CNHI News Services
It was Inola’s homecoming Friday night, but it was Hilldale that did all of the dancing – and mostly in the Longhorns’ end zone.
And the I-formation suits the Hornets to a T as they ran for 265 yards, powering their way to a 40-20 non-district victory against the Longhorns.
Hilldale improved to 4-1.
“We played as well as we expected to play,” Hilldale coach Chad Kirkhart said. “We wanted to come out and play well from start to finish. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way we played through three quarters.
“We’re trying to establish the run and did a good job in running from the I. We’re figuring out what we do best. Everybody played well. I’m also pleased with the offensive line and how they’re coming along.”
Jamaul Cullom led the starters with 85 yards rushing on eight carries and a TD. He scored three times in the first half. He had TD runs of 46 and four yards and returned an interception 85 yards for another score.
The 6-foot-1, 182-pound senior didn’t have a problem finding motivation.
“I had heard all week that they picked us for their homecoming,” he said. “You pick a team you think you can beat and that gave us some fuel to do well. Coach Kirkhart always tells us to play like we practice and I think we did. The linemen did a heck of a job blocking.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was a lot of hard work by our team out there.”
Quarterback Chandler Puckett got into the act with a three-yard TD run with 9.8 seconds left in the first period and fired a 33-yard TD pass to Miles Jackson with 4:53 to go in the first half.
Hillldale led 34-0 at halftime.
“We got our rear end kicked,” Inola coach Brian Tinker said. “They played harder and faster than we did. (Cullom) is a good football player.”
Puckett also completed 7 of 11 passes for 101 yards. Jackson caught two of the passes for 49 yards. All of that came in the first half while Josh Giem grabbed three of the balls for 31 yards. Giem also returned an interception 24 yards.
The Hornets’ longest scoring drive was 15 plays and covered 57 yards. It was finished with Puckett scoring from the three yards out.
Hilldale pulled its starters after halftime and the game was played with a running clock in the second half.
Backup running back Hunter Woods gained 115 yards on 20 carries for the Hornets and a one-yard TD run with 4:40 left in the third quarter.
Hilldale led 21-0 after the first quarter, piling up 124 yards in total offense.
The Longhorns got all of their touchdowns in the fourth quarter against Hilldale’s second team defense.
Inola’s Brandon Misner caught a 50-yard TD pass from Zack Procter and recovered a fumble in the end zone. Mason Stookey dashed 12 yards for the other Longhorns’ TD.
Procter completed 16 of 31 passes for 204 yards. Misner caught two passes for 61 yards and Chase Phillips caught six passes for 87 yards.
The Hornets return home next Friday and resume their District 3A-7 schedule against Lincoln Christian.