For a second straight week, Horseshoe Bend was on the cusp of capturing its first victory this season.
After falling 28-21 on a last-second touchdown last week against LaFayette, the Generals pulled within a touchdown in the fourth quarter Friday against Vincent and got the ball back with a chance to tie the game on offense.
A fourth-down conversion fell just short, and Horseshoe Bend ultimately lost 42-27.
“For us to win games, we’ve gotta be perfect all around,” Horseshoe Bend head coach Jeremy Phillips said. “We’re not executing, we’re not finishing the games. So that’s something that we’re really gonna harp on this week, making sure that we play a complete game and not just a quarter here, quarter there.”
Running back Holt Tidwell led the way for the Generals’ offense, racking up over 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns according to Phillips.
“He broke a long one, and they were really keying on Gavin (Brazzell) tonight,” Phillips said. “He had a tough night getting going. But I thought Holt played well.”
Quarterback Luke Jones added a touchdown scramble while getting his feet under him throwing the football.
The Generals battled back to stay within striking distance throughout the road game.
A touchdown with two minutes left in the first half cut the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 21-14, and Horseshoe Bend evened the score on its opening drive of half two.
Back-to-back Vincent touchdowns appeared to put the game on ice, especially as they drove deep into Generals territory searching for a third.
But it was linebacker Rylan Sharpe who refused to let the Yellow Jackets buzz off with a win that easily. He scooped up a fumble at Horseshoe Bend’s 25-yard-line and sprinted 75 yards the opposite direction for a touchdown. A missed extra point left the game at 35-27.
Vincent’s fourth-down stop later in the game put the Generals away, however.
With his team being right on the outskirts of victory in both weeks two and three, Phillips said the key will be avoiding some of the mistakes that have cost them in the first three games.
“A lot of times we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” Phillips said. “Either we have a missed blocking assignment or we’re missing tackles or we’re not in the right position, allowing busted plays on the defensive side. On the offensive side a lot of times it’s just missed assignments.”
Horseshoe Bend gets its next shot to put a win in its record at home against Randolph County next Friday.