CHILLICOTHE » The Chillicothe High School Hornets opened the game with a penalty-assisted, 16-play, touchdown drive, giving them a lead for the first time since the fourth week of the season, but after that the visiting Smithville Warriors did all the scoring in a 43-6 Midland Empire Conference victory at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium Friday.
The Hornets, taking advantage of a roughing-the-punter penalty, but also overcoming their own illegal-procedure penalty, capped the game-opening possession with a 14-yards touchdown pass to Eric Rutledge from Tyler Clampitt with 5:06 to go in the opening period.
Chillicothe still led 6-0 as the first quarter ended, but Smithville was on its way to the go-ahead score at that point. A 9-yards Zach Parmenter run on the third play of the second period and his conversion kick put the Warriors ahead to stay.
In a pivotal development just before halftime, Smithville increased a 15-6 lead to 22-6 at intermission when it moved 72 yards in 1:08, getting the touchdown on quarterback Cory Marmet's perfectly-placed, 28-yards back-shoulder fade to Drew Boydston only 14 ticks before intermission.
With Parmenter used sparingly after appearing to slightly injure a leg on a second-period run, backup running back Parker Bealue scored on three second-half runs as Smithville (5-3, 4-2 MEC) put the win away.
With Parmenter a bit gimpy, Marmet shouldered more of the ball carrying load and shone, unofficially gaining 139 yards on only 12 carries, mostly on zone read plays from the "pistol" set. Primarily on the strength of one 28-yards carry, Parmenter did get over the century mark yet again, unofficially totaling 115 yards on 20 totes.
Chillicothe nearly had a 100-yards rusher itself via one long run. Junior Mason Palmer found huge daylight off right tackle and romped 44 yards before being tackled, boosting him to a 99-yards night. CHS, having one of its best running nights of its now 1-7 season (1-5 MEC), also got 73 yards from senior D.J. Gannan in his final regular-season home game.
The Hornets played the final quarter-plus without junior quarterback Tyler Clampitt, who was hurt trying to block an extra-point kick attempt when he and a teammate collided. Indications after the game were that the injury appeared to be not too serious and that he would have a chance to play in next Friday's regular-season finale at St. Joseph: Benton, which was stunned by Cameron Friday and also will enter the final regular-season week of play owning only one victory.