October 7, 2018 1:57:38 AM
HORN LAKE -- Horn Lake High School has been plotting its way to win a Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A state championship throughout this season.
With each passing win, the case for the Eagles gets stronger and stronger.
Behind a dominating rushing performance, No. 2 Horn Lake routed Columbus 47-6 in a Class 1A, Region 6 game played at Horn Lake Stadium.
Horn Lake improved to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in region play, while Columbus is 0-7 and 0-3.
"Just an aggressive running team," Columbus coach Eric Rice said. "They run the ball with authority. They block well and they have lots of options."
Horn Lake turned to 10 different backs to crank out 271 yards on the ground.
The Eagles scored on three straight first-quarter possessions and added a defensive score to build a 27-6 lead after one quarter.
After missing on a couple of deep balls earlier in the season, Columbus finally did hit a home run when Jaelen Craddieth hit Jervorius Vance for an 85-yard touchdown.
That score brought the Falcons within 13-6.
The offensive highlight would be more than half of Columbus' total offense for the contest.
After being held to 144 total yards in a 14-0 loss to Tupelo, Columbus managed 132 total yards and six first downs Friday night.
"Competing and playing hard, just having a hard time doing things on a consistent basis," Rice said.
The momentum generated by the Falcons was short-lived.
After the Columbus touchdown, Horn Lake drove 56 yards on three plays as a long kickoff return set the Eagles up with good field position just shy of midfield.
Quarterback Raydarious Jones hit Emeko Blakes, Jr., for a 46-yard touchdown to give the Eagles another comfortable lead.
After Horn Lake built a 40-6 halftime lead, the Falcons kept competing.
Mario Martin had a strip of the Horn Lake back and Chris Johnson made the fumble recovery.
One possession later, Kris Lucious came up with an interception give the Falcons a pair of takeaways.
Columbus will return home to play three of final four games in the regular-season, including Homecoming with Southaven Friday night.
Scott was sports editor for The Dispatch.