Hornets survive in sloppy contest

jheeter@macon.comAugust 26, 2011 

When Tattnall Square and Westfield meet on the football field, pretty games are rarely the result.

There’s little finesse when the Trojans and Hornets face off, and Thursday’s matchup between the GISA rivals turned out how many others in the series had before.

Westfield pulled away for a 15-9 win in a mistake-ridden game for both teams. The Hornets, however, made fewer mistakes and far less costly ones.

Like last season, Westfield opened its season with a season-opening win at the expense of Tattnall. The Trojans, meanwhile, fall to 0-2 this season.

Tattnall had a punt blocked, fumbled four times and threw an interception at the end of the game.

“When you run the option, you’re going to put the ball on the ground every once in a while,” Tattnall head coach Barney Hester said. “You can’t do it like we did (Friday), though.”

The Trojans had three of those fumbles in the first half, killing productive drives and giving the Hornets the ball.

Westfield scored its first touchdown on a blocked punt. Senior Clay Bridges came across clean to block the punt, and he eventually scooped the ball up and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. Bridges scored the Hornets’ other touchdown, too, on a 15-yard run up the gut that came after a long pass, which was the Hornets’ biggest play of the game. Hester said both scores came off blown assignments.

The Hornets fumbled the ball away once, but it didn’t prove harmful. Their big mistake, however, came on an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Tattnall to open the second half.

Veteran coaches like Hester and Ronnie Jones abhor sloppy football games. The two have combined to win an absurd 600 football games. They’ve seen plenty of games like this, and their blood can boil when they watch their team make such costly mistakes. A bounce here or there often decides the game, and both knew that could be the case Thursday.

Both coaches will correct whatever errors led to mistakes Thursday, and both teams will get better as the season progresses. No one will be surprised if one or both find a way into the GISA Class AAA semifinals.

With so many games under his belt, Jones knows those mistakes are easier to take when you leave town with a win.

In Tattnall-Westfield games, the winner rarely avoids a little sloppiness.

Contact Jonathan Heeter at 744-4400 or jheeter@macon.com

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