Hornets, Bulldogs win on last day of county spring football jamboree

Matt Norman carries the ball for Ider during their win over Crossville in the 2019 county spring jamboree at Valley Head. Norman had a 47-yard TD run in the game.

VALLEY HEAD – The 2019 DeKalb County Spring Football Jamboree came to an end Friday after a pair of 3-quarter matchups between county foes.

Friday’s action kicked off with the Ider Hornets defeating the Crossville Lions 12-7 in varsity play. The Geraldine Bulldogs later defeated the Collinsville Panthers 24-7.

Here are recaps of the varsity action from both games:

IDER 12,


Both offenses had slow starts with a pair of three-and-outs on both teams’ opening drives. Ider came up a yard shy of moving the gains on third while a false start and a sack from the Hornets’ defense derailed Crossville’s opening drive.

Ider then moved the ball to midfield with a pair of first downs on the ground, including a fourth-down conversion by Matt Norman.

A play later, Norman powered through for much more than a first down. Another handoff to Norman saw him find a crease up the middle before cutting toward the left sideline. Norman sprinted past the Crossville secondary on his way to a 47-yard score that put the Hornets ahead 6-0.

Crossville was able to move the ball through the air on their next possession as quarterback Hunter Haston had completions of 13 and 24 yards to Colby Allen and Ethan Tully.

Haston then found Kolby Lesley open over the middle. Lesley then got a block downfield and raced down the right sideline for a 39-yard touchdown. The Lions converted their extra point to try to take a 7-6 lead.

Crossville then forced a three-and-out on defense before moving the ball inside the Ider 20-yard line on strong carries from Haston, Harley Hicks and Ernesto Lopez. The Lions were then forced to settle for a field-goal attempt, which they missed from 39 yards out.

Two plays later, Ider ran a quick double handoff that resulted in a 26-yard pickup by Justin Wood. Five plays later, Justin struck again with a 24-yard gain to the edge of the red zone at Crossville’s 20-yard line.

Two plays later, Hunter Oliver capped off the 85-yard drive with a 20-yard dash up the middle and into the end zone to put the Hornets back in front 12-7.

Norman came up with a pair of sacks on Crossville’s last offensive possession, the latter of the two along with a penalty forced the Lions to go for the first down on fourth-and-30. A deep pass downfield was then picked off by Ider’s Matt Wood to seal the win for the Hornets.



The Panthers took possession first and moved the chains on a 17-yard run from quarterback Kaleb Jones before a false start penalty later forced them to punt.

Jones then made his presence felt on defense as he forced a fumble and recovered it on Geraldine’s fifth offensive snap.

Jones then led the Panthers inside the Bulldogs’ 25-yard line with a pair of first-down completions to Dalton Hughes and Trevor Arnold before a botched handoff in the backfield led to a fumble that was scooped up by Geraldine’s Caleb Benefield.

Geraldine then struck a play later with a play-action fake that saw quarterback D.J. Graham complete a 70-yard touchdown pass to Matthew East. The Bulldogs went for two and converted on a run from Anthony Baldwin to go up 8-0.

Collinsville answered with their best drive of the game, which got rolling after an 11-yard carry from Malachi Orr.

Two plays later, Jones scrambled to his right, reversed back to his left and eventually found Carmen Barkley open down the left sideline for a 33-yard completion. Jones connected with Michael Tucker for a 14-yard catch and run a play later.

A screen pass to Barkley later picked up 10 yards and set up first-and-goal for the Panthers before Blake Sparks pounded the ball across the goal line from two yards out.

Jason Perez made his PAT to make the score 8-7 with 59 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs then slowly but surely moved the ball downfield and pounded the rock with their running game.

Geraldine’s following drive lasted 18 plays and saw the Bulldogs pass it just once. No play went for more than eight yards and Geraldine only lost yardage once in the drive. Chase Kermondy, Graham, Baldwin, Kyle Thackerson and Austin King all had carries in the possession. King finished it with a 2-yard dive across the goal line. Graham then scored the 2-point conversion on a bootleg that fooled the defense to make the lead 16-7.

Jones started Collinsville’s next drive with a 14-yard scramble and an 11-yard completion to Garrett Skelton, but Geraldine’s pass rush forced a strip sack on the Panthers’ next play and recovered the ball.

Geraldine then drove down inside the Panthers’ 30-yard line before having time for one last play. That final play saw Graham fire a pass into the end zone that was hauled in over a defender by Thackerson for a 26-yard touchdown. Caleb Hall ran in the 2-point conversion to seal a 24-7 win for the Bulldogs.

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