Entering this MEC match up between the Chillicothe Hornets, and Cameron Dragons, both teams wanted to establish the run game and play strong defense. Early on in the game, the defenses won out as the first five possessions of the game tallied two fumbles, two 3-and-outs and an interception. That’s when Chillicothe’s offense got going and Silas Midgyett capped off a long drive that began midway through the first quarter and ended early in the second quarter with a 3 yard touchdown run to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead.
Following another defensive stop from the Hornets that gave the team a chance to go up two scores in the 2nd quarter, penalties stalled the drive for Chillicothe and Cameron got one more chance before halftime. They capitalized, scoring in the final minute of the 2nd quarter to almost even the ball game out. However, the Dragons went for two and failed on the attempt. Chillicothe led 7-6 at halftime.
The Hornets received the second half kick off and made quick work of the possession. Javon Kille scampered to the end zone from 56 yards away, Oliver Perry’s extra point gave Chillicothe their largest lead at 14-6. Cameron put together a long drive of their own, and answered with a touchdown. Once again, trying the 2-point conversion, the Dragons could not convert. The Hornets lead was still intact at 14-12, Chillicothe’s offense continued to roll taking more time off the clock and keeping the ball on the ground. The Hornets drained the third-quarter clock and scored early in the fourth, Silas Midgyett got his second rushing touchdown of the game, this time, the extra point to go up by nine was no good on a low snap and that would prove to be crucial.
On the next Dragons possession, Javon Kille came up with a defensive play just as big as his long touchdown run, recovering a fumble and giving the ball back to the Hornets midway through the 4th quarter. Chillicothe could not convert and just like in the first half, the Cameron Dragons were left with one final drive to try to tie things up. Cameron running back Hudson Lodder ripped off of 47 yard run to set the Dragons up with first and goal from inside the 5 yard line but Chillicothe’s defense wouldn’t let things be so easy for Cameron. The Dragons faced a 4th and goal from the six yard line with less than a minute to go in the ball game down by eight points. Running back Peyton Garr took the ball across the goal line setting up a do or die two-point conversion. On the conversion defensive lineman Bo Smith forced his way into the backfield wrapping up quarterback, Alec Leazenby, before he had a chance to hand the ball off. Leazenby fumbled the ball, but it bounced forward into the end zone where it was recovered by Cameron‘s Hudson Lodder for the two point conversion to tie the game at 20-20.
Cameron’s two point prayer was answered and the game was sent to overtime where the Dragons got the ball first, this time the Hornets defense was stingier than ever, forcing the Dragon’s back into a 4th and 17 where quarterback Leazenby could not complete the pass resulting in a turnover on downs and giving Chillicothe’s offense the opportunity to win the game with any score.
Cameron’s defense was also up to the task, forcing Chillicothe into a 4th and 13 from the 28 yard line. That is when Hornets quarterback, Cayden Larson came up with his biggest play of the night rolling to his right, finding wide receiver Sol’jier Allen open on the crossing route. Larson fired the ball in the direction of Allen when a defensive back for Cameron came from behind and pushed Allen in the back committing a defensive pass interference penalty that went against the Dragons for 15 yards and gave the Hornets a fresh set of downs inside the 15 yard line. Javon Kille got the ball down to the 2 yard line, and then the Hornets handed the ball off to Silas Midgyett knowing that a touchdown would end the game. Midgyett plunged across the line for a Hornets touchdown to win 26-20.
As anticipated by both Coach Smith of Chillicothe and Coach Bell of Cameron, it would come down to the run game and defense, and that is where the Hornets would shine brightest as Silas Midgyett ran for three touchdowns, Javon Kille for one and the Hornets defense recovered three fumbles to win this tightly contested ball game.
With the victory, Chillicothe improves to 2-2 on the regular season and 1-1 in MEC play. Cameron is now 2-2 on the year, 0-2 in the conference.