hhs football

Huntsville's Gardarian Blanks runs down a Henderson ballcarrier earlier this season. The Hornets will try to rebound from their first loss of the season last week against College Park tonight at New Caney.

Huntsville senior Jacolby Lewis plopped down on the turf last Saturday and sulked. The Hornets had just suffered through their first loss this season, a 31-12 rout at the hands of College Park.

With a long face and clear eyes, Lewis quickly summed up his feelings about the Hornets’ lackluster performance. Then, he said the loss wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, it might have been good for the Hornets to play poorly and lose.

“We just didn’t play our best. It felt like, as a whole, we took this team lightly,” Lewis said. “But we needed this loss. If we would have won, we’d still be on cloud nine.”

The Hornets are on cloud nine no longer. Four turnovers and a blocked punt brought Huntsville back to Earth and helped College Park romp to an easy victory.

Like Lewis, the Hornets’ head coach believes it might have been a good thing to stumble during the four-game nondistrict season. Mitchell Coey wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again tonight.

“That was a good lesson,” Coey said Thursday. “All of them sitting on the field after the game, that loss hurt them. It embarrassed them, it embarrassed all of us. I think we’ve regrouped, though.

“I don’t like wakeup calls, but if we’re going to get one, the good Lord blessed us by giving it to us early in the season. Hopefully, we’ve learned a lesson from it.”

The Hornets say they learned a lesson all right.

“I think we didn’t come prepared and we weren’t playing as a team,” senior receiver Garrett Glass said. “We watched film during the week, and everybody was saying how sorry College Park was.”

The Cavaliers were far from sorry.

Using their triple option offensive attack, coach Richard Carson’s squad shredded Huntsville’s defense for 289 rushing yards. Quarterback Justin Hay and fullback David Crittenden both surpassed the century mark — Hay finishing with 111 yards rushing and Crittenden with 107.

College Park’s defense also did a job on the Hornets, who managed only 170 yards of total offense and eight first downs. That was a real eye opener for a team that appeared to be in high gear going into the third game.

“We now know not to underestimate anybody. You’ve got to come out and play with your heart and your head,” cornerback Terrence Bell said. “Our heads got too big.”

Tonight at 7, the Hornets tackle New Caney, a team that’s still looking for its first win. The Eagles lost to Lumberton 21-14 two weeks ago, and last week, Livingston outlasted New Caney 37-24.

The Hornets say they were impressed while watching the Eagles on tape. It’s going to take a solid effort tonight to get back on track as Huntsville heads toward the six-game District 18-4A season.

“They have a really good quarterback (senior Phillip Welch) and a really good running back (senior C.J. Dunlap),” Hornets cornerback Chris Thomas said. “They’ve got one receiver (Dunlap) they throw to a lot, and they also run the option. They’ll probably run that a bunch because we didn’t defend that very well last week.”

Coey said the Eagles’ option is not as dangerous as College Park’s.

“They run the speed option out of the spread,” the coach said. “They don’t have a dive back, so you don’t have to play assignment football like we did last week. Somebody’s got the quarterback and somebody has the pitch man, but you can rally to that. The option didn’t hurt us that bad last week. It was the dive back that hurt us.”

With No. 9 Brenham headed to Huntsville next week, Coey hopes the Hornets can handle the Eagles’ option and rebound from last week’s loss.

“This is big,” Coey said. “We need to have this game Friday night going into our district opener with Brenham. They’re in the same situation as we are after losing last week.

“We really need to have a great game so we can start building some momentum for district.”

Hornet football notes and quotes

Hard week at HHS — Coming off their first loss, the Hornets were put through the wringer this week in practice.

“We grinded on them pretty hard,” Huntsville head coach Mitchell Coey said Thursday. “Today was the first day they wore shorts. We’ve been in full pads all week, and we worked them hard.”

Senior Chris Thomas said the coaches were tough this week, but so were the veteran Hornets who badly want to win this year.

“The upperclassmen have been staying on the sophomores, and the seniors have been staying on the juniors,” Thomas explained. “Everybody’s staying on each other to make sure we do everything right, and do everything perfect.”

The Hornets feel pretty good about their efforts.

“I feel like this has been our best week yet in practice,” cornerback Terrence Bell said. “Everybody was moving around and we worked really hard.”

Early kickoff — Remember, tonight’s game starts at 7, not 7:30. District 21-4A, New Caney’s district, voted to start its game 30 minutes earlier than usual, and the Eagles decided to do that for all of their games.

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