One week after suffering a tough loss to the Glendale Falcons, the Lebanon Yellowjackets rebounded with perhaps their strongest performance of the season, winning on Friday at Hillcrest, 42-6.
Lebanon put together 362 yards of total offense and held the Hornets to less than 150 yards of total offense. The 'Jackets built a 29-0 lead at the half and added to it in the second half, going ahead 36-0 in the third quarter.
One week after allowing more than 600 passing yards to undefeated Glendale, the 'Jackets put the clamps down on a talented Hillcrest squad that entered the game coming off a back-to-back wins, including a 42-28 victory at West Plains.
Lebanon (4-1 overall, 4-1 Ozark Conference) allowed just 92 passing yards, nearly all of which came on the Hornets' touchdown drive late in the third quarter, and Jack Ehrhardt and Hunter McGuire came up with interceptions for Lebanon as the 'Jackets won the turnover battle.
"We just stayed focused on the process and just worried about ourselves and not the other team," McGuire said. "Our offense came out and played real good and our defense got stops and kept rolling from there."
Known for its powerful running attack, Lebanon scored on the game's second play from scrimmage as sophomore Ry Evans went 53 yards to give LHS a 7-0 lead. Junior quarterback Cole Breeden capped a eight-play, 55-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for a 14-0 lead, and after carving out 45 yards on eight straight running plays on the 'Jackets next possession, Breeden went to the air, finding senior Jack Ehrhardt on a 10-yard touchdown pass.
It was the first of many connections between Breeden and Ehrhardt as the 'Jackets took over at its own 22 with 1:12 remaining in the half and Breeden went to Ehrhardt four times, the last of which resulted in an 18-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining in the half and the 'Jackets went to the break leading 29-0.
The two hooked up again after an interception by McGuire on a seven-yard touchdown, giving Lebanon a 35-0 lead.
“I was very pleased and excited for us defensively," said Lebanon coach Will Christian. "I thought our kids played exceptionally well. I was proud of the way Hunter McGuire played tonight at outside linebacker. He did awesome on their bubble screens and their outside run game.
“I thought our defensive front was tenacious tonight. Cannon York and Brock Reeves got after the quarterback tonight. Jessie Nyman and Mark Webster also played extremely well.”
The 'Jackets held standout Hillcrest junior receiver Josh Powell to just four catches for 16 passes and held running back Malachi Beckham to just 19 yards rushing before the final possession of the game.
“I was extremely pleased of the way we handled Josh Powell," Christian said. "We have tons of respect for him and this team. We watched the film of him against West Plains and he went goofy against them. This same offense put up 42 at West Plains and that is saying something.”
Lebanon (4-1 overall, 4-1 Ozark Conference) played without junior standout John Berry, who was out of the contest due to an injury, and used a variety of ball carriers in his place.
Ry Evans led the 'Jackets with 76 yards rushing and got the 'Jackets on the board on its second play from scrimmage with a 53 yard touchdown run. Hunter Bray added 42 yards rushing, Cole McBride had 45, Michael Appleberry 40, and Cole Breeden rushed for 36 yards.
High school football
LEBANON 42, HILLCREST 6
on Friday, at Hillcrest High School
Lebanon14 15 7 6 — 42
Hillcrest0 0 6 0 — 6
LHS — Ry Evans 53 yard run (Lakiah Capps kick), 11:13
LHS — Cole Breeden 1 yard run (Capps kick), 2:58
LHS — Jack Ehrhardt 10 yard pass from Cole Breeden (Capps kick), 6:16
LHS — Jack Ehrhardt 18 yard pass from Cole Breeden (Capps kick), 0:10
LHS — Jack Ehrhardt 18 yard pass from Cole Breeden (Capps kick), 6:17
HHS — Josh Powell 5 yard pass from Hayden Parton (pass failed), 0:01
LHS — Ty Glendenning 4 yard run (kick failed), 3:50