Hornets defeat 3A Kemper County 38-32 to move to 2-0

The Lake Hornets made it two-for-two against Class 3A opponents with a 38-32 in over Kemper County on the road last Friday night. The Hornets move to an impressive 2-0 on the season and are looking forward to playing Class 2A teams after opening the season with back-to-back games against larger schools.

Head coach Tate Hanna knew the opening season scheduled would be tough on his Hornets, but scheduled the two larger schools to prepare the team for the tough district schedule that is ahead. “Our offense made some improvements this week and our defense really stepped up with some key plays when we needed them,” he said.

After a good drive on offense, Lake got out to an early lead when sophomore quarterback Brady McGee carried the ball the last yard to the endzone to give the Hornets a 6-0 lead. Kemper County answered with 6 minutes to play in the opening period to knot the score at 6-6.

The defenses stiffened after the early scores and the teams exchanged possessions to finish out the first quarter with the score tied at 6-6.

The early defensive struggle continued to start the second quarter until Lake was able to break through after a Kemper County turnover. The Hornets’ defense returned the fumble to the KC 2-yard line before McGee again took the ball in from two tards out. The two-point conversion pass was good and Lake took a 14-6 lead.

After the Kemper County offense again answered the Hornets the score stood at 14-12 with two minutes left in the first half.

Lake returned the ensuing Kemper County kickoff to the KC 48-yard line where the offense went to work with under two minutes remaining before half. McGee found Zywon Ledbetter for a 17-yard touchdown pass with under one minute left in the half to give Lake the 20-12 advantage as the teams headed in to half time.

To start the third quarter, Lake kicked off to Kemper County, and the home standing offense started moving the ball. But Ledbetter picked off a Wildcats pass at the Lake 25 and returned it 75-yards for a touchdown that saw him cross the field and break multiple tackles. But as it would turn out ths would be the scond longest intercweption return last Friday night. After the PAT filed Lake held a 26-12 lead.

The Wildcats were able to find the endzone for one score in the third period to bring the score to 26-18 as the third quarter came to an end.

The fourth quarter saw Lake extend their lead before Kemper County mounted a comeback to tie the game. With the Wilcats driving and knocling on the door pf the endzone J.D. Evans made the play of the game when he stepped in from of a pass in the endzone and returned it 108 yards for would be the winning touchdown. 

McGee showed improvement behind center as he come through when he needed to, and Ledbetter made plays on both sides of the ball and in the kick return game.

After moving to 2-0 on the season Lake will finally play a Class 2A opponent this Friday night when they travel to Heidelberg (1-1) to take on the Oilers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.