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Mineral Springs Hornets hang tough with Panthers

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Mineral Springs Hornet Cameron Lee moves the ball Friday night against the Fouke Panthers. The Hornets dropped the game 40-34. The Hornets will travel to Strong this Friday for Week 2.

MINERAL SPRINGS – The 2A Mineral Springs Hornets hung close with the 3A Fouke Panthers, 40-34, to open the season Friday night at Hornet Stadium.

The game proved to be a shootout in the first half with both teams posting six points in the opening quarter. The Hornets’ defense held the Panthers to six more points in the half while the MS offense produced 14 points to hold a 20-12 lead at the half.

The Panthers flipped the script in the second half and scored 14 points in each of the remaining quarters while holding the Hornet offense to 14 points.

Working under new coach David Bennett, the Hornets amassed a total of 422 yards of offense with 364 coming on 52 carries. Quarterback Octavion Ceasar hit 2/8 passes for 38 yards and the Hornets’ other QB Peyton Haddan hit 1/3 passes, which was good for a 45-yard touchdown to Braden Williams.

Deshaun Compton led the Hornet rushers with 11 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns followed by Ceasar with 13 carries for 93 yards and one TD. Rickey Walker added to the rushing total with seven carries for 50 yards and Cameron Lee collected 46 yards on nine carries. Tahji Beal added 12 carries for 37 yards.

The Panthers had a total of 400 yards of offense with 33 rushes for 283 yards and six touchdowns. The Fouke aerial game hit 4/5 passes for 117 yards.

The Hornets were flagged 10 times for 80 yards and the Panthers were penalized twice for 10 yards. MS lost two of three fumbles and covered Fouke’s sole fumble.

The Hornets will be on the road for Week 2 at Strong to face the Bulldogs of 2A-8. Fouke will host Hermitage for the Hermits’ season opener.

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