The Hackett Sr High Hornets have censored most critics about their being moved from 2A to 3A this season. So the Hornets let the numbers do the work for them. Hackett beat their two non-conference opponents with a combined score of 80-49 then kicked off their new 3A run with a dominant performance over Lavaca. Although the Hornets fell to Cedarville, it was by merely a single score to one of the 3A up and coming programs.
The true 3A test though came last Friday as the Hornets traveled to Charleston to face the Tigers. Hackett knew that Charleston is one of the premier 3A programs holding over a dozen 3A-1 championships and five state titles, but they also knew they were going to fight all the way until the final buzzer. That fight started within ten seconds of the game when on Charleston’s first offensive play, the Tigers sent a pass downfield to an open receiver to score. Quickly down 8-0, Hackett went to work as power runs by Weston Winters gashed at the Tigers defense. Pound as they may, the Hornets couldn’t tie the game up and Charleston wound up on offense again. The Tigers again took the pigskin down for another touchdown and tacked on a two-point conversion to boot jumping their lead to 15-0 with 7:36 left in the first quarter.
Scoring once is one thing, but doing it twice? Well, that just poked the Hornets’ nest and Hackett wasn’t about to just kick back and watch. With quick passes to the flats and the continuing thumping of the Tigers defense by Winters, Ethan “Superman” Slavens was able to find the mighty Tigers’ weakness. Slavens lasered a hot pass to Peyton Hester who burnt Charleston’s coverage and took the Hornets into the end zone. The score was 15-8 and it was game on as the Hornets began to come alive. Hackett’s defense stepped up to the plate and began swarming the Charleston backfield. With solid hits that packed a punch, Charleston was sent back to the huddle with stingers in every joint of their bodies. Big hits cause players to make mistakes and the Tigers quarterback rushed an ill-advised pass in which Shipman was there waiting as he tipped the ball allowing Slavens to snag the interception giving the Hornets offense another shot to put points up. Before the Hornets could score, the wild first quarter had sounded with Hackett only being down 15-8.
This Cinderella story would begin to take a turn for the worse for the Hornets though. Not only was Hackett playing against Charleston…..in Charleston…..but it was Charleston’s homecoming too. The Hornets attempt to dethrone the 3A-1 kings started to slip as the Tigers racked up three unanswered scores on Hackett before the end of the second quarter setting the game at 36-8 at halftime. Once the half was over, Hackett’s woes began just as quickly as they did when the game started as Charleston kicked and recovered an onside kick giving them the ball to start the second half. Hackett struggled to get warmed up in the third and fourth quarters as their offense sputtered off and on. The Hornets defense was able to hold Charleston to only two scores in the second half, but couldn’t keep up with the Tigers’ high-powered and fast-paced offense. In the end, Hackett would fall to Charleston 48-8.
QB, Ethan “Superman” Slavens made 10 passes for 129 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT. Weston Winters had 21 carries for 80 yards. Fischer Shipman made 6 catches for 96 yards. Peyton Hester snagged 3 catches for 27 yards and 1 TD. Isaiah Carter had 3 pancakes. Luke Gann got 2 pancakes. Juan Fajardo and Mason Oelke each made 1 pancake. Peyton Hester earned 12 tackles. Ty Smith picked up 6 tackles. And Weston Winters scored 7 tackles.
“It was a tough game,” explained head coach, Michael Meador. “We made too many mistakes to beat a good team. We have to learn from it and get better. We can always get better and it’s all about clicking at the right time come playoff time. We still can make a run and we plan on doing that. Our front 6 did a good job putting pressure on their quarterback. We were close several times. Jesse Esparza, Isaiah Carter, and Tyler Pittman got a push in the middle to flush them outside the pocket. Our ends Mason Oelke, Luke Gann, and Ty Smith helped get our pressure off the edge. We still have a lot to work on and we will get there!” Next up for the 1-2 Sr Hornets, Hackett will play at West Fork against the 2-2 Tigers on Friday, October 23.