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Hawley downs Hornets

For every Frazee score, Hawley eventually had an answer, in the top-seeded Nuggets' 39-23 Section 8-2A semifinal victory over the No. 4 Hornets Saturday.

The Hornets (7-2) even held a short-lived lead 10-7 late in the second quarter, but the Nuggets scored 13 unanswered points in the final 1:31 of the quarter for the 20-10 halftime advantage.

Frazee never did bow out easily, though, as they tacked on two scores in the third quarter to trim the deficit to 26-23 -- but Hawley showed it was much too resilient and sealed the game with two more long drives for scores and a 39-23 win.

"I believe we gave (Hawley) all they could handle and it might have an effect on them the rest of the way," said Frazee head coach Jim Rader. "Although I am disappointed with the season coming to a close, I am proud of the players and my coaches for the work they put in again this year."

Frazee running back Bruce Lemon paced the Hornet rushing attack with 93 yards, including a third-quarter 12-yard touchdown run.

Hawley had a three-headed rushing attack, led by Josh Johnson's 92 yards and followed by Alex Ames' 79 yards and Chris Buttke's 78 yards.

Frazee kept the second half close, holding Hawley to a punt in the first possession and going on a seven-play scoring drive of their own to pull to 20-16 on Lemon's run.

Hawley answered on a Johnson 48-yard run, but before the third quarter ended, Frazee struck again with a 65-yard scoring drive, capped by Cody Nordquist's 33-yard pass from quarterback Baxter Bachmann.

It just took Hawley the next series to answer, again, with a Ben Ellefson one-yard plunge, to put the Nuggets up 16 points with under five minutes to play.

Bachmann helped direct the Hornets into the Hawley red zone, but back-to-back penalties -- the only two offensive penalties on the offense in the game -- took them out of range and they turned it over on downs.

"I truly believe that had we finished our last drive, we would have had the emotional roller coaster back and a chance for an on-side kick to finish the game with the ball," Rader said. "It would have led to a fun ending."

The Class 2A No. 5 ranked Nuggets (10-0) will play for the Section 8-2A championship against No. 3 ranked Barnesville (10-0) in a battle of the titans in the Fargodome Friday, starting at 8 p.m.