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Hawthorne’s rushing offense leads Hornets to win over Union County

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By Cam Parker
Twitter – @camparker25

On Friday night, the Hawthorne Hornets defeated the Union County Tigers by a score of 30-20.

The Hawthorne running game stole the show as the Hornet offense accounted for three rushing touchdowns, two of which were by Dre Lawrence.

From their first drive, Hawthorne’s run-game took off.

After forcing a three-and-out, the Hornet offense went on an 11-play, 64-yard drive ended in a one-yard touchdown run by Lawrence to make the score 6-0.

After forcing their second three-and-out of the night, quarterback Chaz’ Mackey threw a screen pass to Anthony Morgan, who then ran 56-yards to put the Hornets in scoring position.

Three plays later, Lawrence would run it in for his second score of the night. Hawthorne would convert the two-point try with another Mackey pass to Morgan, which made the score 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

In the middle of the second quarter, Union County cut the lead to seven with a Rayvon Durant two-yard touchdown run.

However, this score would not last long as Hornet running back Johnquavis Jones ran for a 41-yard touchdown on the next drive.

Hawthorne converted another two-point conversion, this time on a pass from Mackey to Camren Cohens, who made a spectacular diving reception. This put the Hornets up 22-7 with 3:34 left in the half.

“I’m extremely proud of our guys up front,” said Hornets’ coach Cornelius Ingram, who praised his offensive line for their performance. “We had two of the starters have bad ankle injuries in the last two games, and they didn’t even practice this week. They gutted it out, played every snap, and didn’t complain. So that tells you what kind of team we have.”

Both defenses made big plays to end the half. Union County’s Cortez Slocum and Hawthorne’s Anthony Morgan had back-to-back interceptions.

The second half was a completely different story.

On the first drive, Union County was set to punt, but the ball was snapped through the back of the end zone for a safety for the Hornets.

The next four drives were controlled by both defenses, as they traded fumble recoveries on back-to-back drives, followed by back-to-back turnover on downs.

The next Hawthorne drive would be controlled by Mackey and Jones, who connected on a 22-yard pass to make it first and goal, and then an eight-yard touchdown pass to make it 30-7 early in the fourth quarter.

“I just know my quarterback has the arm to get the ball there, and I just make the play,” Jones said of his quarterback.

From there, Union County’s offense would finally gain some momentum with two straight touchdowns.

Quarterback Aj Cortese scored on a 67-yard run and also threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Slocum. However, it was too late for the Tigers as Hawthorne would recover the onside attempt and kneel down, preserving the win.

Next Friday, Hawthorne (5-1) travels to Zephyrhills while Union County (4-3) travels to Chiefland.

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