Varsity Hornets started their 2019 campaign strong with a 35-0 victory over the Campbell Spartans.
Both defenses were stout from the opening kickoff, with neither side allowing points in the first quarter. The Hornets’ first drive started off strong, with three plays putting them inside the five. However, the Spartans’ defense was able to force a field goal by Caden Long (Kicker, 11), which was blocked. On their second possession of the game, three successive penalties forced Roswell from Spartan territory into Hornet territory.
The Hornets’ offense went into no-huddle mode, with punishing runs by Marquis Willis (Running back, 11). This set up Ethan Long (Quarterback, 12)’s first completion of the night, a long 48 yard touchdown pass to Jacob Jarrett (Wide receiver, 12). However, Caden Long missed the extra point. After the two sides traded scoreless drives, the Hornets extended their lead through a catch by junior wide receiver Marquis Willis.
“We started off slow, but that one play late in the 2nd quarter sparked our offense,” said Evan Plunkett, junior.
They converted the two point conversion to extend the lead to 14-0, which is how the half ended.
The defense was very strong in the first half, holding the Spartans to just four first downs in the first half.
“The defense has been doing its job. They are doing what we talked about in practice,” said Coach Dodd.
There were multiple false starts and holding penalties, especially in the first quarter.
“They need to be more disciplined,” replied Dodd when asked about how to reduce the penalties.
On the opening possession of the second half, the offense marched 70 yards in ten plays, extending their lead to 21-0 on senior running back Savion McCrary’s walk-in touchdown. This drive mostly focused on the run game, but Roberts was able to complete both attempts to extend the drive. After Campbell was pinned at their own five after multiple penalties on the ensuing kickoff, senior Khaleed Mobley pounced on a fumble in the endzone by Alex Stack (Quarterback, 11), to put the Hornets up 28-0. After the Spartans drive stalled out (Turnover on Downs), Roswell did nothing but feed junior Tajari Singleton the ball. Seven plays later, they scored again to make the score 35-0.
Campbell was forced to punt after just three plays. However, Roswell missed the punt at their 35. Despite this, the Spartans could not do anything with it, eventually turning the ball over on downs. Roswell took over, and ran out the clock. With the win, Roswell goes to 1-0, and the Spartans fall to 0-2.
As good as the Hornets were as a whole, the special teams left much to be desired. There were several times throughout the game where Campbell was able to get penetration and disrupt punts and field goals. Only time will tell whether this was just opening game jitters or a recurring pattern.