The Era Hornets didn’t win a game last season and they had their first real chance at a win this year when they hosted Electra on Friday, Sept. 25.

The Hornets had a 20-7 lead against the Tigers at halftime, but they couldn’t close the door. Era fell 26-20 and the team left the field dejected.

However, after tasting a bit of success, the Hornets finally reached the winning mountaintop as they flattened Dallas Inspired Vision Academy 30-0 on Friday, Oct. 2.

Era head coach Terry Felderhoff said he thought his team played not to lose against Electra, but after the team came through against Inspired Vision, he thought the team’s hard work over the last few weeks had finally paid off.

“That hurt and the kids were very disappointed after coming so close,” Felderhoff said. “They were visibly upset that night and we’d had a good week of practice and this past week was another good week and we were able to get the W. It finally showed up on the scoreboard. We see it week to week getting better and better, but to see those kids smiling was great.”

Felderhoff said nearly every facet of the Hornets’ game on both sides of the ball has improved this season.

“Everything was new this year so the more time you spend in the system, the more comfortable you get in it,” Felderhoff said. “Honestly, we had a dip against Santo. We had been progressing and in that week, it seemed to stagnate a little bit. The focus and everything were better the past couple weeks and it paid off.”

The Hornets’ success was simply boiled down to better execution, Felderhoff said.

“The fewer mistakes you make, the better off you are,” Felderhoff said. “Our passing game has come along. It looks a lot better now than it did six weeks ago and it should. We rep it really hard and the run game really hard. That goes back to the execution. They’re getting more comfortable getting the ball in the air and we’re having to play a little catchup on that, but we’re getting better.”

Era employs a 4-3 defensive scheme and Felderhoff said his team has adapted pretty well. The defense has progressed a little faster than the offense.

“All of it has been better,” Felderhoff said. “The defensive line is playing better. The linebackers are playing better. The secondary is playing better. It’s hard to pinpoint just one. As a whole, everything is coming along.”

The Hornets closed out non-district play at 1-5 and will now turn their attention to their district slate, beginning with the Muenster Hornets.

Felderhoff said it was important for his team to build some confidence as it transitions to the back half of its schedule.

“It picks your spirits up a little bit,” Felderhoff said. “They’ve been working hard and they understand the process we’re going through. Being able to get a win puts a pep in your step and lifts your spirits.”

Muenster has dominated the district the past several seasons and Felderhoff said it’s a daunting opponent to begin district with.

“It’s a tough district,” Felderhoff said. “Muenster and Windthorst are in the top 10 and we’ll have to play our hardest and get after it. Muenster’s kids have played a lot of playoff football and that’s what people may not realize. When you make a deep playoff run year after year, by the time these kids are seniors, they may have an extra season’s worth of games.

“You can just see their execution is good and they do a good job on both sides of the ball. They have good athletes, they’re well coached and they have the confidence that comes with winning. It’s the total package.”

Felderhoff said it’s important his team doesn’t overhype its game against Muenster and to be successful, it will have to bottle up Muenster’s sturdy running attack.

“It comes down to getting off blocks and gang tackling, pure and simple,” Felderhoff said.

Reach Patrick Hayslip at sports@gainesvilleregister.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip

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