coaches primed for the playoffs. The team delivered for Walker, and returned home with a 57-3 victory.
The Hornets scored their first points of the game on a huge field goal from place kicker Blayne Sells. The drive stalled out just over midfield, but Walker knew his kicker had the leg to put points on the board. Sells made a great kick from way out, adding a 52-yard field goal to his résumé, and giving East Central a 3-0 lead.
The Hornets added to their total in the first, as the defensive unit forced a safety. With 2 points, the ball, and a short field in which to work, East Central wasted little time making its way back into the end zone. It was Orlando Acevado who scored this time, running in from 41 yards out. Sells kicked the point after, and the Hornets took a 12-nothing lead into the second.
After another great defensive stand, possession went back to East Central, and the Hornets found the end zone again as Edwin Dearring ran over the goal line from 1 yard out. Less than a minute later, Dearring repeated the task, running for a touchdown from the 1-yard line. Sells knocked both extra points through, and the Hornet led by 26.
At the 5:04 mark of the second quarter, Highlands finally got on the board, as Martin Sanchez kicked a 33-yard field goal. The points made the score 26-3, and East Central had more work to do.
After an exchange in possessions, and with time winding down in the half, Highlands took a shot at the end zone, but met with great disappointment, as East Central’s Matt Coleman made the interception, and returned it the length of the field for a 99-yard touchdown return. With the kick by Sells, the Hornets took a 33-3 lead into halftime.
The scoring barrage from East Central continued in the second half, as the Hornets added 10 points in the third quarter and 14 more in the fourth.
Dearring scored his third touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run early in the third. Sells then kicked a 30-yard field goal with two minutes to play in the quarter. In the fourth, it was Matthew Rodriguez who found the end zone twice for the Hornets, running in from a yard out, and then again from 38 yards away. Sells remained perfect kicking the ball, and the final score stood at 57-3.
While the Hornet offense once again put up great numbers, the defense also deserves a great deal of credit for the win. East Central’s defense held the Owls to just 77 yards of total offense, and while Highlands ran the ball 21 times, the team earned just 3 yards on the ground.
The Hornets end their 2011 regular season with an overall record of 7-3, and were perfect in district play with a record of 5-0. East Central will now advance to the playoffs as the No. 1 seed out of District 28-5A. The Hornets will face Stevens in the first round. For playoff information, visit www.wilsoncountynews.com.