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Hornets Sting Cavs, 37-13

On a night when the temperature was approaching freezing, the Deep Creek Hornets heated up the field with a pounding run offense that the Cavaliers could not contain. The end result was a 37-13 victory for the visitors on Lakeland’s Senior Night.

The Cavs took the opening possession but were unable to move the ball. After a three-and-out Dante Myrick punted to the Hornets who took over the ball at midfield.

The Hornets did not fair much better with their opening drive. After a first down run by Calvin Wilson, and an incomplete pass by Sam Kirkland, the tough Lakeland defense rose to the occasion and freshman Cedrick Johnson forced a fumble on the next play. DC lined up in punt formation but an errant snap gave Lakeland great field position at the DC 22.

Junior QB Josh Meeks soon found himself in a 3rd-and-15 situation. Meeks dropped back to pass and hit Myrick with a laser pass for a gain of 12 yards. Head coach Tommy Austin did not hesitate to call on sophomore kicker Jake Estienne. Estienne’s kick however missed the mark as the Cavs failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity.

DC’s next drive culminated with Kirkland hitting Corey Harris, who had gotten behind Asaad Graham, down the right sideline for a deep catch. Graham however made a great play on the ball and was able to strip the ball and cause a fumble. DC’s Troy Philpot was &uot;Johnny on the spot&uot;.

He scooped up the loose ball and raced into the end zone, giving DC a 7-0 lead.

On Lakeland’s next possession the offense showed signs of life. Meeks pitched the ball to sophomore Dontarius Boone and Boone was able to turn the corner for a 20-yard gain. Meeks then found Graham on two consecutive pass plays of six yards each for another first down at the DC 25. After Boone carried again for six yards the offense stalled and junior Kris Brown was unable to haul in a Meeks pass that would have given the Cavs a first down.

DC’s running game drove down the field, but Lakeland held at their 20 and forced a field goal try. The Hornets missed it and Lakeland could have had the ball on the 20, but Brown caught the missed field goal at the goal line, attempted to run it out, and was stopped at the four. Two plays later, DC tackled Rodney Bell for a safety, and a 9-0 lead.

After the free kick, DC took over with excellent field position on the Lakeland 29.

However the Cavs defense stiffened and forced a field goal attempt that was again no good.

After a Cavalier punt, DC looked to add to the lead before the end of the half.

Kirkland dropped back to pass and hit Harris on a quick curl route. Graham missed the tackle and none of the Cavs were able to catch Harris as he bolted down the sideline 35 yards for the score and a 16-0 lead going into the half.

On DC’s first possession of the second half disaster struck in the form of the Lakeland defense. After a few first downs a Cavalier defender unloaded on the ball carrier and forced a fumble. Cedric Johnson scooped it up and blazed a trail to the end zone for the score. Johnson however, dove into the end zone and was penalized for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty making the extra point attempt the distance of a long field goal. The score was now 16-6.

After a trade of punts, DC’s running game got going. Lakeland moved up their secondary and a great play-action fake by Kirkland caused the linebackers to be frozen for a moment and Kirkland found a wide-open Kousaun Dixon in the end zone. With the extra point the Hornets took a 23-6 lead.

Lakeland’s ensuing possession quickly ended with a DC interception off Meeks.

Three running plays later, the Hornets were back in the end zone, taking a 30-6 lead.

Lakeland had success through the air on their next drive.

Meeks found Bell on a screen for a 20-yard gain, he then connected with Graham on two short passes.

Facing third down,

Meeks hit Brown in the hands with a perfect pass but the ball bounced out of Brown’s hands and into the air. Brown was able to keep his eyes on the ball and reel it in for a 13-yard gain.

In the next series, Lakeland faced 2nd-and-17, but Meeks found junior Vince Hill for a gain of 19 yards. Meeks cooled off after that play as his next three of four passes were incomplete and DC took over on downs.

In their last possession of the game, Lakeland took a page out of the Hornets’ playbook as they ran the ball down the field. On alternating runs by Boone and Bell the Cavs punched it in the end zone as Boone broke around the left side for a 13-yard TD run to make the score 37-13.

The Cavs travel to King’s Fork Thursday where they look to force a three-way tie between the Suffolk schools with a win over the Bulldogs. Kickoff will be at 7.