Horn throws 5 touchdowns in Wildcats victoryPublished 5:32pm Monday, November 11, 2013
The Benjamin Russell Wildcats overcame a sluggish start to their postseason slate, overwhelming Chilton County 48-7 in first-round playoff action.
Bryant Horn was the star on the night, overcoming a up-and-down first half of play to throw for five scores on the Tigers’ defense.
The Wildcats’ defense was the story early on, as it pressured Chilton County quarterback Trenton Bishop into mistakes that put the Tigers in a hole less than five minutes into the game.
Tyrik Norris cashed in on a Bishop overthrow, nabbing his fifth interception of the season.
With a short field, B. Horn directed a quick scoring drive, which culminated in a 17-yard strike to Bookie Ford in the right corner of the endzone.
After a false start backed up the Tigers on their next possession, the Tigers turned the ball over again when Eric Varner jumped an out route, diving in front of the receiver to come up with the Wildcats’ second interception in as many drives.
Setting up shop at Chilton County’s 21-yard line, Benjamin Russell (10-1) did not take long to turn that into points as LaBrenikin Johnson sliced up the gut of the Tigers’ defense for a 21-yard touchdown.
At that point, the Tigers mainly stuck with its run-heavy attack, and it was nothing doing for Chilton County (5-6). However, Benjamin Russell’s offense also cooled off and the teams traded punts until Chilton County’s defense struck.
A B. Horn pass intended for Marquis Odem sailed above Odem’s reach, and Austin Hatch snagged the errant throw, returning it 37 yards for a pick-six and putting Chilton County back into the contest.
It took 23 seconds for the Wildcats to put the Tigers right back out of it, as B. Horn directed a two-play, 73-yard drive that ended in a 20-yard touchdown toss to Rod Hunter.
After forcing a Chilton County punt, the Wildcats’ became the beneficiaries of a kick catch interference that set up the offense at the 28-yard line.
Three plays later, Chase Burton punched it in from four yards out, making the game 28-7 at the half. Despite the commanding edge at halftime, BRHS coach Danny Horn was not pleased in how the team played.
“We didn’t execute, and that’s the bottom line,” D. Horn said. “We had too many penalties, and we just didn’t play well. “Even though we were up 28-7, I felt we shouldn’t have been satisfied with our performance. I challenged the team (at halftime) to come out and play like it was a 0-0 ballgame.”
The Wildcats proceeded to answer D. Horn’s challenge, as they put together an 11-play, 66-yard drive that was capped by a 18-yard pitch and catch from Horn to Hunter which put the Wildcats up 35-7.
Chilton County refused to quit, but penalties wiped away some of their more productive plays. A 32-yard gain was called back due to a hold, forcing the Tigers to punt from deep in their own territory. The Wildcats answered in short order, putting together a four-play drive form the Tigers’ 36-yard line to find paydirt again, this time thanks to Horn finding Johnson on a 16-yard wheel route, which made the game 41-7.
“They played man on us, and they were going to stop the run and make us throw it,” D. Horn said. “We hurt them early on. But they played us pretty tough, and that’s because they don’t have a bad team. We didn’t play as well as I hoped we would. In the first half, I think we were just going through the motions but in the second half I thought we played a lot better. We played with more passion in the second half.”
On Chilton County’s very next play, the Tigers tried a reverse pass, but the Wildcats’ secondary wasn’t fooled, as Diorte Russell picked off the pass and returned it to midfield.
After two consecutive rushes from Ellis Holloway that put BRHS at the 23-yard line, Horn capped his night – and the scoring – with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Tapley. From there, the clock ran out on Chilton County’s season.
The Tigers were able to gash the Wildcats at times with the run game, but D. Horn said it was a testament to the talent the Tigers had.
“They work just like we do,” D. Horn said. “You’re not going to stop them every time, and they had some runs here or there. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter how many yards you give up, it’s about how many points you give up, and the defense didn’t give up any tonight.”
On the night, B. Horn was 13-of-17 for 183 yards. He also racked up 78 yards on the ground.
Hunter was the leading receiver, catching three balls for 45 yards. Ford had two grabs for 43 yards.
Johnson was held to 29 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Next up for Benjamin Russell will be a visit from Class 5A No. 8 St. Paul’s.