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McCullough's long touchdown lifts Hornets to win over Rootstown

By WALTER DOERSCHUK The Press-News Published: September 16, 2016 10:00 AM
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The sign on the McDonald's marquee in East Canton on Friday partially read "Lovin' our Hornets."

The East Canton High School football team loved having James McCullough back on Friday.

The senior tailback missed a week two win over Waterloo with an ankle injury. But his 80-yard touchdown catch in week three lifted the Hornets to a 12-7 win over Rootstown.

With 8:54 left in Friday's game, East Canton quarterback Mitch Mitchell found his tailback open on a screen pass. Mitchell's throw was a bit short to the right sideline so McCullough went back and got it. He then raced upfield, cut left and dashed toward the end zone.

"I saw three of my lineman just mowing downfield doing their job," McCullough said of the play. "I followed behind them, shake and bake and scored right there."

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McCullough also got the Hornets on the board in the second quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run. He finished the game with 14 carries for 67 yards.

It wasn't the cleanest game as the two teams combined for seven turnovers.

Yet, East Canton head coach John "Spider" Miller appreciated his team's effort.

"We dealt with some adversity," Miller said. "Our kids kept fighting and they fought hard. That's all we can ask. To give effort doesn't take any talent. Our kids fought to the fourth quarter. Everything wasn't perfect but you come out with a win. Our offense put one in late which was good and our defense played pretty well."

The Hornets improved to 2-1 as they get ready for IVC play beginning this week. They'll face a strong test on the road at Garaway. The 3-0 Pirates scored 47, 41 and 48 points in their three non-conference games.

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