The Scotlandville Hornets played from behind through most of their contest against Live Oak on Friday night.
But senior quarterback Jessie Craig kicked into high gear and led the Hornets to two fourth-quarter touchdowns as Scotlandville surged past the visiting Eagles for a 20-7 win.
It was the first District 4-5A victory of the season for the Hornets (6-3, 1-3).
Live Oak took an early 7-6 lead and held on to the advantage until Craig connected with senior Sylvester Boulingy for a 48-yard touchdown to begin the fourth period.
Craig then engineered a seven-play scoring drive on Scotlandville’s next possession. He hit sophomore Chance Williams for a 28-yard first down play that set up Williams’ 3-yard touchdown for Scotlandville.
“We got behind, but we felt like we were in control from the start,” Craig said. “Our coaches put us in the best position to be successful and we just went out and executed when we needed to.”
Craig finished the game 17-of-23 for 248 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Scotlandville coach Lester Ricard said the Hornets were happy to claim the win after losing three consecutive district matchups.
“We wanted to stop this three-game skid we were on,” Ricard said. “Our message at halftime was just to clean things up, stop making turnovers and dropping passes. We knew they were trying to slow the game down, but I’m proud of how we responded and came back and got the win. Our defense especially played an outstanding game.”
The Hornets defense yielded just one TD on the night but experienced a lapse in the first quarter. After Craig connected with Boulingy for a 12-yard touchdown on the team’s first possession of the game, the defense allowed Live Oak (6-3, 1-3) to score on the next series.
Eagles quarterback Rhett Rosevear’s 38-yard completion to senior Hagen Long set up an 8-yard TD run by senior Kee Hawkins. Cole Crenshaw’s conversion gave the visitors a 7-6 advantage that they took into halftime.
But the Hornets defense stepped up and held the visitors to 29 rushing yards in the second half of play. Rosevear was 13-of-18 for 143 yards in the losing effort.
Live Oak coach Brett Beard said his team failed to take advantage of scoring opportunities. He pointed to a lost fumble that occurred in the third quarter as the Eagles were moving into Hornets territory.
“We couldn’t finish drives. We came out flat and just got stopped, or stopped ourselves,” Beard said. “We have to execute on critical drives when we have an opportunity to score. You have to do that to win football games because you don’t get that many chances.”
Hawkins led the Eagles on the ground with 70 yards on 22 attempts.
“Kee is a great football player and makes our offense go,” Beard said. “It’s been fun to watch him grow up to be the man that he is. I’m hoping he finishes the season strong for his senior year.”