The schedule did not favor the Bell Bulldogs going into Dale Walker Stadium this past Friday night. The Hornets, dating back to last year, have had severe tests with Wewahitchka, Port St. Joe, a tough spring test against Chiefland, two tough division 2 schools in the fall kickoff classic and a brutal contest against last year’s 2B state champ, Lakeland Victory Christian. Combine that with the quality showing of Bell against a tough district rival Trenton that went into double overtime getting a lot of attention and the Hornets knowing they would probably be playing for the number one ranking in the state along with this being the final tuneup before heading into six brutal district contests, meant bad news for the Bulldogs.

The Hornets would only run 16 offensive plays by the 11:44 mark of the second quarter, but after Kurt Skelly was standing in the endzone following a 75 yard sprint to the endzone, Mayo was comfortably in front 35-0. Skully finished his contributions gaining 109 rushing yards on just 5 carries accounting for two first downs. He would also be credited with 2 tackles, one on a third down completion limiting the receiver to just two yards.

The first half would end with the Hornets in front 44-0 and ended the half choosing not to cash in on a first and goal at the Bell nine yard line.

The starting cast would get a second half rest, but put up very impressive numbers in only one half of play with Eric McIntyre leading the way on nine rushes for 135 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus four first down runs keeping drives alive. One of those touchdowns came as a result of a one yard run off a fumble recovery, but that touchdown should have actually belonged to Jamaal Reid. Reid would catch two passes for 64 yards with both going into the endzone, but the official spotted the second catch at the one. Reid also produced a special teams tackle on a kickoff, did a great job of downfield blocking releasing a couple of big touchdown runs, and would make a nice punt return after a safety to set up another touchdown.

The Hornets game plan in this one was very simple. Jump early knowing the longer Bell stayed in the game, the tougher it was going to be.

On the second play from scrimmage, Mayo ran a great fake in the backfield. It fooled all of us and by the time it was figured out, Sergio Perez was getting a downfield block by Reid and heading into the endzone finishing off a 54 yard run for the first score just 51 seconds into the game. Perez would get the quarterback duties in the second half doing a great job and would account for 2 caught passes for 72 yards, accounting for one first down, had a dynamic punt return and made a saving tackle after an interception.

Chad Hempstead would have a pretty productive first half of work going 4-7 for 167 yards with one touchdown.

Defensively, Aaron Gresham would get 8 solo tackles, with 3 of those for losses. He would also record a huge sack. The play of the game had to be with Bell facing a third and inches situation when Gresham made one of those special hits that forced a fumble for an 11 yard loss.

The hardest working Hornet on this night had to be Alberto Rosalio. He would connect on 6-7 PATs, and would get 6 carries rushing the ball for 67 yards. One of those carries went for 34 yards to the one yard line which he would finish crossing the goal line on a one yard plunge for the Hornets only touchdown of the second half to finalize the scoring at 50-0. Rosalio would also be effective on defense with 5 tackles, 1 for no gain, 2 on special teams, and broke up two passes, one of a third down attempt to force a punt.

There was a couple of Hornets that Bell would see for much of three quarters which they probably would prefered not to. On every play, Darren Powe and James Dees were constantly on the chase which is the probable reason that a normal Bulldog passing attack went only 3-12 for 29 yards. Powe would record 5 tackles with three of those for losses and one for no gain while forcing a fumble which Kyle Pearson pounced on for great field position leading to the Hornets third score needing only one pass play to Reid for a 35 yard touchdown strike. Powe would also cause one hurry and offensively, turned a short pass into a 31 yard play with Mayo facing a third and 21 situation. Dees would record 4 tackles with 3 of those for losses with Bell trying to attack the middle which was effective with an aggressive defensive line. Dees would also force an errant throw on a hurry while constantly teaming with Powe to constantly keep the QB on the run.

Going back to the play of Kyle Pearson, he had a special teams tackle and brutally broke up a pass. Offensively, Kyle would get a couple of nice rushes for 23 yards and a first down. He looked great behind a devastating and vastly improving offensive line.

Another solid defensive performer in this contest was JD Richardson. He would have some fun in this game getting in on 7 tackles with three of those for losses while scoring the Hornets 37th point in the first half breaking through the line to record a safety.

A player that is always fun to watch and has been solid thus far this season for the Hornets comes from the sophomore class with Thomas Byrd turning in great play each game out. Against Bell, he would get in on 8 tackles, 2 very aggressive solo tackles in the open field and did a great job of coverage which included breaking up a pass.

Another sophomore making his presence felt this year is Blade Herring who would get in on 3 tackles with one for a loss and one on special teams. He would also break up a passand would get 3 carries offensively which produced 25 yards and two first downs.

Special teams play is really starting to be fun with this team with Charles Hodge being one of the many characters. He would record 3 tackles in this game with one of those on special teams, broke up a pass and provided outstanding coverage on a key third down play to force a punt.

The second half of this game was fun getting to see some hard working athletes compete. A very emotional competitor in Trent Frier making two very spirited special teams tackles along with showing off some special talents from the runningback position. Another sophomore that is going to make a difference in the future of what could be a great Hornets run of wins.

Quinn Frier was also key in this game on special teams making a couple of tackles, one being a heads up hit that immediately brought the ball carrier down, amazingly getting up. Quinn would get in on 3 tackles for the game.

Other special teams athletes that kept Bell on their side of the field for most of the night was Brandon Adams, Jonathan Anderson, Jeff Miara, Kris Pearson and John Levi Vann, each getting in on a couple of tackles stopping returns. Anderson would also get in on a stop for no gain stopping a Bell drive.

Staying with the sophomore class, Vann would get tested early with Bell starting the game with an onside kick. An alert Vann would cover quickly for the Hornets possession and he would also make a couple of nice tackles on the defensive line. Every shot this sportswriter took of the game saw Vann doing a great job of blocking on the offensive line that opened up some yardage for the runningbacks.

Moving up to the junior class, Blake Hendrick was able to get in on a couple of tackles and sure appeared to provide many key blocks of his own providing open field space for his offensive backfield.

The Bell Bulldogs certainly brought a following to this game, and once again, never lost their fight which is a credit to this program and to the coaching staff. They hit as hard at the end as in the beginning with their fans staying behind them the whole way. Hornet fans are also to be commended for their support of the team with a full house for this one and it was really good to see the band back on the field under the volunteer support of Dale Croft. For as little practice time they have had, they have never sounded or looked better in their performances.

The Hornets are at the stage they had hoped to be at this time of the season. They are still perfect on the season riding a 13 game regular season win streak. This game worked out great to get the line and special teams units some needed work to prepare for a tough six game stretch of district competition, and most of all, this team has really pulled together. The Hornets would only net 45 yards of penalties in this game with most of those coming from aggressive line play. Only one first down run, by Trent Frier, was negated by a penalty. The Hornets can certainly live with that improvement. The Hornets will now head to the practice field for two solid weeks of preparation as they enter their bye week to fine tune their preseason efforts, then the real season begins in Hilliard next week.

District Scores:

Hawthorne 17

Crescent City 7

This particular sportswriter felt that Hawthorne would be the big game this year enroute to the Hornets district title defense. On Sept. 22, Hawthorne will be coming into Mayo with an undefeated team and will be bringing a very quick and outstanding defense that is scoring points on blocked punts, safeties and great field position provided by the defense. Hawthorne will host a winless Umatillo team tomorrow night.

Jefferson County-

bye week (1-0)

Will be entertaining a tough FSU team this week followed by Dixie next week before starting their six game district stand coming to Mayo on Oct. 20 for a possible district championship tilt. The Tigers will not be unbeaten but will be battle tested against quality opposition.

Hilliard 8 West Nassau 38


Before anybody starts wondering what is wrong with the Flashes, take a moment to realize that Hilliard dropped a late 12-7 contest in week one to 4A Lake Weir, and West Nassau comes from the 2A division and is currently undefeated. Throw in the fact that over the past two seasons, Mayo has given Hilliard their only district loss with both seasons turning out 8-2 marks and last year a top ranking before Mayo dropped them.

The Hornets are now the district front runner and the top ranked team. The stage is certainly set for the Flashes to get a little frustration payback to the Hornets as the roles have certainly reversed themselves. This will be the first test for the Hornets in Hilliard Sept. 15.

Trenton 13 Paxon 14

In overtime

The Tigers (1-1) have played overtime in each of their first two games. Durell and Mathis should be effective on both sides of the ball have to believe they are a strong contender to district honors this year. When will it begin? A tough Sneads team will be coming to Trenton tomorrow night.

Bronson 6 (0-2) Villages 26

The Eagles will travel to FAMU this week prior to opening up district play hosting Branford for a rematch of last years 38-37 thriller.

Branford 6 (0-2)

Liberty 49 (2-0)

After doing a great job defensively against a strong Keystone Heights team, the Bucs would make the Bulldogs look like state contenders. The Bucs would be short-handed in this one with the community in shock over the loss of the father of Tim Clark in a fatal boating accident. We certainly want to send our prayers to the Clark family in their time of grief and mourning.

Other scores of interest

Port St Joe 16

(0-2) Marianna 16

Do not think for one moment that this is not the team to beat. The Sharks came within a point of ending the 2B fourth ranked Blountstown 28 game regular season win streak, and lost to a very much improved 2A Marianna team this past week. It will be another tough one this week as preseason ranked Chipley comes to town.

Wewahitchka 42

(1-0) South Walton 12

Ranked sixth in latest poll, but will climb with easy schedule until 9/22 date hosting Port St Joe.

Freeport 13 (2-0) Walton 12

An upset win here over highly regarded division 2 team with another undefeated 2B Bratt team calling this week. Port St Joe to follow.

West Gadsen 3 (0-2) Blountstown 27

With two competitive losses to the 2B #2 and #4 state ranked teams, class 1A competition should be a cake walk for this talented group. Poor Sneads as West Gadsen takes a much needed rest.

Fort Meade 10 (1-1)

Hardee County 31

3A Hardee County wins their 43rd regular season game in a row. The loss will also move Mayo to the top of the 1A poll. This is what makes the 1A poll so irrelevant however. Ft Meade will finish the season 6-4 after competing against three 3A schools and last years' 2B state runnerup South Sumpter. Fort Meade had not lost to a 1A public school for over a seven year stretch reaching the state title game each of those years, until they fell to Port St Joe last year in the state title game. This week, a very good 3A and undefeated Avon Park team comes a calling.

Glades Day 43 (2-0) NPB 6

This is the team Mayo was tied with for the number two spot in the preseason polls. A convincing 36-12 win over 3A Eustis and what was supposed to be a tough top five matchup with Benjamin turning out a 43-6 Glades win has us wondering if Glades can finally end a seven year frustration period finally beating Ft Meade after several close calls. Glades will now face a tough 2A and undefeated Clewiston team this week.

NFC 35(1-1)

Potters House 20

This will be the team to beat on the way to the state title game. With UC on probation and many players that have left, there are no challengers unless a very much improved and undefeated Melbourne Episcipal team can stand tall. Highly doubtful however. Potters House was eighth ranked in 1B while NFC would drop an open season game to 3A Wakulla in a very competitive contest 47-27. Blountstown is this week’s opponent. The closest competitor in the district to NFC is Bishop Snyder, a team that the Eagles beat last year 62-6.

#1 2B Ocala Trinity Catholic 68 (2-0) Arlington Country Day 6

Two weeks in a row allowing a score? What is wrong with the defending state champs? Averaging 72 points a game probably takes a little pressure off the guys one would think.

South Florida 41

McNeese State 10

Mayo graduate Marcus Edwards caught his first touchdown pass of his college career in this one making good on a 47 yard reception contributing to an opening season win for the Bulls.

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