Turnovers doom Generals in home openerPublished 10:36am Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The Horseshoe Bend Generals played a close game early, but second-half mistakes hurt them in Friday’s 35-14 home-opening loss to the Isabella Mustangs.
Generals head coach Jason Franklin said his team fought hard early, but made too many errors against a good opponent.
“Turnovers were the difference in the ball game tonight; turnovers and mental mistakes. We had too many turnovers and penalties to win the ball game,” Franklin said. “We just did not play well in the second half. That’s just the bottom line. I thought the guys played hard the first half. We have to put four quarters together.”
After a scoreless first quarter by both squads, the Mustangs (4-0, 3-0 Class 2A, Region 5) opened the game up in the second.
Horseshoe Bend’s Drew Hill broke up the middle for a 51-yard run, but Isabella’s De’Rodgus Campbell stripped Hill from behind and the Mustangs recovered at their own 37-yard line with 11:46 remaining in the half.
Three plays later, Isabella quarterback Willie Smith went 43-yards on a draw for the game’s first touchdown, as Chanley Ratliff added the extra point to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead with 10:34 left in the second.
But the Generals (1-3, 0-3 Class 2A, Region 5) got a spark on the ensuing drive, as quarterback Major Abernathy launched it downfield and Brady Fuller made a diving catch for a 36-yard gain that put Horseshoe Bend at the Isabella 23-yard line.
The very next play Abernathy threw a receiver screen to Antwan Hardnett, who raced 24-yards up the field for a touchdown.
Mathan Colley hit the extra point, tying the game at 7-7 with 8:47 left in the second.
But the Mustangs tacked on the final points of the first half when Campbell broke up the home sideline on a jet sweep that went 62 yards, with a 2-point conversion run by Smith making it 15-7.
The Mustangs carried that momentum over into the second half, as Smith scored two more rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, one from 23 yards out and another for 26 yards.
The Generals turned the ball over three times in the second half, with four overall on the night, including a pick six where Isabella’s Brandon Chapman intercepted his second Abernathy pass of the night.
Horseshoe Bend’s final score of the game came late in the fourth quarter on a 64-yard run by Hill.
Smith led Isabella with 176 yards on 24 carries, while Campbell had 112 yards on seven carries.
The Mustangs had 388 yards of total offense, rushing for 385 yards and throwing only two passes on the night.
The Generals had 306 yards of total offense, with 189 on the ground and 117 through the air.
Abernathy was 11 for 18 passing for 117 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown.
Hill had 117 yards rushing on four carries.
Hardnett had an interception and Nicholas Cheaney had a sack for the Generals.
Horseshoe Bend returns to action Friday in their homecoming game against Thorsby.