Two weeks into district play, the Era Hornets are putting everyone on

notice: this team is built to contend for a district title.

EHS (5-1, 2-0) stayed unbeaten in district play Friday night at home,

overwhelming local rival Collinsville 46-12.

The Hornets allowed CHS to score first and led just 12-6 at halftime,

but took over in the second half thanks to a pair of interceptions and

a successful running attack.

"It's encouraging that we're able to bounce back like that after a

slow start, head coach Matt Fanning said. "We'll work to do a better

job of starting stronger. We've got a number of guys right now who can

run the ball well and the offensive line has been doing an excellent

job."

The teams traded blows in the first quarter, with the Pirates' (0-5,

0-2) senior quarterback Hayden Smith rushing for a touchdown before

Era senior Ruger Pease tied things up at 6-6 with a 42-yard score.

Era's first drive was doomed by penalties - touchdowns of 80 and 46

yards by senior Jose De Los Santos were negated by holding calls.

With the score evened up, freshman Miguel De Los Santos turned the

tide in Era's favor with an interception deep in Pirates territory.

Era took advantage of the forced mistake when Pease ran for his second

touchdown of the night from 8 yards out.

Collinsville played its best football at the start of the second half.

Era was forced into a turnover on downs in the opening drive, and CHS

then went 49 yards to score. Smith tied the game at 12 with another

rushing touchdown.

But the Hornets wasted no time responding. On the first play from

scrimmage after the score, Ethan Redmon found a huge hole on the right

side of the line and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. Jose De Los Santos

then executed on a two-point conversaion to give the Hornets a 20-12

lead.

From that point on, it was all Era.

Collinsville moved downfield on its next drive to the Era 39, but

Jackson Lane put an end to the possession with an interception on 3rd

down and 15. Era failed to score on the next drive, but stopped CHS

again with an interception by Zach Stockwell.

On the ensuing drive, a 9-yard run from Pease and a 26-yard pass from

Lane to Fuller moved the Hornets downfield. Pease then helped Era take

a two score lead with a 15-yard scoring run on the outside. Jose De

Los Santos hit Fuller on the two-point conversion to extend Era's lead

to 28-12.

After another Era score, the defense forced a safety on a bad snap

over Smith's head. Collinsville struggled in the center-to-quarterback

exchange all night, with more than five snaps going past Smith in the

backfield.

With the game out of reach, Trevor McLaughin returned the following

free kick to the 2-yard line and Pease punched his fourth score in to

put EHS ahead for good 46-12.

Tied with Lindsay for the best district record in Class 2A Division II

District 9, Era will try to win its third straight on the road against

Celeste at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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