With almost the same scenario as last year, the Maumelle Hornets hope they don’t have the same fate Friday as they host the Pottsville Apaches.
Like last year, the Hornets (6-1, 4-0 4A-4) easily defeated their first four conference foes. Last year, they beat Mena, Waldron, Dover and Subiaco by a combined score of 166-43. This season, they defeated those four teams by a combined score of 152-26. After soundly defeating those four schools last year, the Hornets went to Pottsville and came away with a 33-0 pounding. Maumelle couldn’t recover and lost its final two games and playoff game.
“We got hit in the mouth last year, and they whipped us physically and manhandled us,” Maumelle Coach Mike Buchan said. “We’ve talked about that. We are a lot bigger and stronger, and that should help. We are very thin, if we lose anyone else that could hurt.”
Last week in a 35-7 victory over Subiaco, the Hornets lost Marquez Hines in the secondary after the broke his hand. Buchan is hoping they get Michael Cole, who is nursing a knee injury, back as a linebacker.
Buchan said against Subiaco, the Hornets started off slow because of the rainy, cold night. The sloppy conditions led to Maumelle snapping the ball high early in the game. Additionally some of the linemen missed assignments and played like the sophomores they are. But once the offense settled down, they played better.
Quarterback Tyshun Robertson threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 6-of-9 passing. He also ran for 77 yards on 12 carries and converted two two-point conversions. Corry Cullins accounted for three scores including a touchdown pass for 31 yards. He also scored twice on the ground and finished with 71 yards on seven totes. JB Minix rushed for 30 yards on three attempts and caught four passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Braylon Waits added a rushing touchdown and had 14 yards on the ground on two carries and also had 14 receptions yards on two catches.
Now comes the showdown with Pottsville (7-0, 4-0). With both teams already snatching a playoff spot, seeding and a conference championship are on the line. Booneville also owns a 4-0 conference mark and still has meetings with both Pottsville and Maumelle.
The Apaches are paced by quarterback Michael Perry, a four-year starter. He has rushed for 903 yards and 13 touchdowns on 105 attempts. He also has thrown for 1,015 yards and 12 scores on 50-of-74 passing.
“He is like tackling dust and throws well,” Buchan said. “Our offense has to control their defensive line. I think we’ll make a game out of it, and feel better than last year. Regardless of the outcome, I hope we don’t do what we did last year. After that game last year, we were done.”