FAIRVIEW — An aggressive and opportunistic Locust Fork defense took center stage, as the Hornets held off Fairview 16-12 on the Aggies’ homecoming night.
Early on, it appeared that the Hornet offense would move at will, as a pair of first quarter touchdowns gave them a 13-0 lead. Quarterback Kyle Hornbuckle scooted 12 yards for the first score but his try for the extra point was blocked.
On their next possession, the Hornets moved smartly down the field with Shiloh Biles smashing into the end zone from a yard away. Hornbuckle's extra point gave the Hornets a 13-0 edge after one period.
Fairview answered by moving 65 yards in seven plays. Facing a fourth down and 15 at the Locust Fork 26, quarterback Hayden Maples found Dylan Widner in the end zone to close the gap to 13-6. Fairview's extra point was blocked by John Payne.
The Hornets answered with a drive that fizzled out after having first down and goal at the 1; a 22-yard field goal by Hornbickle put Locust Fork up 16-6 at the intermission.
The second half was played in a light but steady rain, and both teams were tentative in their ball handling. Fairview got the best of the offensive action, but defenders Biles, Brandon Rylant and Nick Long shined for the Hornets. Biles had an interception and a quarterback sack, Rylant recorded two sacks and Long had an additional sack to keep Fairview at bay.
The Aggies marched to a first-and-goal at the Hornet 1-yard line late in the third quarter, but a vicious hit in the middle of the line caused Aggie runner Austin Harris to fumble the football, and Noah Hazelrig fell on the ball to stop the Aggie threat.
After the Hornets were forced to punt and left Fairview with a short field to traverse, the Aggies closed the gap to 16-12 when Harris held onto the ball near the goal and scored from three yards out with 10 minutes left in the game. The extra point was blocked, which meant that Fairview would need a touchdown to win instead of a field goal for a potential tie.