ALBANY — The Albany Hornets have spent the first part of the season trying to build a head of steam for district play, and on Friday night against Grace King, the Hornets looked as ready as could be for the start of District 7-3A play next week.
The Hornets offense didn’t have the ball much against the Fighting Irish but still managed to pile up 475 rushing yards behind big nights by Cheyenne Labruzza and Kamryn Mayers in rolling to a 52-6 victory Friday night.
Labruzza had just five carries but totaled 231 yards, with three touchdown runs of 81, 30 and 91 yards. Mayer took over the load in the second half and had 12 carries for 159 yards and four touchdowns as the Hornets (5-1) broke the game open early. King (0-6) controlled the ball for long stretches but couldn’t finish the deal, falling behind 46-0 before getting on the board in the fourth quarter.
“They had the ball for the majority of the game, but it’s about what you do with the ball when you have it,” Albany coach Blane Westmoreland said. “For us, it’s about getting in the rhythm and not getting behind the sticks, and those two guys give us a great opportunity to do that. Cheyenne and Kamryn both are two special players. I’m looking forward to what they do next week.”
King opened the game with a marathon 12 play, 60-yard drive that ate up the first 9:23 of the game, but a costly penalty stopped the march and a missed 23-yard field goal left the Irish empty-handed.
Labruzza then broke out on his 81-yard touchdown run, and Albany went on to score every time it touched the football. Mayer added 1-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter, and Labruzza swept 33 yards to make it 20-0 at halftime.
“We had a hard time stopping them tonight, Grace King oach Larry Lala said. “Their offense really was too physical for our defense, and they ran through us. We couldn’t stop them all night. We moved the ball OK, completed a few passes, ran the ball OK. I didn’t think we did a bad job offensively; but defensively we just could stop them.”
Albany cinched it with a 20-point third quarter. Mayers scored on a 4-yard run, Labruzza exploded on a 91-yard breakout that made it 32-0, and Mayers added a 48-yard TD and then a 33-yard scoring sprint early in the fourth quarter.
Russell Kelly put the Irish on the board with a 6-yard TD run with 4:01 to play to make it 46-6, and Albany got its final points on a 1-yard run by Randy Ingram with 1:24 remaining.
Quarterback August Williams led King with 11 carries for 73 yards and had a 40-yard pass reception, while Kelly had 18 carries for 68 yards.
Now it’s on to district play for Albany, starting with Jewel Sumner next week.
“It’s all about trying to get our kids confidence these first weeks,” Westmoreland said. “Five-and-one is great, but at midnight, we go back to 0-0, and it all becomes about district football. The road gets a lot tougher from here on out, but we’re excited to see where we go from here.”