AFTON — Colcord was like a boxer that was staggered by a combination of punches but came back and ground out a tough decision.
The Hornets fell behind 12-0 in the first quarter then ran off 32 unanswered points to claim a 32-14 victory here Friday, Sept. 11.
“I am just super proud of the boys,” said Colcord head coach Austin Martin. “They are pretty resilient. The coaching staff just kept telling them to just worry about ourselves, that we’ve been our own worst enemy and that we just had to keep fighting back.
“They bought in, they did it and got the reward at the end.”
Afton (0-1) hosts Hulbert Friday, Sept. 18 in the Eagles’ final non-district game.
The hosts drew first blood with a 3-yard run by Brandon Coombes at 4:52 of the first following a fumble, then its next possession, Weston Amos bulled in from the 4-yard line.
Both times, a run for the conversion failed.
“I was very proud of the way we ran it and how physical we were,” Afton head coach Corey Henry said. “That’s kinda what we wanted our MO (modus operandi) to be this year. We may not be the most athletic, we may not be the most finessed, but we are going to be the most physical team on the football field.
“I think we were in the first half. I don't think there was any doubt.”
Colcord came back with a 12-yard run by Stormy Odle and an 18-yard pass from Stone Mayberry to Eyan Williams to get back into the game.
The key during both scores: the Hornets successfully executed the swinging gate to get the conversion and carried a 16-12 lead into the break.
“We were pretty lucky for that,” Martin said. “We saw they didn’t line up for it and our offensive coordinator called it out real quick. We pulled it off a couple times.”
Colcord doubled the score on the hosts when Mayberry teamed with Trey Duncan on a 28-yard pass in the third.
The backbreaker was a 40-yard fumble return by Odle and the two-point conversion late in the game.
Afton’s final points came on a safety.
A key point in the game came when Coombes was injured late in the second quarter and never returned to the Eagle backfield.
He had 142 yards and the touchdown on seven carries.
“When Brandon came out of the game, that definitely was the difference for us,” Henry said. “He’s the heart and soul of this team and we want to get him healthy before districts.
“He was on track to have a big night.”
Colcord was outgained 345-243 in the game, but 169 of that came when Mayberry and Odle combined to complete 15 of 30 passes for two of the TDs.
Mayberry was 12 of 24 for 132 yards and Odle completed half of his attempts.
The Hornets had only 74 rushing yards, 36 from Mayberry, 27 from Odle and 11 from Asaskay Pendry.
Dylan Davis and Jesse Martinez each caught four passes for 43 and 40 yards, respectively, while Williams had three receptions for 49 yards.
“Our defense did a great job early on swarming and being in the right spots,” Henry said. “We play a lot of youth. We start two freshmen and come off the sideline with a couple more and a couple more sophomores. It’s going to be a learning experience, but our kids played well.”