The Mineral Springs Hornets and the Dierks Outlaws picked the perfect time to turn in their best performances of the season during the annual battle for the Howard County Cup Friday night in Dierks.
The Hornets came away with the trophy and improved to 1-5 by posting a 40-22 conference win over the winless Outlaws.
Dierks hit the scoreboard first Friday when Jarett Fox capped a drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 9:31 left in the opening quarter. Dierks’ offense would be kept quiet for the remainder of the first half while their defense shutout the Hornets in the first quarter but gave up 12 points in the second for a 12-6 MS lead at the half.
The Hornets’ second-quarter points came on an eight-yard run by Tahji Beal at the 8:13 mark and then a 34-yard TD pass from quarterback Peyton Haddan to Kahlil Williams at the 1:21 mark.
Both teams posted 16 points in the third quarter with MS opening the scoring with a 47-yard TD run by Beal and a two-point run by Devon Swopes. Dierks answered with a drive capped by a five-yard run by Brayden Kirby, who also punched in the two-point play.
The Hornets next score came when QB Haddan dashed in from 13 yards out and Rickey Walker rushed in for the two-point conversion. Dierks stayed in the game at the 2:19 mark in the third quarter when QB Grant Strasner hit Blayn Turner, who outran the defense for an 89-yard TD. Kirby drove in the two-point conversion to set the score at MS 28 Dierks 22 headed into the final quarter.
The Mineral Springs defense came up big and shut out the Outlaw offense in the fourth quarter while Hornet Walker put more points in the board with 3:15 left in the game with a 49-yard run. Beal wrapped up the Hornet scoring with 3:05 left in the game with a 25-yard run.
Beal led the Hornet offense with 17 carries for 136 yards and three TDs followed by Rickey Walker with four carries for 63 yards and one TD. QB Haddan added four carries for 21 yards and one TD and Darrius Hicks added two carries for 16 yards.
Haddan hit 8/15 passes for 115 yards, one TD and one interception to put the Hornet offense total at 346 yards.
Hornet receivers included Camron Walker, Octavion Cesear, Khalil Williams, Beal and Raheem Brown.
The Outlaw offense was led by Kirby with 35 carries for 228 yards and one TD. Fox added 15 carries for 46 yards and one TD.
QB Strasner was 2/6 for 94 yards and one TD to total the Dierks offense out at 360 yards. Turner pulled in both of Strasner’s passes.
The Outlaws fumbled four times and lost all four and were flagged once for five yards while the Hornets had no fumbles and also flagged just once for 15 yards.
The Hornets will host the winless Murfreesboro Rattlers Friday night.
The Outlaws will host the 1-5 Lafayette County Cougars for homecoming.