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Hornets top Tigers for Homecoming win
The Hornets swarm onto the field prior to their Homecoming matchup with the Carroll Tigers. East Central held on for the big district win.
C.C. Carroll 28
East Central 31
EAST CENTRAL -- After enjoying a bye week, East Central was back in action last Friday, as the Hornets hosted the Corpus Christi Carroll Tigers for Homecoming. The visiting team made a fourth-quarter charge in an attempt to ruin the evening, but the Hornet defense held off the Tigers for a 31-28 victory.
The Hornets got on the board early in the first quarter as Johnathan Jackson capped off an East Central drive with a 1-yard run over the goal line. Dennis Chavez came on for the extra point, and the Homecoming crowd celebrated a 7-0 lead. The Tigers quickly responded, however, and Carroll eventually tied the game with a 1-yard touchdown run of its own. The point-after kick was good, and the score was tied at 7-all with 3:50 to play in the first.
East Central retook the lead early in the second quarter as Jackson broke through the Tiger defense for a 32-yard run and 6 points. Chavez added the extra point to make it a 14-7 game with 10:19 to play in the half. After trading possessions, though, the Tigers eventually made their way inside the Hornet 10-yard line, and then scored on an 8-yard running play to tie the game at 14-14 heading into halftime.
Whatever Coach Clint Hartman told his team at halftime must have taken hold, because the Hornets came out strong and dominated in the third quarter. The Hornet defense shut out the Tigers in the third, while the East Central offense added a pair of touchdowns to the scoreboard. The first came at the 7:36 mark as Jackson solidified a Hornet drive with another 1-yard touchdown run. The second score of the third came with the Hornets backed up to their own 5-yard line when quarterback Justin Upshaw-Mendoza connected with wide receiver Wanya Ward for 95 yards and a touchdown. Chavez added both extra points, and the lead was 28-14 with 1:29 to play in the third quarter.
The Hornets added one final score in the fourth quarter on a 37-yard field goal from Chavez. The Hornets led 31-14, and things were all but over. The Tigers did come back to score a touchdown with 2:33 to play in the game, and then again with 1:35 to play, but the Hornets held on from there, and picked up the Homecoming victory.
Upshaw-Mendoza completed two of six passing attempts for 96 yards and a touchdown. Ward had the big play for the score, while Jackson caught the other pass for a yard. Jackson got it done on the ground, though, picking up a total of 102 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Javion Polk had 15 carries for 57 yards.
The Hornet defense held the Tigers to just 83 yards of rushing offense on 38 carries, but did give up 150 yards of passing offense on 11 of 20 passing attempts. East Central did intercept a Tiger pass, as well.
The win lifts the Hornets to 3-3 on the year, and the team is off to a good start in district play at 1-0. East Central will travel to Southwest this Friday to take on the 3-3 Dragons. Southwest is also 1-0 in district play, having knocked off South San last Friday, 36-20.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Southwest.
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