By DERRELL COMER
ERA — The Era Hornets overcame six fumbles and scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull out a victory against the Class 2A Bells Panthers.
For the third straight week, the Hornets fell behind 6-0 to begin the game as the Panthers opened the scoring with an 8-yard touchdown run by Josh Fagan late in the first quarter. The ensuing PAT was blocked by Nathan Metzler and scooped up Justin Lance who returned it 95 yards for two points for the Hornets.
The Hornet offense would put points on the board at the 10:04 mark of the second quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run by Jace Sutton. With the failed PAT the Hornets held an 8-6 lead.
The Panthers would answer right back with another Josh Fagan touchdown run to regain the lead at 12-8, which was the score at halftime.
Bells would strike again at the 5:42 mark of the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bud Pedigo. With the successful two-point conversion attempt, the Panthers extended their lead to 20-8.
Era would answer the bell in the fourth quarter. After struggling all night with penalties and turnovers, the Hornet offense put together a 10-play, 57 yard scoring drive capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass from Trey Dunn to receiver Nathan Metzler with 9:09 left in the game. Metzler kicked the extra point to pull the Hornets to within 20-15.
The Hornet defense appeared rejuvenated by the awakening of the Hornet offense and quickly shut the Panther offense down to get the ball back for the Hornet offense. Era then went on an 11-play, 72-yard scoring drive with Trey Dunn finding pay dirt on a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Hornets back in the lead. The Hornets 2-point conversion attempt was successful on a Trey Dunn to James Rust pass to give the Hornets a 23-20 lead with 3:00 remaining in the game.
The Hornet defense then held the Panther offense to four-plays-and-out as the Panthers elected to go for it on fourth down and were stopped short by the Hornet defense. The Hornet offense would turn the ball back over to the Panthers with 1:41 remaining in the game. But once again the Hornet defense stiffened and held the Panther offense to 4-plays and out after which the Hornet offense was able to run out the clock.
The Hornet rushing attack was led by Trey Dunn who had 133 yards on 27 carries and one touchdown. The Bells rushing attack was led by Kolby Miller who had 126 yards on 21 rushing attempts.
By DERRELL COMER