Hornets pound Pointers
SOUTH POINT, Ohio -- The old saying in football is, "remember November."
Because Coal Grove remembered August and a 14-12 loss to South Point in the Ohio Valley Conference Preview, the Hornets made the first day of November memorable in Friday's 56-14 rout of the Pointers. The pre-season defeat motivated Coal Grove, which dominated from the opening drive in knocking South Point from playoff contention.
"Well, you never like to get beat," Hornets coach Dave Lucas said after being asked if the earlier loss to South Point inspired his team. "We had our first unit together here."
Coal Grove (5-5 overall and 4-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference) rolled up 386 yards in the first half on its way to outgaining South Point 591 to 167.
The Hornets used their pounding running game to take a 7-0 lead after a 13-play, 80-yard drive was capped by a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Sid Tucker. Then, Tucker's 39-yard scamper with 3:44 left in the first quarter made it 14-0.
South Point (7-3, 3-2) answered with a 4-yard TD run by James Leonard with 1:40 left in the first period, but then the contest took a surprising turn from which the Pointers never recovered. Coal Grove took to the air on its next three plays, gaining 60 yards against a stunned Pointers defense and setting up Tucker's third touchdown, a 1-yard run up the middle to make it 21-7.
"That was our plan from the beginning," Lucas said of using the rushing game to set up the pass. "Our offensive line played great. We executed really well and came out and worked our game plan the way we wanted."
Coal Grove's third touchdown appeared to discourage South Point, which gave up scoring runs to Jesse Rigsby and D.J. Miller to fall behind 36-7 at halftime.
South Point showed some fight, though, scoring on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Gage Townson to Audric Harlow to open the third quarter, but the Hornets scored on their next possession, with Rigsby racing through the middle from 32 yards to make it 43-14 and crush any hope the Pointers had of a comeback.
"That was hard to watch," dejected South Point fan Andrew Dorsey said outside a tear-filled Pointers locker room. Lucas, though, said South Point coach Rick Marcello, his staff and players have no reason to be downcast after bouncing back from a 1-9 season in 2012.
."South Point had a great year," Lucas said. "Coach Marcello did a good job with them. We won a game against a good team and a good group of kids."
Isaiah Gunther led Coal Grove;s rushing attack with 111 yards on 13 carries. Miller added 91 yards on 12 attempts and Tucker 73 on 13 carries. Rigsby, who carried five times for 59 yards, was 6-for-9 passing for 92 yards and drew praise from Lucas.
"Our quarterback played exceptionally well," Lucas said. "Our guys caught the ball and played well. Our backs ran hard. It all goes back to the offensive line. We had a good, marching offense and stayed ahead the whole game."
Coal Grove clinched a non-losing season with the victory and finished strong, scoring 40 or more points in four of its last five games and winning five of its last six. The Hornets lose just three starters heading into next season.
COAL GROVE 14 22 7 13 -- 56
SOUTH POINT 7 0 7 0 -- 14
CG -- Tucker 1 run (pass failed)
CG -- Tucker 39 run (Paulus pass from Rigsby)
SP -- Leonard 4 run (Whitt kick)
CG -- Tucker 1 run (Joseph kick)
CG -- Rigsby 8 run (Akers run)
CG -- Miller 1 run (Joseph kick)
SP -- Harlow 44 pass from Townson (Overstreet kick)
CG -- Rigsby 32 run (Joseph kick)
CG -- Ruggles 1 run (Joseph kick)
CG -- Ghee 26 pass from Carey (kick failed)
First Downs 24 8
Rushes-yards 61-424 21-113
Passes 8-11-1 6-22-1
Passing yards 167 54
Total yards 591 167
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties 9-73 6-39
Punts 1-13 4-36.7
RUSHING -- Coal Grove: Gunther 13-111, Miller 12-91, Tucker 13-73, Rigsby 5-59, Paulus 1-20, Ruggles 7-45, Clark 6-20, Rutherford 2-3, Carey 1-(-3), Berry 1-5. South Point: Damron 6-26, Leonard 9-62, Townson 3-13, Branch 2-5, Jones 1-7.
PASSING -- Coal Grove: Rigsby 6-9-1, 92 yards; Carey 2-2-0, 75 yards. South Point: Townson 6-22-1, 54 yards.
RECEIVING -- Coal Grove: Markins 3-48, Akers 2-32, Gunther 1-12, Carter 1-49, Ghee 1-26. South Point: Jones 2-(-1), Leonard 2-3, Harlow 1-44, Browning 1-8.
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