By ANTHONY STEVENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The Group A, Western Section D1 top-seed Tigers played the part. Honaker disposed of Patrick Henry 69-7 in an opening round game at EMATS Stadium on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
“We come in and did what we needed to do,” Tiger linebacker/wingback Blake Ray said. “I think this definitely gave us some momentum heading into next week and hopefully make a deep run in the playoffs.”
The first eight times Honaker had the football, they scored touchdowns. The only possession they didn’t score in the first half, was the final one when they took the ball with just over a minute to play to play and ran out the clock.
“We’ve kind of been known for playing to the caliber of the other team this season,” said Ray. “We’ve let some teams hang around. I thought it was really good to put an entire game together both offensively and defensively for the first time this year.”
To say the Tigers spread the ball around was an understatement. Nine different players scored for Honaker. The biggest question was whether the defense was going to outscore the offense. The defense had three touchdowns and the offense had three touchdowns as the Tigers jumped out to a 41-0 lead, early in the second quarter.
“This is probably as talented team as we’ve had as far as skill kids go,” Honaker coach Doug Hubbard said. “We’ve got a lot of kids that can do some good things when they get the ball in their hands.”
Quarterback Ty Hall scored on a quarterback keeper early. Hall then tossed a 68-yard TD pass to Jordan Hess. Dakota Stevens returned a PH fumble for a TD. Randy Horton picked off a Rebel pass and returned it for a touchdown. Ray added a 24-yard touchdown run as the Tigers took a 35-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.
Hess scored his second TD with a “pick six” from 27 yards out to even up the scoring between the offense and defense. The Tiger offense scored the final four touchdowns on runs by Casey Dye, Cody Lester, Payton Ball and Austin Smith.
The Rebels were held to 89 yards of total offense. They had only 5 yards rushing on 31 attempts.
“Patrick Henry is young, they are learning and building,” said Hubbard. “They were a little outmanned today but they hung in there the entire game.”
The Rebels averted a shutout with a TD late in the third quarter. Chris Hogston hauled in a 46-yard TD pass from Isaac Carver.
“We played a very good football team,” said Patrick Henry coach Mark Palmer. “They just have so many athletes, they run the ball, catch the ball, it wouldn’t surprise me if they went a long way.
“We were overmatched. We started eight sophomores today. If we will work hard in the off-season I think our future will be bright. We just have to go back to work.”
While the season ends for Patrick Henry, Honaker (10-1) will host Galax next Saturday.
At EMATS Stadium
Patrick Henry.........................0 0 7 0 — 7
Honaker................................35 20 7 7 — 69
HON—Hall 6 run (Phillips kick)
HON—Hess 68 pass from Hall (Phillips kick)
HON—Stevens 20 fumble return (Phillips kick)
HON—Horton 48 interception return (Phillips kick)
HON—Ray 24 run (Phillips kick)
HON—Hess 27 interception return (kick failed)
HON—Dye 16 run (Phillips kick)
HON—Lester 2 run (Phillips kick)
HON—Ball 12 run (Brown kick)
PH—Hogston 46 pass from Carver (Thomas kick)
HON—Smith 7 run (Brown kick)
First Downs: PH 5, HON 12; Rushes-Yards: PH 31-5, HON 28-269; Passing Yards: PH 84, HON 90; Comp-Att-Int: PH 7-18-3, HON 2-6-0; Fumbles-Lost: PH 5-3, HON 2-1; Penalties-Yards: PH 3-15, HON 5-40; Punts-Average: PH 5-29, HON 0-0.