Hornell knocks off Way-Co, 35-6

COHOCTON — The Hornell Red Raiders took a 16-point halftime lead and made sure the game was never in doubt as they cruised to a 35-6 win at Wayland-Cohocton in the first round of the Connors and Ferris Bowl on Thursday evening in Cohocton.

“Wayland-Cohocton is a good team. They played hard and had some unfortunate injuries to two-way starters, which we completely understand. They played hard to the final whistle, and I’m proud of how we played too,” said HHS coach Erik Werner. “We came out a little slow, but we started rolling and then we kept rolling and kept coming after them.”

With the win on the road, the Red Raiders have earned one final shot at a championship game, coming next week against either Wellsville or Haverling.

“This is not where we wanted to be but we are going to make the most of where we are at. I’m excited to be able to play for a championship. I’m proud of the players and I’m excited to get another week,” said Werner.

While Hornell would eventually take control, the opening minutes belonged to the Golden Eagles. Wayland-Cohocton took possession of the ball in the first quarter and drove right down the field. DeAndre Green then took a jet sweep around the edge and found the goal line in order to make it 6-0 with just 6:30 left in the first.

Hornell responded quickly with its own lengthy drive, and Dorion Bowles finished the drive with a four-yard touchdown. Tyler Acton then found Demetrice Cabic on the two-point conversion to give HHS the 8-6 lead at the end of the first.

After a defensive stop, the Red Raider offense moved back down in the field and into the end zone thanks largely to an Acton scramble on a big second down play. Once again, Bowles capped off the drive with a four-yard score, and this time Acton found Timmy Smith on the two-point conversion as the score moved to 16-6 with 6:25 left in the half.

Hornell’s defense made another stop late in the half, and then executed a strong two-minute drill. On the first play of the quick drive, Acton found Cabic wide open in the flat for a short gain. Then as HHS entered the redzone, the Red Raiders ran the same play, only this time Cabic faked the short route and bolted down the sideline.

Acton lofted his pass over the defense, and Cabic hauled it in to give HHS the 22-6 lead at the intermission.

After the break, Hornell quickly came out and added another touchdown to the board. This drive was short as Acton kept an option keeper, turned up the field and followed a downfield block from Jackson White all the way to the end zone of a 75-yard score.

Bowles then added the final score of the night in the early part of the fourth quarter, this time taking the option pitch from Acton and cutting back across the field on his way to a 47-yard touchdown that brought the score to its 35-6 final.

Hornell (2-6) now plays either Wellsville or Haverling next week in the Connors and Ferris Championship with a time and date yet to be determined.

“This is a good team and I wish we were able to play and perform the way I know we can all season long, but we are starting to get it now,” said Werner. “Like I said, we are just going to make the most of where we are at. We want to send the seniors out strong and show the juniors just what they have to do to succeed next year.”

Wayland-Cohocton wraps up the season 2-6, graduating seniors Ethan Trischler, Nik Zastawrny, Ben Wood, Deandre Green, Doug Shanley, Trevor Sly and Ryan Smith.