Until the offense could get going, the Maumelle defense kept the Hornets in the game last Friday at Greenbrier.

After holding the Panthers (1-3, 0-1 5A-West) to 18 points in the first half, the Hornet defense didn’t allow Greenbrier any points in the second half. That gave the Maumelle offense time to get on a roll and score two touchdowns in the second half for a 21-18 victory. The Hornets (2-2, 1-0) trailed at the half, 18-7.

“Pretty much anything that could wrong offensively in the first half did,” Maumelle Coach Kirk Horton said. “We had three interceptions, one for a pick six and one for a short field. The defense kept us in the game the first half.”

Junior Darius Thompson led the Hornets with nine tackles and one assist. Three players recorded six tackles and include seniors Darius Lawrence and Spencer Simpson and sophomore Brick Gore. Gore and Lawrence also had two assist with Simpson assisting on five tackles. Lawrence and junior Evan Robinson each had two tackles for a loss.

“I told the guys at halftime that everything that could go wrong on offense did,” Horton said. “I told them we needed to get some stops and the offense needed to get rolling. The offense made some adjustments and was able to get on a roll.”

The Hornets piled up 272 rushing yards and were led by junior quarterback Xavion Morgan’s 172 yards which included a 39-yard touchdown run. Morgan and Robinson hooked up for the Hornets’ two scores in the second half on touchdown receptions of 16 and 8 yards, respectively. Morgan threw for 83 yards on 10-of-15 passing with three interceptions and the two touchdowns. Robinson made four catches for 38 yards.

“We are real close to being really good,” Horton said. “We are just making some minor mental mistakes.”

Staring 5A-West play at 1-0 is critical for the Hornets in their quest for a playoff spot. Their chances could improve greatly with home victories over Vilonia on Friday and Clarksville next Friday. The Eagles are 1-3 and 0-1 in conference after a 42-0 loss to Alma last week. Maumelle leads the series 3-2 but lost last year 7-0.

“They held us to zero last year,” Horton said. “We need to come out and do what we need to do offensively. Starting out the conference 1-0 is better than last year, and we have two games at home we need to win.”