EARLY - Walnut Springs (12-1) came sprinting out of the gates in Six-Man Division II state semifinals at Longhorn Stadium Friday, but Roscoe Highland (13-0) scored 52 unanswered points to seize control and eliminate the Hornets 74-38.

Highland scored on interception returns of 80 and 10 yards, runs of 1, 29, 36 and 44 yards and a pass of eight yards during the run, and advances to face Borden County in this week’s state championship game at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.

The loss ends a dream season for Hornets football, as Walnut Springs won their second straight  district and regional championships. The regional title was just the  third in school history. The first came in 1958.

Eddie Whitt was 18-33 passing for 182 yards and four touchdowns for the Hornets, but also tossed four interceptions.

Whitt’s first two scoring strikes - a 64-yarder to Kody Stack and a seven-yarder to Johnathan Stack - lifted Walnut Springs to a 24-14 lead after the first quarter before Highland took over.

Kody Stack returned an interception 30 yards to begin the scoring, but Highland answered with TD runs of one and four yards to take the early lead before Whitt’s first two scoring tosses.

Whitt hooked up with Matthew Prescher for a 58-yard TD to slow the bleeding and make it 66-32, but Roscoe answered with a 62-yard sprint to pay dirt.

An eight-yard strike  from Whitt to Jacob White finished the scoring.

Whitt also had 114 yards on nine carries, finishing with a hand in 296 of Walnut Springs’ 325 yards of total offense.

Prescher led all Hornet receivers with 97 yards on six catches. Kody Stack had four grabs for 76 yards.

Defensively, Kody Stack had 11 tackles, followed by Mario Ballesteros with nine and Ryan Engelhardt with eight.