Bears swat Hornets in region clash
John Essex (0-3) and Billingsley (2-1) traded opening blows, but the Hornets had trouble answering the bells that followed en route to a 50-18 loss Friday night.
“Discipline,” first-year coach Lenoise Richey cited as his team’s biggest hurdle. “We declined from last week. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re going to get better and we’re going to work hard to get better. We showed a little fight there at the end. We just need to play four quarters like that.”
The Bears took the opening kickoff and mounted a drive that culminated with Mario Reese finding Carlos Caver on a 14-yard touchdown strike two minutes into the game.
Two minutes later, the Hornets answered with a 21-yard toss from Letrelle Griffin to A.J. Bennett to knot the game at 6-all.
Just more than one minute into the second quarter, Jeffery Odem picked off an errant Hornet pass and on the Bears’ next play Jimmy Lanier thundered for a 26-yard score. With only two minutes left in the half, Billingsley hung another 12 points on the board – all on a pair of pitch-and-catch plays from Reese to Ralphael Brooks from two and five yards out – and took a 24-6 lead into the half.
“I thought we did good on that first drive,” Richey said. “We let them score but we came right back at them. After that, we just didn’t play with them.”
The Hornets were the first to score in the third, putting another six points on the board with a 14-yard run by Griffin.
The Bears quickly answered with an 80-yard kickoff return by Brooks, putting the Bears up 32-12.
Billingsley added two more scores, one on a 1-yard sneak by Reese and another on a 15-yard touchdown toss from Reese to Perry Brown, to take a 44-12 lead late in the fourth.
The Hornets clawed back with Griffin taking the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Bears’ 5 and punching it into the endzone two plays later, making the score 44-18.
The Bears delivered the final blow with a 3-yard touchdown run by Reese with just more than a minute to play, sealing the 50-18 win.
Jamie Daniels led the Hornets rushing attack with 111 yards. He was also a force to reckon with on defense, piling up three tackles for a loss including one quarterback sack.
The Hornets continue region play and travel to Maplesville next Friday.