Hornet offense rolls, cashes in on Chiefland miscues

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By Sean Arnold

Chiefland had just faced the best quarterback it will probably play all season, but Indians first-year head coach Adam Gore wasn’t letting himself and his young team off the hook.


Mayo-Lafayette sophomore Jaxson Beach tossed for 219 yards and three scores on 13-of-16 passing to lead the Hornets past CMHS 41-17 in Chiefland last Thursday.

The game was moved up a day as Hurricane Irma was poised to wreak havoc on most of Florida.

“Take care of your family, take care of your loved ones, take care of your friends,” Gore told his team after the game.

He hoped it would use some of the extra time off to contemplate the mistakes that are undermining the team’s efforts, like untimely penalties, turnovers and missed assignments.

“Let this one hurt,” Gore said. “Think about it. Let it drive you to be better. Let it drive you to do the little things.

“We’re so close, guys. We’re so close to being a really good football team. We’ve got to take the next step.”

Chiefland turned in its best rushing effort so far, churning up 268 yards on 46 carries. A string of holding penalties on one third-quarter drive lopped off another 30 or 40 yards of rushing by senior Brian Norris Jr., who ran for a team-high 142 yards and a touchdown on 20 touches.

“We’re at a point that we’ve got to take some ownership in that 41-17,” Gore said. “We put the ball on the ground, had a bunch of penalties, those are signs of undisciplined football teams. That rests on my shoulders.

“We’re just not a disciplined football team, that’s what it boils down to. That’s a process like any other thing we’re dealing with. The result’s going to be the same until we get that under control.

“Of course, we’re going to play teams that are better than us, but truthfully, (Lafayette’s) not that much better than us.”

Turnovers and penalties are inevitable, but Chiefland’s often prove particularly costly. A majority of its turnovers have occurred behind the line of scrimmage, even involving the center-quarterback exchange. The Indians coughed it up twice in their first three drives against LHS.

The penalties were mostly of the 5-yard variety, but they sometimes contributed to taking potential points off the board, like when the offense drove the ball to the Hornet 3-yard-line, only to commit a false start that led to a 25-yard Noah Nguyen field goal on Chiefland’s opening drive.

Following Nguyen’s kick, Beach and his Lafayette offense answered with back-to-back touchdown drives to make it 21-3. Norris then rushed for a 2-yard score to narrow the deficit to 21-10 before the half, following an Nyugen PAT.

A 17-yard toss sweep to senior Tramaine Brown and a 29-yard rush down the sideline by Norris set up the Indian TD. Brown had 60 rushing yards on nine carries, while junior Hunter Barrand added 37 yards on nine totes, and hauled in an 8-yard catch; sophomore Jason White chipped in a 14-yard carry for the Indians.

Beach added a pair of rushing TDs to his passing totals.

“That’s the best quarterback we’ll play all year,” Gore said. “We had a day less to prepare for that run/pass option stuff, and it really showed at times. That played a huge part in what was going on there as far as some of (our undisciplined stuff).”

The Hornets started the third quarter with back-to-back scoring drives on a rushing and receiving score by Ben Massey, who was potent in space from the flats in totaling six catches for 129 receiving yards an two receiving TDs.

“With the inexperienced corner that we have, (Massey) just threw a move on him,” Gore said. “Instead of turning him back inside, we gave him the sidelines and off he went.”

Chiefland’s passing game was limited to one completion on two attempts for 8 yards by sophomore Ty Corbin. Corbin, who was chased out of bounds on a few rollout attempts, did punch in a 7-yard TD run in the fourth quarter on a sprint to the pylon.

“They sat on (the rollout passes),” Gore said. “They didn’t want (Corbin) to get out of the pocket. I knew it wasn’t there just by their alignment, and every time we tried to do it, they were on top of it.”

Corbin’s score was set up by a fumble recovery by sophomore Brandon Bowers, who only seemed to get better late in the game. Chiefland senior B.C. Fehmerling joined Bowers with multiple tackles for losses as well as a couple of quarterback hurries. A pass breakup by CMHS sophomore Jarrett Jerrels forced a turnover-on-downs in the second quarter.

The Indian’s third turnover set Lafayette up for its final score, which came on a 23-yard drive, punctuated by Beach’s fifth touchdown.

“We’ve have got to figure it out quicker,” Gore said. “The ball goes on the grass way too much, and we have too many penalties at times that we don’t need them.”

Beach also knocked through five extra points on six PAT attempts.