Herndon ushered in a new decade in its Great Falls District rivalry against South Lakes with a decisive 31-7 win at home last night.
The Hornets, who lost seven of the first 10 games in the series that began in 1980, dominated from the outset, scoring on their first five possessions, including four straight touchdowns. Herndon's defense registered nine sacks and held the Seahawks to 20 yards rushing.
Herndon (5-2) retained first place in the district with a 3-0 mark. South Lakes dropped to 3-4, 1-2.
"This is the biggest game of the year for our kids and they came out guns ablazing," said Herndon Coach Tom Meier. "You can't start a game better than we did. In the second half we let the kids enjoy their 24-point lead."
Herndon's sack-hungry defense set up the offense on the Seahawks' opening drive as Andy Troxell and Ja Ja Rowe combined to drop Sabe Anderson for a 10-yard loss on third and 12 from the South Lakes 18.
The Hornets recovered a short punt at the 34 and needed just three plays to convert. Troxell carried twice for 18 yards before quarterback Matt Griffis dumped a quick pass over the middle to Paul Swartz, who scored from 16 yards to make it 7-0 with 8:56 left in the quarter.
"That first touchdown got us on a roll," Swartz said. "It was a basic tight end pop-pass, where I released to the outside."
Defensive tackle Ted Amorosi sacked Anderson for an eight-yard loss to thwart the Seahawks' progress on their next possession and Herndon recovered the punt at its 49. Troxell, who carried on three of the Hornets' six plays in the drive, scored on a 24-yard run as he bounced off one tackler at the line and ran up the left sideline to make it 14-0 with 4:50 left in the first period.
South Lakes then assembled a nine-play, 76-yard march. Anderson (11 of 26 for 132 yards) connected with Paskell Arnold for a 42-yard gain to highlight the drive and Craig Mayo hurdled in from the 1 to make it 14-7 with 1:59 left.
But the Seahawks could not combat Herndon's offensive line, which opened huge holes for J.T. Taylor, the game's leading rusher with 155 yards, and Troxell (129 yards).
Herndon drove 69 yards in six plays as Taylor ran for 55 yards on a counter play up the middle and scored untouched on a five-yard sweep around left end to make it 21-7 with 11:55 left in the second quarter.
The Hornets scored again as Griffis lofted a 39-yard pass to Rustin Evans, who ran a hitch-and-go up the left sideline to make it 28-7 with 5:49 left. Joe Skaggs's 35-yard field goal completed the scoring.
"The offensive line did a tremendous job," said Griffis, who completed six of 11 attempts for 97 yards. "And the defensive line played its best game of the year. They won it for us."