Hoxie Mustangs stampede Lions 48-14
Hoxie's Gunner Cook ran for four touchdowns while teammate Jacob Henson scored two more to lead the Mustangs to a 48-14 victory over Manila in 3A-3 senior high conference football action Friday night at Lion Field.
Henson sprinted in from 23 yards out to put the Ponies on the board first with 10:13 left in the opening quarter. The point after attempt failed, leaving Hoxie with a 6-0 lead.
Manila threatened on its first offensive possession, when sophomore wide receiver Caleb Reinhart galloped 52 yards on a reverse before being tripped up at the Hoxie 15 yard line. But the Lions fumbled the ball on the next play, thwarting the scoring opportunity.
Hoxie got its second score of the contest when Cook scampered in from eight yards out with 3:21 left in the opening period. Henson's two point conversion run gave the Mustangs a 14-0 advantage. Cook's score was set up when Hoxie quarterback Cole Sears connected with Hunter Williams on a 44-yard pass play.
The Mustangs struck again with 10:48 left in the half when Sears found Henson for a 25-yard touchdown strike. The two point conversion failed, and Hoxie led 20-0.
Caleb Reinhart picked off a Sears pass at the Hoxie 24 yard line with 5:00 left in the half. Dustin Sirmon blasted in from 14 yards out two plays later, putting Manila on the board. Kyle Joyner's two point conversion run cut the Mustang lead to 20-8.
Hoxie bounced right back, scoring on an 18-yard dash by Cook with 1:38 left in the half. Cook's touchdown capped off a seven play, 61-yard scoring drive. Sears hooked up with Slade Sullens for the two point conversion, giving the Ponies a 28-8 halftime lead.
Cook scored his third touchdown of the night from three yards out with 7:43 left in the third quarter. Sears added the point after kick for a 35-8 Mustang lead.
Hoxie's lead swelled to 41-8 when Cook blasted in from four yards out at the 2:06 mark of the third period. Sears' point after was wide right, leaving Hoxie ahead 41-8.
Sirmon raced 63 yards for an apparent Lion touchdown late in the third quarter, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty against Manila. On the Lions' next play, Caleb Reinhart broke loose for the second time in the game, this time galloping 46 yards to the Hoxie 22 yard line. But the drive came up empty when the Lions failed to convert on fourth down.
After a Hoxie drive stalled at the Manila 24, the Lions caught a break when Kyle Joyner scooped up a Sirmon fumble and raced 75 yards for a touchdown with 5:29 left in the game, pulling Manila within 41-14.
Henson's 30-yard touchdown run with 1:39 to go set the final margin at 48-14.
"We just aren't playing fundamentally sound football right now," said Lion Coach Jerry Castor. "The kids are playing hard, but we're making too many mistakes. This is not an excuse but another thing that hurt us is that we didn't have our starting linebackers tonight. Dylan Wicoff played a little bit, but he has a bad shoulder, and Nick Carmichael didn't play at all. The little things are hurting us right now, including mistakes and turnovers. We've got to eliminate them."
Hoxie finished with 398 yards rushing and 485 total yards. Henson carried eight times for 140 yards while Cook rushed 16 times for 96 yards. Sears threw for 87 and ran for another 57.
Manila had 162 yards rushing as a team and 183 yards of total offense. Reinhart had two carries for 98 yards while Joyner rushed five times for 93 yards and a score. Sirmon carried 20 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Colby Williams rushed seven times for 18 yards while Chase Thrasher had one carry for six yards. Zach Reinhart completed one pass to Williams for 21 yards.