The Nashville Hornets shut down Wesclin’s option offense Saturday afternoon, knocking off the Warriors 14-7.
Nashville coach Tim Kuhn said after the game that his team’s win was all about the fries.
“I think we did a good job of staying on the fries,” the coach said. “We met a guy at a clinic over the summer that talked about staying on the fries. The kids were confused at first but now they know what that means. It’s all about doing your job and trusting that the guy next to you is going to do his.
“I thought our guys had a really good week of preparing for the triple option that coach (Ric) Johns runs,” added Kuhn. “We had to be responsible defensively and, for the most part, we did a pretty good job.”
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Wesclin dominated the clock with its ball-control offense, chewing up nearly 30 minutes of the game and running 20 more plays than Nashville. But the Warriors came up empty on four big drives in the game, turning the ball over on downs twice, fumbling the ball away once, and simply running out of time on a 14-play, 77-yard drive during the final 6:51 of the first half that ended on the Hornets’ 16 yard line.
The punch in the gut for Wesclin, however, was a 51-yard touchdown run by fullback Antonio Williams in the third quarter that was called back due to a penalty.
“That was very frustrating and I think it was an after-the-fact block,” said Johns. “A clip is a clip, but I don’t think it had anything to do with the play so that makes it even more frustrating.
“We took ourselves out of drives with poor execution at crucial times,” Johns added. “The fumble killed us and the penalty killed us, it was a very, very frustrating game.
“We just didn’t get it done.”
Nashville quarterback Andrew Kash led a balanced offensive attack that featured 106 yards rushing and 103 yards passing. Kash was 8-12 passing which included a pair of touchdown throws, a 16-yard TD toss to Ethan Reid in the first quarter and a 5-yard pass to Cameron Parker in the fourth. Kash also ran the ball nine times for 29 yards to pace the Hornets on the ground.
“Andrew did a good job with the football and we did a good job of running our bread-and-butter stuff,” said Kuhn.
Wesclin ended with 272 yards of total offense, 216 of that coming on the ground. Williams led the Warriors with 105 yards on 16 carries. Quarterback Josh DeMage was 7-10 passing for 56 yards, scoring Wesclin’s only touchdown on a 3-yard run in the first quarter.
“He’s a load,” Johns said of Williams, his six-foot, 242-pound senior fullback. “He’s as frustrated as anybody right now, but we hope he just keeps getting better and better as the season goes along.”
Wesclin falls to 1-2 and plays host to Columbia next week. The Hornets, 2-1, are a couple of points from being undefeated after a tough 14-13 loss to Massac County last week. Nashville travels to Anna-Jonesboro next week.
“I still don’t think we’ve played to our fullest potential, so I’m just waiting for the leash to come off and for us to play the way we are capable of playing,” Kuhn said. “We have some quality players that have yet to reach their potential, if that is still coming then I’m pretty optimistic.”