Hornets sting Akron in homecoming victory
The John Essex Hornets swarmed the field on Friday night for homecoming and quickly stung the Akron Rams with some quick scoring drives.
On the opening kickoff of the game, DeWayne Smith took the ball and returned it approximately 90 yards for a quick touchdown with 11:44 remaining in the first quarter.
When the two-point conversion failed, the Hornets jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead.
After John Essex forced a punt on the first possession for the Rams, the Hornets took over at the 38-yard line.
And on the fourth play of the drive, running back Frankie Glass took the ball in 12 yards for another Hornets touchdown with 7:38 left in the first quarter.
With a successful two-point conversion, the Hornets led in the affair 14-0.
On the following possession for Akron, a fourth down fake punt resulted in a change of possession after the Rams failed to pick up enough yardage for the first down.
The first play of the Hornets possession resulted in another touchdown as Chris Jones rushed in 35 yards with 5:01 left in the first quarter.
With another successful two-point conversion, the Hornets increased their lead to 22-0.
The Hornets struck again with 8:41 remaining in the first half when Keionte Phillips connected with Marcus Besteder for a 45-yard touchdown pass on a crucial fourth down.
The Hornets failed on the two-point conversion, but the John Essex lead was now 28-0.
After kicking off to the Rams and sitting on a second down attempt, a bad pass resulted in an interception for the Hornets, which was returned 20 yards for another touchdown.
At this point, John Essex led 34-0.
The Hornets added one more touchdown before halftime at the 4:41 mark in the second quarter when Phillips connected with Smith for a 35-yard touchdown pass to bring the lead to 40-0.
To begin the second half of play, the Hornets kicked off to the Rams and the ball was fumbled at the 17-yard line as the John Essex Hornets pounced on the ball.
With 8:22 left in the third quarter, Phillips connected with Trent Williams for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
As Darnell Edwards rushed in successfully for the two-point conversion, the Hornets lead grew to 48-0.
The Rams finally got on the board with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter.
After the Rams finally picked up their first, first down late in the third quarter, Akron quarterback Cleo Elliot connected with Tony Woods for a 23-yard touchdown pass to cut into the lead, 48-6.
But once the Rams regained possession after stopping a Hornets fourth down attempt, the John Essex defense again came to the rescue.
Another bad pass by Akron resulted in Smith picking off the pass and returning it 53 yards for the touchdown with 2:46 left in the third quarter.
When the two-point conversion failed, John Essex held onto a very comfortable 54-6 lead.
John Essex picked up another touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter when Phillips connected with Glass for a 44-yard touchdown pass.
With 11:47 left in the game, the Hornets lead was 60-6.
But the scoring didn’t stop there.
After the Rams fumbled the kickoff, John Essex took over at the 34-yard line.
On the second play of the drive, Edwards swept right for a 27-yard touchdown run with 10:34 left in the game.
After a successful extra point kick by Glass, the Hornets led 67-6.
With about 8:00 remaining in the game, Ronald Hill picked off another bad pass by the Rams and the Hornets took over at the 42-yard line.
On the fourth play of the drive, DeEric Gray swept left for a 17-yard touchdown run with 6:54 left in the game to increase the Hornets lead to 73-6.
When the Hornets kicked an onside kick and retained possession at the 35-yard line, head coach Al Shipman called his quarterback over to the sidelines after he knelt the ball on the first play.
Shipman then instructed his boys to just punt the ball back to the Rams instead of even trying to score again.
And Shipman continued to do that through the remainder of the game, showing mercy to the visiting Rams.
As the final buzzer sounded, the Hornets walked away with a blowout win, 73-6, in front of a homecoming crowd at R. Cook Stadium.