“Jaguars fall to Hornets 24-16”
By Murray Gleffe, Sports Correspondent
The Jaguar football team knew coming into the game they had to stop the main weapon for the Preble Hornets, Henry Geil. For all but one play, the Jaguars kept Geil under wraps. Unfortunately, the one run they gave up went for 67 yards and broke the tie to propel the Hornets to a 24-16 victory over the Jaguars.
The Jaguars got the first break of the game after Hornets QB Casey Roeser fumbled the ball on the opening series during a driving mist that was blanketing Goelz Field. Jaguar defensive linemen Tanner Mellinger was the recipient of the fumble and it set the Jaguars up in good field position.
However, the Jaguars gave the ball right back after QB Anthony Guarascio was picked off at the Hornets 27 just two plays later. The Hornets then settled into an 11 play, 79-yard drive that was capped off by Henry Geil plunging 1 yard into the end-zone. It gave the Hornets a 7-0 lead with 5:48 left in the opening quarter.
The Jaguars, however, were not about to go away. They, themselves, went on a 12 play, 75-yard drive that culminated in an Anthony Guarascio to Evan Wood pitch and catch for 16 yards. After Kole Kolinski tacked on the extra point, the score was notched at seven apiece with just 48 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
The Hornets opened up the 2nd quarter with a punt, and the Jaguars took over at their own 20. After 3 completions by Jaguar receivers (Collin Secor, Griffin Baierl, and Will Adair) the Jaguars were positioned at the Hornets 4-yard line. The momentum changer happened with 5:38 left till halftime. Hornet Defensive Back Colin Dougherty stepped in front of Secor at the last minute, and made the pick in the end-zone. It left the Jaguar coaching staff and players shaking their heads with ‘no points produced’ on that series.
After a mishandle of a punt by the Jaguars, the Hornets were in position to score just before half, but Jaguar defensive back Diego Zastrow made a diving interception in the back of the end zone to preserve the 7-7 score heading into halftime. Henry Geil had been held to 88 yards on 17 carries, and more importantly no big explosion plays had occurred.
The Jaguars received the ball to start the 2nd half, but didn’t produce any points. Two plays later, the Hornets Geil ripped off a 67-yard run to the right half of the field, and he didn’t stop till he hit paydirt. It gave the Hornets a 14-7 lead with 7:38 left in the 3rd Quarter.
The Jaguars remained resilient, though. At some positions, they were outweighed by 50-60 lbs. Two series later with the Jaguars still trailing by seven, they got a break when a Hornets return man muffed a punt, setting up the Jaguars in ‘golden territory’. They were 13 yards away from possibly drawing even again with the Hornets. Guarascio hit TE Evan Wood for 9 yards on the first play, and Senior TB Alex Stanko drove home the hammer from 4 yards out to cut the margin to 1. After offsides was called on the PAT, the Jaguars decided to try their luck by going for two. It failed, and the Hornets clung to a precarious 14-13 lead with just 1:38 in the 3rd quarter.
The Hornets connected on a 24-yard field goal by Wyatt Stenson to increase their lead to 17-13, and then added a Nic Dahlke fullback dive on their next series to put the Hornets up 24-13 with just 5:39 left in the contest.
The Jaguars made one final push from 11 down to make the contest exciting for the capacity crowd. First, the Jaguars took their next to last drive 27 yards that resulted in a 32-yard field goal by Kole Kolinski that barely made it over the cross bar. Jaguar receiver Will Adair set the drive up with a 37-yard kickoff return. After a Hornet punt, the Jaguars got the ball back with just over a minute remaining. It was all or nothing for the home team! They had to cover 72 yards, score, and then convert the 2-point conversion. Anthony Gurascio connected with Secor for 9, followed by Delaurelle for 5, and Baierl for 26. Unfortunately, time ran out for the Jaguars at the Hornet 19-yard line, and the Hornets survived with an 8-point road win.
The Jaguars fall to 0-1 on the young season and travel to Notre Dame Academy, August 25th.