Nashville turned three turnovers and a botched punt into four scores to knock off Sparta 40-21 on Friday, to remain undefeated on the season.
The Hornets jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back, improving to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Mississippi Division play. The loss was the Bulldogs first of the season and spoiled homecoming festivities at Sparta.
Sparta slowed down Nashville’s running game early, but that didn’t stop the Hornets from scoring. Nashville quarterback Andrew Kash threw for three first-half touchdowns – one to Hunter Schultze and two to Royce Newman – as the Hornets led 21-0 with just over three minutes to play in the first half.
“It’s great to be undefeated, but we don’t talk about it,” Nashville coach Tim Kuhn said. “We’ll get back after it Monday and get ready for Carterville.
Never miss a local story.
“We just want to get better week after week and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
Kash’s first pass of the game was intercepted by Devin Brown at the Sparta 14. But the junior signal-caller bounced back by throwing for 144 of his 199 passing yards in the first half.
Sparta got on the board just before halftime with a 44 -yard touchdown strike from Drew Kordys to Gabe Yearian to trail 21-7 at the break.
But Nashville scored on its opening drive of the second half on Kyle Schnitker’s 7-yard run, and when the snap sailed over the Sparta punter’s head and ended up on its own 5-yard line, Schultze scored from a yard out to give the Hornets a 34-7 lead.
“We got beat by a state-ranked football team,” said Sparta coach Rob Kirk. “Our town has not seen a big game like this is 23 years and our kids came out flat in the first half.
“I hope Nashville continues to beat up on people because that’s just more playoff points for us.”