Opponent: Franklin County
Location: Washington, MO
Score: Franklin County - 53, Hornets 24
Hornets vs Franklin County 03/15/14.
On Saturday the Hornets traveled to take on Franklin County in Washington. Fresh off their big win over the Bombers last weekend, Franklin County came out full of confidence to start the game. They were camped inside the Hornet 22 right from the kickoff, eventually crossing for the opening try of the game after 5 minutes. Franklin County showed a more expansive game than their usual forward-oriented tactics, often making the play 2 passes off the ruck and forcing the Hornets to work hard to keep their defensive line organized. FC dominated possession for the first 20 minutes, with only solid tackling from the like of Nick Kalist and Bas “the Dutch Rudder” shutting them down. An intercept by Sheed followed by a strong run down the sideline turned the tide, with the support interchange between Matt Merrick, Nick K and Brad Christ setting up the Hornets inside the FC 22. From the ensuing scrum, Nick K took an inside crashball over under the sticks. But Franklin Country would not be discouraged on this day. They hit back immediately with wide passing, keeping the Hornets scrambling to make up the numbers in defense, resulting in quality tries for the opposition at the 26 and 32 minute marks. A breakdown in scrum defense lead to a 60 meter breakaway try to the FC #8 picking up from the base of the scrum at the 34 minute mark. Trying to make something happen before halftime, the Hornets backs tried to run a play off a scrum inside our 22, but the last pass went behind the intended receiver leading to an easy turnover and try to FC right before halftime to make the score at the break 29-10 in favor of the home team. With their playoff lives on the line, the Hornets came out string to start the second half, and from a good maul setup off a lineout inside the FC 22, Akim “Kimbo” Herbert parted the defense like the Red Sea to score the second Hornet try. The successful conversion from Brian Saak closed the gap to 29-17. The Hornets got right back down the opposition end and looked set to score with an overlap out wide but Brian Saak was cut down inches from the line. From the tackle, FC forced a turnover and penalty to get out of trouble. That proved to be the turning point in the match as from there it seemed like the Hornets lost their momentum and with a lack of fresh bodies on the reserves bench could not keep up with the determined FC squad. They ran in tries at the 55’, 60’, 76’ and 80’ minute marks, punctuated only by a consolation try to utility forward Mike Jones. The final score was Franklin County 53, Hornets 24. Although not an excuse, the Hornets were also on the short end of some highly questionable refereeing decisions. A good day from Brian Saak with boot landing 4/4 shots at goal. Best of the forwards were Mike Jones, Andy Midekke, with a big effort from Kimbo to go 80 minutes. Best of the back were Merrick and Kalist with Nick K as man of the match. Everything comes down to this Saturday against the Bombers.
Score – FC 53, Hornets 24 (Tries – Nick Kalist, Kimbo, Mike Jones x 1, Conversion Saak 3/3, Penalties Saak 1/1)
Scrums – FC 9/9 (100%), Hornets 5/9 (55%)
Lineouts – FC 3/6 (50%), Hornets 4/11 (44%)
Penalties – FC 12, Hornets 15