Last Friday, the Maumelle Hornets met a team where a few mistakes made a difference.
Because of miscues, the Hornets (2-1) lost 28-20 to Jacksonville last Friday. Penalties, turnovers and a few bad plays were the difference as the Hornets led 14-10 at the half and even 20-10 late in the game.
"We were two to three penalties and four to five plays away," Maumelle Coach Mike Buchan said. "Mistakes cost us. If we would play five times, we would probably beat them three."
Jacksonville was a much faster team than Maumelle saw in its first two opponents — Fountain Lake and North Pulaski. Buchan said the Red Devils’ defensive line gave Maumelle’s offensive line some problems. Turnovers hurt the Hornets including one deep in their own territory. Two to three penalties and four to five plays and Buchan says Jacksonville never scores.
Quarterback Tyshaun Robinson threw for 201 yards on 13-of-25 attempts. He and Braylon Waits hooked up for the lone receiving touchdown. Waits caught four passes for 69 yards and JB Minix also made four receptions for 107 yards. Jessie Hopkins led the 177-yard campaign on the ground with 105 yards on 16 totes. Robinson also scored a rushing touchdown and totaled 44 yards on 28 attempts.
With 4A-4 conference play beginning Friday with a home contest against Mena, the Hornets need to forget about the Jacksonville contest and prepare for the Bearcats. While a loss is never good, Buchan is glad the mistakes happened in a non-conference game.
Like Maumelle, Mena runs the spread. Buchan added that the Bearcats run some weird stuff and that the Hornets have to prepare for that. Mena also enters the matchup with a 2-1 record with wins over DeQueen and Mansfield and a 37-34 loss to Hot Springs.
"Our front seven on defense can cause trouble for other teams," Buchan said. "Everybody has trouble with Kendall Donnerson. They won’t be able to block him. My two inside linebackers (JD Russell and Michael Cole) are playing as good as anybody has ever played here."
Maumelle won last year’s matchup, 41-29, and Buchan said that game was one of the best the Hornets had played all year. However, they faltered at the end of the season. A win would be a good conference start this year.