In 34-8 week four triumph, Cade Koehly rushes for 170 yards and joins Jaden Winder in having two short touchdown runs, including Hornets' first TD of yaar. Safety Colten Sewell swipes two passes, one for 70-yards touchdown on last play of first half.
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — The waits are over for the 2018 Chillicothe High School football Hornets and first-year head coach Tim Rulo.
Held scoreless in dropping their first three games of the season for the first time in 86 years, the Hornets picked Homecoming to both score their first points and register their first victory of the season, dispatching the Cameron Dragons 34-8 at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II Friday night (Sept. 14).
The game saw Chillicothe have the upper hand almost from start to finish, with the game turning on a late-first-half sequence that saw the Hornets post two touchdowns in the last half-minute to lead 22-0 at the mid-game break.
After nearly 13 scoreless periods, Chillicothe (1-3, 1-1 MEC) tallied its first points and, consequently, took its first lead of the season when senior fullback Cade Koehly, who unofficially would rush for 79 first-half yards on 11 carries, powered in off right guard from three yards away. It came with 1:50 remaining in the first period. The extra-point kick was blocked, so the Hornets had to settle for an initial 6-0 advantage.
That quite likely would have been the halftime score, but two Cameron mental mistakes and a physical one allowed Chilicothe to post 16 points in the first half’s last 26 seconds.
With the Hornets facing fourth and 11 at the Cameron 29 1:43 before halftime, the Dragons (2-2, 0-2 MEC) twice in a row reacted to a back in motion and hard count by going offside. That turned the situation in a fourth-and-1, which Chillicothe converted with quarterback Jaden Winder’s 4-yards sneak.
A 12-yards inside run by motion back Isaak Rasche advanced the ball to the 3 and Winder sneaked it over on the next pay with 25 seconds left in the half. When Rasche ran the conversion in, it was 14-0, Chillicothe.
That could have been the halftime score, as well, but wasn’t.
A long kickoff return by the Dragons lured them into trying to get an answering score in the final 20 seconds. Instead, a second-and-14 pass from the Hornets’ 45 was thrown before the apparent intended receiver turned to look for it.
Seeing the play unfold in front of him, junior strong safety Colten Sewell charged forward and leaped to grab the ball at the Hornets’ 30.
With several Dragons heading the opposite direction, he quickly veered left and his defensive teammates effectively hemmed in the Cameron linemen. Easily reaching the east sideline, Sewell picked up a nice line of blockers to his right and soon was surrounded by only teammates for the last 35 yards of his “pick-6” runback that raised the hosts’ lead to 20-0.
Things were going so well for the Hornets at this point that when the run on the 2-points conversion attempt was fumbled just outside the goal line, it was Hornet end Brad Hayen who fell on it in the end zone for two more points and, stunningly, a 22-0 halftime lead.
As the second half started, Chillicothe’s defense made sure their side’s momentum didn’t slip away. It forced a 3-and-out and the ensuing punt rolled dead at the Chillicothe 7.
Winder’s 15-yards keeper around the left side on a second-and-12 ignited what would become about a 9-minutes, 15-plays, 93-yards touchdown drive that effectively settled the special game’s outcome. Winder completed the drive with another 3-yards sneak for a 28-0 Chillicothe lead with 1:39 to go in the third quarter.
Cameron’s next possession saw it finally the end zone, helped by a pair of major penalties on Chillicothe. Quarterback Tyler Campbell went in from a yard out on the first play of the fourth quarter and, with a conversion run, the Dragons were within 28-8.
When the visitors’ “pooch” kickoff bounced high in the air and back toward the Dragons, Cameron immediately had the ball back and a faint chance of a miracle comeback.
The Hornets’ defense refused to play along, however, stopping a fourth-and-12 play four yards short of the line of gain with 9:38 remaining.
For good measure, the Chillicothe offense once more ground the ball down Bob Fairchild Field, much as the field’s namesake’s teams did so many times to ice a win.
A second-straight 15-plays march covered the 82 yards in 7:40, capped by Koehly’s second scoring run of the night from the Cameron 1 with 1:58 to go.
Early, unofficial statistics had Koehly rushing for 170 yards on 26 carries, Sewell getting not only his second interception of the year for the touchdown, but his third late, and the Hornets' defense limiting Cameron to only 14 rushing yards and 103 total yards after the Dragons' 42-yards catch-and-run on their very first offensive snap.
With the two interceptions and an early fumble recovery, Chillicothe won the "turnovers" battle 3-1 after being a minus-9 entering the evening.