Crunch

 Junior defensive tackle Daniel Gaona III makes a tackle on a player earlier in the season.

 

Through the air, on the ground and with, solid defense, the Louise Hornets (4-0, 2-0) dream season will extend into October. How far into October the streak continues, depends on their game against the Runge Yellowjackets (3-1, 1-0) this Friday night at Hornet Stadium.

Most of the Hornets weren’t in middle school the last time Louise had a season start like this.

In 2015 the Hornets started 6-0 and 1-0 in district. Current Head Coach Joe Bill was an assistant on that team and his son Jase was a senior corner/wide receiver. Blaine Machicek who is the older borther of current Louise quarterback Daylon Machicek was also a senior on that team.

The 2015 team was a heavy senior-laden team with 14 while the current version of the Hornets has five. There might not be a ton of similarities between the two teams. However, Bill see’s some of their former quarterback Eric Lucio in their Machicek.

“Daylon has leadership characteristics that Lucio had,” Bill said. “Eric was a little more vocal, but Daylon leads by example. He doesn’t have to say a whole lot. He works hard and the kids look up to him.”

Youth has been a big factor for the Hornets. With only a handful of seniors, Louise is counting on a number of freshmen and sophomores to start of play key backup roles.

Freshmen Pete Galvan is the Hornets center, Kyle Anderson and Jaden Brown both play big roles in the secondary. They along with several other sophomores are stepping up for the Hornets.

“I told them, ‘Some of you guys are going to have the chance to be rising stars. Whenever you’re number is called step up and do it.’ I’ve been very, very pleased with our young kids stepping up.” Bill said.

Something Bill believes that has helped the Hornets be more physical this season is added time in the weight room. In Bill’s first season, the Hornets spent a lot of time working on the offense. Now with the offense simpler, it’s afforded them more weight room time.

The defense this year is allowing just over a touchdown a game, giving up 11.25 points, the best in the area.

“Our kids are just working hard,” Bill said. “They believe they can do it. Every one of them has some talent that they bring to the table and it’s been really interesting to see these kids step up. I’m just real pleased with their effort and their mindset.”

The Hornets test this Friday comes in the form of their first opponent with a winning record. Of the four teams the Hornets have played this year, only one team had a win, Agua Dulce who they blew out last week. Agua Dulce last year was a 10-win team.

Runge last season was 2-9 and made the playoffs, losing in the first round. Like Louise, the Yellowjackets are also experiencing their first bit of success in a while, their three wins this season matches the most wins they’ve had since 2013.

The Yellowjackets are coming off a bye week after they came from behind to beat Agua Dulce at home in their district opener.

This season Runge is allowing 15 points a game. The Hornets offense has been hard to stop this year, behind a cohesive offensive line they’ve been able to run and throw the ball seeming at will scoring 37.75 points a game.

Against Auga Dulce, the Yellowjackets allowed 336 yards.

The Hornets defense has been tough. They might not have the size, but they are fast and aggressive. The Hornets will be trying to stop Runge’s 6’4 senior quarterback Daniel Mendoza and his top target Joe Fraga. Offensively Runge is averaging 21.75 points a game.

The winner of this game will be on a collision course with Falls City who’s also 2-0 in district.

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