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Hornets enter playoffs on five-game winning streak

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Hornets enter playoffs on five-game winning streak
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FRAZEE - Frazee beat a "thin" Blackduck team 41-14 at home on Wednesday.

Thin not just by roster size - the Drakes dressed 20 players - but also by height and weight. Only two Blackduck gridders were over the 6-foot mark and only one weighed over 200 pounds.

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By comparison, the Hornets have several over 6 feet in height and bring in 10 over 200 pounds.

Frazee's win -- their fifth in a row -- is a turnaround from a start that saw the Hornets (5-3) lose their first three.

"It's basically good senior leadership," said Frazee coach Jim Rader of how his side is upending opponents after struggling early. "They're a great group of people and know how to play team football."

While the size difference was evident during pre-game warm-ups, it didn't play a factor in the first quarter, at least for Frazee's first two scores.

Instead, speed and agility from the Hornets' all-purpose player, Nick Brower sparked the team in the first minute of play.

Taking the opening kickoff at his own 15-yard line, Brower found a seam at around the 30, fended off Blackduck's kicker at around the Drake 40-yard line and then found space and raced into the end zone.

"I just kind of stiff-armed him, turned it on and ran," Brower said.

Brower's encore came just two plays from scrimmage later, as he intercepted Blackduck quarterback Jacob Lien's pass.

"It was good to get the team pumped up like that," Brower said.

Just two plays later, Frazee running back Mike Moltzan ran in an 18-yard score.

Blackduck committed another turnover on its next possession, this time on downs.

Scrambling by Hornet quarterback Dylan Stender kept them alive on the drive, for what turned out to be the game-winning score.

Stender was in the grasp of a Drake defensive lineman, but lobbed the ball over a defensive back into the arms of Matt Viste. Viste took the ball down to Blackduck's 10 for a 33-yard catch.

On a fourth-and-goal play, Stender threw his only touchdown pass on a fade to Jesse Shipman that gave Frazee a 20-0 lead.

A trick play cut the gap for Blackduck later in the second quarter.

Lien somehow successfully hid the ball in a mass of players, then went in untouched for a 25-yard touchdown run.

The Drakes wouldn't get any closer, however, as Frazee put in two more before halftime to take a 33-6 lead.

Skyler Jackson scored on a 23-yard run and Viste ran it in from 2 yards out, 36 seconds before halftime. During the drive in which Jackson scored, he racked up 22 more yards in a run during the play prior to his scoring effort.

After Frazee scored the first of two touchdowns, Blackduck seemed to get itself in position for its second score.

Mike Lucero returned a kickoff down to the Hornet 30-yard line. An illegal block in the back negated the play, and the Drakes were forced back to their own 15 instead.

The last score for the Hornets came midway through the third quarter, when Jackson scored his second touchdown on an 85-yard run.

Blackduck ended with a consolation score in the final two minutes when Ryan Tjepkes ran in a 15-yard touchdown, with Frazee giving its reserves some playing time while the mercy rule was in effect.

Brower said the Hornets' five-game winning streak came from a hatred of losing, and the team wanted to do something about it.

"Nobody liked losing," he said. "We needed to turn it around and we knew we had potential -- and had to do something with our season."

Frazee travels to Barnesville/Rothsay on Tuesday for an 8AA sectional quarterfinal matchup. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

The Hornets lost an away game to the Trojans in the second week of the season, 46-21.

Hornets results

Blackduck at Frazee. Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

Blackduck 0 6 0 8 - 14

Frazee 20 14 7 0 - 41

Scoring:

F: Nick Brower 85-yard kickoff return (Brower kick). 11:48, 1st.

F: Mike Moltzan 18-yard run (kick failed). 10:21, 1st.

F: Jesse Shipman 10-yard catch from Dylan Stender (Brower kick). 4:50, 1st.

B: Jacob Lien 25-yard run (kick failed). 7:12, 2nd.

F: Skyler Jackson 23-yard run (Brower kick). 4:55, 2nd.

F: Shipman 2-yard run (Brower kick). 0:36, 2nd.

F: Jackson 85-yard run (Brower kick). 7:30, 3rd.

B: Ryan Tjepkes 15-yard run (Tjepkes run). 1:18, 4th.

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