The Nashville Hornets football team suffered their first loss of the season this past Saturday, as they were not able to make a late comeback against the Massac County Patriots. The Hornets record now stands at 1-1, as they travel to face the Wesclin Warriors on Friday at 7 p.m.
The game started out well for Nashville, as they forced a three-and-out on Massac County's very first posession of the game. Nashville took the ball and went 75 yards for a touchdown to take an early lead in the game. Facing fourth and eleven from the 21 yard line, senior Andrew Kash found fellow senior Ethan Reid for a 21 yard touchdown. The Hornets could not convert the extra point, but still held a 6-0 lead. Another big play on the drive, set the Hornets up in the red zone, when Kash found open space and ran for a thirty yard gain.
On Massac County's next possession, they would drive down the field, led by senior Jared Lamb who converted two first downs on back-to-back plays to open the drive. The Patriots also got a big fourth down conversion by junior Zeke Crim, as he ran for 10 yards on fourth and five. But Nashville's defense would step up, stopping Crim on fourth and four giving the Hornets the ball back.
It would not take long for Nashville to score again, as they needed just three plays. On their second play of the drive, Kash again found Reid, this time for a 75 yard gain to set up the Hornets offense inside the 10 yard line. On the very next play, Grant Reed would run the ball in from seven yards out to extend the Hornets' lead. Colin Laws would add the extra point to give Nashville a 13-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The two teams would trade drives back and forth throughout the rest of the first half, as the Hornets defense would keep Massac County off the board going into halftime. The Hornets would drive down the field in their last drive of the half, but could not score. The 13 play drive was stalled at the 18 yard line as time expired in the first half.
To start off the second half, the Hornets got the ball back, but their drive was stopped when Kash's pass fell in the hands of Massac County's Tyler Anderson Massac County took over, nearly at midfield, and drove the rest of the way for the score. The Patriots converted two big third down conversions on the drive, before Lamb punched the ball in from the one yard line. The Patriots converted the extra point to cut Nashville's lead to 13-7.
The Hornets got the ball back, with good field position, but could not take advantage, as Nashville again turned over the ball. The Patriots again capitalized, scoring on the next play as Lamb scored from 11 yards out. Massac County would convert the extra point to take their first lead of the game, and led Nashville 14-13.
The Hornets would drive down the field on their next possession, but the drive stalled out deep in Massac County territory, as Nashville could not convert on fourth and nine from the 17 yard line. Cameron Parker caught a pass from Kash, but was tackled two yards short of the first down marker to give Massac County back the ball.
The Hornets defense would step up as time wound down in the fourth quarter, stopping the Patriots on fourth and five at the 20 yard line. The Hornets would take over, on their own 20 yard line, and got a big play right out of the gate, as Kash found Parker for a 43 yard gain. The Hornets could not do anything with the drive, as Kash's next three passes could not find receivers, and the Hornets would again turn the ball over on downs.
After a quick Massac County drive, the Hornets would have one more chance for another miraculous comeback late in the game. The Hornets would begin driving down the field as time ran down, with zero timeouts remaining. Kash found Reid and Parker on first down throws, and the Hornets were aided by a pass interference call against the Patriots. With the ball at the 31 yard line, the Hornets could not get the winning score, as Kash's final pass fell just out of the reach of Neil Kachuba in the end zone to end the game.
After the game, Coach Tim Kuhn talked about the loss, "They jammed it down our throat and we didn't respond. They capitalized on turnovers and turned them into points, and we didn't capitalize when we had opportunities early in the first half. We could have had a couple more scores, that would have given us a little more cushion, but we didn't take adavantage and thats on us."
Even with the loss, Kuhn talked about the team, " I love the kids attitude, and work ethic. Just all the way around as students, as athletes, as citizens, they are just great kids, and we just have to find a way to get to that edge, and really finish games and finish plays.
Kash finished the game 14-30 with one touchdown, two interceptions, and 349 yards passing. Kash also led the Hornets on the ground with 59 yards on ten carries. Reid finished with 41 yards on the ground, and a team-high 165 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. Parker finished with 71 yards receiving on four catches, and ten yards rushing in the game. Reed scored the only other touchdown for Nashville as he finished with 33 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Arturo Garcia finished with seven yards on three carries. Kachuba finished with one catch for 13 yards in the loss for Nashville.
The Hornets next game is on the road against Wesclin on Friday night. Wesclin is 1-1 on the season, and is coming off a 52-27 loss to Red Bud last Friday night. Wesclin defeated Mt. Olive 37-12 in week 1.