OROVILLE – The Hornets won their sixth game in a row Friday when they beat the Bridgeport Mustangs 47-0 on Oroville’s Ben Prince Field.
The game started with Bridgeport’s kick going into the end zone, giving the Hornets a first and ten from their own 20-yard line. Five plays later from mid-field Nicky Perez went around right end for a 50-yard touchdown run. The point-after-touchdown snap was high and Preston Iverson picked up the ball, rolled left and passed to Jose Velasco for the two-point conversion.
With just under a minute and a half gone on the clock, Oroville was ahead 8-0.
Following the kick-off, the Hornet defense caused a fumble on Bridgeport’s first play from scrimmage. Oroville recovered and took over on the Mustang’s 39-yard line where Perez again went around right end, this time for 31 yards to the eight. Jose Velasco took the ball to four and from there Iverson on the fullback follow ran in for the score. The PAT kick was wide, giving Oroville a 14-0 lead with only 3 minutes gone in the game.
Bridgeport, starting from their own 35 fumbled on third down, giving Oroville the ball at the 37. Perez again went 32 yards, this time around left end. On first and ten from the five yard line, QB Iverson threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Funston. PAT was again wide. The score mid-way through the first quarter was 20-0. Oroville took over as the second quarter started on their own 37 and drove the ball down to the four yard line following a 25-yard run by Iverson and a 23-yard run by Perez. Iverson again carried the ball the last four yards for the score. This time the PAT kick by Iverson was good, making the score 27-0.
The Hornets scored twice more in the first half. The first of these scores came on a 23 yard TD run by Velasco. The second score was a 13-yard pass from Iverson to Funston. Half-time score was 41-0, Oroville.
In the third quarter, the Hornets defense kept the pressure on, forcing more fumbles and holding Bridgeport to very little yardage. The Oroville offense stumbled, turning the ball over twice on fumbles. This led to a scoreless third quarter.
As the fourth quarter started, Oroville again had the ball at the 50 yard line. On second and six, Caleb Whiteaker took the ball over right tackle and ran 44 yards for the Hornets final score making it 47-0.
For the game, Nicky Perez lead all rushers with 218 yards on 12 carries, all in the first half. Whiteaker had 70 yards on eight carries, while Jose Velasco added another 30 yards on four carries. Preston Iverson completed four passes in seven attempts, throwing for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Team rushing totals gave Oroville 358 yards on 38 attempts with 22 yards passing for 380 yards total offense.
Defensively, the Hornets held the Mustangs to 45 total yards and three first downs. Leading the Hornet’s “swarm attack” were defensive ends Whiteaker and Charlie Demartino, who kept Bridgeport contained all night by not letting them get outside. Middle linebackers, Jose Velasco and Eric Ruiz, applied inside pressure, while the defensive tackles, Tyler Clark and Ryan Morrison, spent most of the game in the Mustang backfield, creating fumbles and causing disruptions. Linebacker Anthony Egerton led all tacklers with six primary and two assist. Big hits of the night were Blaine Wagner’s peel back block on the right sideline that allowed Iverson to scamper 25 yards and Perez’s block at the five yard line that allowed Funston to score his second touchdown.
Next Friday the Hornets travel to Yakima to take on LaSalle, a private school which recruits students from a 50-mile radius around Yakima. The LaSalle Lightning are undefeated this season, currently ranked number two in the state while Hornets are ranked number seven.