Dragons survive second-half rally to get early 2A-4 lead.
Trailing by 10 at the break, the Hornets came back and capitalized on a pair of early Mountainburg fumbles to get back into the game.
But the Dragons, who have not beaten their 2A-4 Conference opponent since 2013 added another score and came away with the 33-30 win Friday night at Dragon Field.
The Hornets had one more shot late, but a six-yard sack, a near-miss catch set Hackett up third-and-16 on their own 34. Brady Hester tried for a deep pass, but it was picked off by James Vanourny with 1:11 remaining in the contest.
The Dragons fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, but Mountainburg’s defense held fast and forced Hackett to turn the ball over on downs.
However, on Mountainburg’s very first offensive play of the second half… the team turned the ball over on their own 14. Two plays later, Matthew Carter, on his second carry of the night, punched it in from three yards out.
After Hackett made it 26-24, the Dragons had its only scoring drive of the second half to push its lead 33-24 after a 5-yard run by Caleb Jorgensen.
Hester, who finished with 102 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns, scored from 2 yards out for the final margin.
Mountainburg’s Robert Roxin led the game with 137 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
Mountainburg stifled the Hornet offense in the second quarter to take the lead by halftime.
The Dragons force Hackett to punt its final three possessions of the half after the Hornets scored on its first two of the game.
The third punt try was the charm.
A bad snap landed Mountainburg at the Hornet 20 and two plays later Jesse Quick scored from the 15 with 1:56 remaining in the contest.
Hackett wouldn’t relent and fought back, but Dillon Jones picked off the tipped pass and Mountainburg ran out the clock to lead 26-16 at halftime.
The Hornets led 16-7 at the 5:15 mark of the first quarter after an 11-yard pass from Hester to Anthony Collins. Hester added the two-point conversion with a pass to Pacey McBride.
Hester began the game with his 42-yard run on the second snap of the game.
Austin Taylor’s 12-yard run late in the first quarter got the Dragons with three, 16-13. Roxin’s 28-yard scamper put Mountainburg in the lead 19-16 with 10:34 remaining in the contest.