Van Horn expected to move the football and score points Saturday afternoon against Summit Christian Academy, Falcons coach William Harris said.
And Van Horn did that. But mostly, late in the fourth quarter.
After zipping off a first-quarter touchdown, the Falcons were shut out for 40 minutes, 34 seconds of their 34-19 Crossroads Conference loss during homecoming at Independence All-School Stadium. Senior running back Izaiah Cosey scored two touchdowns during the final 2:45.
“Last week, we got 500 rushing yards (against Pembroke Hill),” Harris said. “And we knew our offensive line had the ability to play well. That was kind of the plan this week. What you saw there at the end was, really, what we thought we were going to do all game. Didn’t turn out that way.”
Cosey, who rushed for 34 yards on 13 carries, said that Van Horn’s attitude affected the team’s ability to move the ball and score.
“I think we just came in here thinking that it was going to be easy,” he said. “And we found out that it wasn’t. … I guess that we started to get shook and we couldn’t figure out what was going on until the end.”
Summit Christian was leading 7-0 when Van Horn (3-4, 2-1 league) displayed its first offensive burst. With the Falcons facing second-and-3, senior Terrion Seddens ripped off a 39-yard TD run to make it a one-point game with 7:19 left in the first quarter.
During Van Horn’s scoring drought, Summit Christian (3-4, 2-1) staged a 27-point run, starting with Grayson Sprouse’s 1-yard TD run and Josh McConnell’s extra-point kick with 3:09 left in the first quarter. McConnell’s 1-yard TD run with 10 seconds left in the second quarter helped give the Eagles a 20-6 halftime lead.
Sprouse’s 13-yard TD pass to Christian Newsome and McConnell’s extra point made it 27-6 Summit Christian with 6:38 left in the third quarter. An interception return set up the final points of the Eagles’ scoring tear: McConnell’s 2-yard TD run and point after with 5:38 left in the fourth quarter.
“Josh McConnell’s a great football player for us,” Eagles coach Todd Berck said. “He really runs hard and he doesn’t go down with one hit. A lot of times kids would hit him and they’d think they were going to knock him down. And he just continued to run hard.”
Cosey’s 3-yard TD run and Tanner Smith’s point after with 2:45 to play ended Van Horn’s scoring drought. The Falcons followed that eight-play, 63-yard scoring drive with a five-play, 50-yard drive, capped by Cosey’s 28-yard TD run with 36 seconds remaining.
“Once the offensive line figured out what was going on, I had a clear lane,” Cosey said. “And I cut it to the left and made a couple moves.”
Cosey expects the Falcons to concentrate on finishing as they move through the final two weeks of the regular season. Harris, however, believes something else must be addressed, too.
“Today was probably the first time since I’ve been here where I felt like our effort and our energy was an issue,” Harris said. “So we still need to work on finishing. But before we get to something that we can finish, we’ve got to have effort and engagement in a game and come out ready to play.”
Seddens finished with 110 yards on 10 carries.