The Ider Hornets beat the North Sand Mountain Bison 13-7 after scoring 13 unanswered in the fourth quarter Friday night at Lloyd Dobbins Field in Higdon.
NSM’s first drive would be a 15-play touchdown drive spanning 86 yards, with senior Derek Bearden scoring on an 11-yard touchdown run. From then on, the two teams went back and forth trading possessions in the second quarter, with NSM again piecing together a long drive, this one for 16 plays. It seemed as though the Bison were bound to extend their lead when a fumble gave the Hornets the ball back with 39 seconds remaining in the half to try and tie the game. With only a handful of seconds left, junior Hunter Robinson broke off a 55-yard run that would have scored the game going into halftime, however a holding call brought back the score and the Bison would take a 7-0 lead into halftime.
“We have to finish, we didn’t finish the drives, we have to finish them,” North Sand Mountain head coach Keith Kirby said.
In the fourth quarter, the score remained 7-0. North Sand Mountain controlled the clock for most of the game, having 56 plays to Ider’s 34 through three quarters and nearly doubling Ider’s time of possession.
However, the difference of the game were untimely turnovers. North Sand Mountain fumbled the ball a minute into the fourth quarter, giving Ider the ball back at the NSM 16. Four plays later, Ider junior Dylan Grant punched in a one-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with 9:22 left in regulation.
NSM again led a nice drive, steadily gaining yardage and getting to the Ider 40-yard line, until a bad handoff exchange caused another fumble, which Ider recovered with 1:45 left in the game. The Hornets scored with blinding speed, with senior Matt Norman erupting for a 44-yard run to start the drive and Robinson putting the Hornets ahead with a minute to go, scoring on a 34-yard touchdown run. The point-after attempt would be no good, with the kick bouncing off the right upright, giving Ider a 13-7 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, NSM junior Blake Hill weaved his way down the field, being pushed out of bounds at the Ider 21 with 46 seconds remaining, giving the Bison a chance to save the game. A couple of runs for little gain and an incompletion on third down, the Bison were down to their last play with less than 30 seconds on the clock. Bearden took the snap, rolled to his left, looking for a pass. With nobody open, Bearden tried to rush forward and pick up the first down with his legs. However, the Ider defense swarmed to him when he began to tuck the ball and pushed Bearden out of bounds for no gain. The Hornets took over, kneeled the ball and began the celebration.
“Tough breaking game, tough game for us. Congratulations to Ider,” Kirby said. “I thought [our defense] played their guts out, we just have to score when we have the opportunities. We’re going to go back at it Monday and try to get better.”