AUSTIN POE (left) uses a stiff arm to get by a Duluth defender on his way to a 66-yard touchdown in the first half Friday during the Homecoming game. He scored three touchdowns on passes from Tyler Halverson in a 34-12 win. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

Hornets beat Duluth for 1st win, 34-12

Subhead: 
Staff Writer
Ken Francis

 

The Big Lake football team had its best game of the year and came away with a 34-12 win over Duluth Denfeld to the delight of a huge Homecoming crowd Friday.
The Hornets played well on both sides of the ball, allowing only two big first-half scoring plays by the Hunters in a convincing win.
The Hornets got the ball first and moved it well. Quarterback Tyler Halverson hit AJ Sandford for a 17-yard gain on second down, then found a weakness in the defense and ran the ball four times for 48 yards. Three plays later, Tanner Snare punched it in from the three, and Big Lake led, 7-0 with 8:18 left in the quarter.
The Hunters also moved the ball well using the running game. They moved the ball from the 36 to inside the Hornet 10 on 14 plays. But a chop block cost them 15 yards. Then, on a fourth down play from the 15, Tristin Johnson broke through the line and stopped the run, giving Big Lake the ball at the 20 with 1:46 in the quarter.
The Hornets punted after three plays, and Duluth responded with a score on a 52-yard misdirection play just seconds later. The conversion failed, and the Hornets led, 7-6.
Big Lake came back with an even bigger play. On third down and seven, Halverson threw a pass to Austin Poe near the line of scrimmage. The receiver used a stiff arm to push away a tackler, then raced along the right sideline the length of the field behind one blocker for a 66-yard touchdown and a 13-6 lead with 10:24 in the half.
Again, Duluth had a big play. This time an 80-yard touchdown run on first down right after the kickoff to close the gap to 13-12 with 10:08 in the half.
The Hornets had good field position after the kickoff and made the most of it. Halverson had three keepers for 18 yards, then fired a pass down the sideline that Poe leaped and pulled in at the 10. After Sandford ran for three, Halverson lobbed another pass into the end zone that Poe grabbed for his second TD and a 19-12 lead with 7:11 in the half.
After a deep kickoff, Duluth started their next series on the five yard line. They moved the ball to the Big Lake 40 before a good defensive play forced a fumble. Dillon O’Leary recovered it for the Hornets on the 35, ending the drive with 4:14 in the half.
But the Hornets had to punt again, and it looked like Duluth would score this time. Starting at their 32, they had one run and a pass to get to the 50.  Four more plays and they were at the 15, threatening to score again. They completed a pass, then a running play to the three before calling time out with 12 seconds in the half. Then came the deciding play of the game. A powerful pass rush forced the quarterback to fire the ball into traffic. It was picked off by Tyler Otto at the three, and he went 97 yards for the score. The two-point conversion was good, and instead of a tie game, the Hornets led, 27-12 at the half.
Big Lake’s defense did its job in the second half, never allowing Duluth to get close.
The Hornets got inside the 20 on their first series, but a fumble at the 20 gave the ball to the Hunters with 6:14 in the third quarter.
It didn’t seem to matter. The Hornet defense clamped down and allowed just one big running play the rest of the way. In the meantime, Connor Johnson had two interceptions to stop Duluth. And Big Lake got its final touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Halverson to Poe with 1:20 left in the game to close out the scoring.
The Hornets are 1-4 on the season. They visit Rogers Friday.
 

photos


DAUNTE BATES is ready to enjoy his lunch.

MONTICELLO PUBLIC WORKS Mike Rogers catching the cockatoo which flew into a window of their building. (Submitted photos).

2014-2015 SHERBURNE COUNTY FAIR Junior Royalty are Duke Mike Edlund, Duchess Sophia Gerou, King Justice Haom, Queen Peyton Provost, Prince Tyson Newman and Princess Lilian Lies with the past royalty. (Submitted photo courtesy of Always Platinum Photography).

SMOKEY THE BEAR posed for a picture with Mia and Yazmine Garcia at the Big Lake Public Library. Smokey teaches everyone to prevent wildfires. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

Cooper Adcock and Natalie Johnson volunteered to be in charge of selling snacks to weary shoppers at the Sale of Stuff.