The Tatnall Hornets will advance to the Delaware Scholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) Class 1A football state championship after defeating the Indian River Indians this afternoon.
Tatnall came into the game with a 10-1 record with their only loss was at the hands of Class 2A Wilmington Friends. They went undefeated in conference play this season. Indian River had an 8-3 record suffering losses to Class 2A Delmar and Laurel while suffering one loss in conference to St Elizabeths.
Indian River received the opening kickoff of the game, but had to punt the ball away after failing to get a first down. On the first play from scrimmage Tatnall quarterback Rahshan LaMons took a direct snap, broke through the line and passed all the Indian defenders for a 79 yard touchdown run. The Hornets took an early 7-0 lead.
The Indian were able to drive deep into Tatnall territory on their next drive. However, they failed to get a first down which made them decide to take a shot at a field goal. The snap was good, but Indians kicker Austin Rowe pulled it wide to the left.
After a good defensive stand by the Indians they forced the Hornets to punt. The Indians were driving again as they moved the ball down inside the Tatnall 35 yard line. Indian River quarterback Dylan Grise took the snap in shotgun formation, looked right and tried to hit his wide receiver, but the ball was tipped up and into the hands of LaMons who returned it 65 yards for another Tatnall touchdown. LaMons second touchdown of the game gave the Hornets a 14-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter the Indians were driving against his time deep in Hornets territory. On fourth down and nine to go Graise again set up in shotgun formation took the snap and delivered a pass on the back corner of the endzone connecting with Rashad Hopkins for a touchdown. After a successful extra point the Indians now trailed 14-7.
Tatnall had the ball deep in Indian territory with 20 seconds to go before the half. LaMons raced up to the line to get the play called in as time was running out before the half and they had no timeouts to stop it. The snap went low to his left side, but he was able to gain control, he threw a quick pass which was behind wide receiver Chris Gordon. Gordon was able to tap the ball to himself and secure the catch for another Hornets touchdown. The Hornets took a 21-7 lead into halftime.
With no scoring in the third quarter it wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter until either team threatened to score. The Indians found themselves on the Tatnall 3 yard line with two chances to punch it in for a touchdown. They tried to run the ball twice, but the Hornets defense was able to stuff them half a yard short of the endzone.
The Hornets then played clock management just trying to get first downs to run out the time to solidify the victory. They then found themselves in a fourth down situation where they had to punt the ball away to the Indians.
Indian River took possession deep in their own territory. From their own 13 yard line they had to go 87 yards for a touchdown. Grise found Darnell Stokes wideopen down the right sideline for a 38 yards completion. The Indians were on the Tatnall 49 with 40 seconds to go in the game. Grise took the snap and immediately felt pressure from linebacker Jack Homer who tipped the pass that went right into his teammate Jaden Minor’s arms. Jaden took the interception back for a 50 yard touchdown to seal the 28-7 victory for the Hornets.
The Hornets advanced to the DIAA Class 1A football state championship next Saturday at noon. They will be facing off with the Wilmington Charter Force who defeated Polytech 10-0 to advance to the championship.
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