NASHVILLE — A couple plays go the other way, and the Nashville Hornets football team might still be playing next week. The Hornets, winners of five straight coming in, fell 14-7 in a defensive battle against Downs (Tri-Valley)
Downs (Tri-Valley) came into the game with a 5-4 record and jumped on top early. The Vikings struck first midway through the first quarter on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Jake Reeser to Zander Woodring. The extra point from Bryce Bedillion gave the Vikings a seven-point lead.
The lead would hold steady until the midway through the second quarter, when the Vikings took advantage of a failed fake punt by Nashville to extend their lead.
Facing fourth-and-six on their own 15-yard line, the Hornets faked the punt but were unable convert, giving the Vikings great field position. Downs (Tri-Valley) took advantage seven plays later, as Zach Woodring would punch it in from two yards out to extend the lead to 14-0 after the PAT.
“That was my call all the way. I thought the way they lined up, we could get it. I thought for a second the edge was there. They did a good job of defending it. They go down and score and in the end that ended up being the deciding score,” said Hornets coach Stephen Kozuszek after the game.
The defense came to play in the second half for the Hornets. Nashville held Downs (Tri-Valley) scoreless, but could not get the big plays when they needed them.
The Hornets' lone score of the game came on a 16-yard pass from Daymeon Baugh to Gavin Baldwin on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Hornets had opportunities in the second half to tie the game, but could not find their way back to the end zone.
“I thought some stuff was there. We just couldn’t convert when we needed to. Couldn’t get the big play when we needed to. I thought the opportunity was there in the both halves. I never thought for a second we were out of it," said Kozuszek. "The defense did a great job of holding them the second half and giving us plenty of opportunities. I felt very confident that if we get the ball back there at the end that we go down there and score. Unfortunately the ball didn’t bounce our way on the punt play and they get it back.”