With the most important portion of their regular season schedule on the doorstep, the Walnut Springs Hornets are playing some of their best football.
The Hornets (5-3, 1-0) won their district opener on Friday with a 61-12 triumph over host Covington. Walnut Springs poured it on with a 34-point second quarter and the contest ended in the third via the 45-point rule.
"We just had a little more talent than they did," said coach Tim Trotter. "We executed well and didn't make mistakes."
The Hornets won the first quarter 13-6, the second quarter 34-6 and the third quarter 14-0 before it ended early.
Quarterback Zane Trotter ran four times for 110 yards and three touchdowns.
"That was the best Zane has run the ball this season, considering he only had four carries," the coach said. "He had the option to run or throw on two of those (four carries) and he needed to run.”
Trotter also completed five of six passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns. He made nine tackles on defense.
"Zane made the most of his throws," the coach said. "Guys were catching everything he threw; his only incompletion was on a dropped pass. You definitely hope to get big gains on every play, but Covington just didn't have the speed to stay with us.
"They were good playing slow and they blocked well, so we spent most of the game on defense. That's why our tackle numbers were so high. When we spread them out and ran sweeps, they couldn't catch us."
Dillon Rose ran five times for 113 yards and three touchdowns. He delivered 17 tackles and an interception on defense.
"Dillon ran real strong," Trotter said. "When they did get to him, he was hard to bring down; it was impressive. Dillon is healthy and it shows in his production. Hopefully that carries over against Blum (on Friday)."
Mike Garcia ran twice for 24 yards and a touchdown. He added five tackles on defense.
Tony Chavez was the leading receiver (2-36) and defensively he produced 10 tackles and an interception.
"Tony keeps getting better every week," Trotter said. "He's thinking quicker, and being more aggressive and assertive. That's helped our team as a whole, because now we have more weapons."
Trenton Trotter caught a 21-yard touchdown pass.
"Trenton is back after missing time with an injury, which gives us 10 guys suiting up," the coach said. "Our center Adolfo (Morales) has been playing end and kicking extra points while he's had a broken hand, but we're hoping he'll get his cast off soon and be close to 100 percent in a few weeks."
Carlos Lerma had a strong game with 13 tackles and an interception. He also caught two passes for 15 yards and a touchdown.
"Carlos continues to play better and better; he did a good job of putting pressure on their quarterback and got several sacks," Trotter said. "He gets back there fast, and that pressure led to some of the interceptions they threw. On his interception, he was in the right spot in coverage to get a pick in the end zone."
Carlos Ramirez contributed 10 tackles to the winning cause.
"He's starting at nose guard and he's real aggressive to pressure the opposing backfield," the coach said. "On offense, we're using him a lot at quarterback to get the play started with pitching and lead blocking. He's doing the simple things you must have to be successful. He's a good freshman."
Though Covington did take the game's first lead with a 50-yard touchdown run, it was all Walnut Springs late with the final 36 points of the contest.
"It's good for our confidence to be able to go on a streak like that in a game, and also to have a three-game winning streak."
The Hornets face a much stiffer challenge on Friday at 7:30 p.m. when Blum comes to town. Blum (4-4) is coming off a 68-60 win over Kopperl.
"Blum beat Kopperl in a close, high-scoring game," Trotter said. "We need to beat both of those teams to finish up district, and they're two good opponents. We have to be ready, because the district championship could be on the line."