Feel the sting

FULTON --- Long, time-consuming drives?

Four yards and a cloud of dust? Or this case, four yards and a clump of mud, perhaps?

No need.

The Fulton Hornets used a pair of one-play drives in the first half --- two plays that totaled 104 yards --- to grab a 14-0 lead on their way to a 43-6 thumping of the Versailles Tigers on Friday night.

Feel the sting.ã??The Hornets (1-1) struck faster than a disgruntled union.

"That's something that's really carried over from last year," Fulton coach Pat Kelley said. "We lost some very good receivers, but we've got some kids back who are able to go get the ball make some plays for us.

"We've got some players who are big-play threats every time they touch the ball."

Fulton's six touchdowns plays spanned 163 yards, and that includes a 4-yard run (yawn) by Dominique Ford. But Ford also sprinted 57 yards for a score, which was the longest of the six.

There were three touchdown strikes from the senior duo of Sam Christensen to Devin Gibson, covering 47, 18 and 10 yards. Gibson, a 6-2, 195-pound senior with speed and moves to spare, finished with four catches for 105 yards.

"He went through a lot last year; he was unable to play due to a (wrist) injury," Kelley said. "But he had a fantastic night tonight and I couldn't be happier for him."

Football is certainly a team game, but one player can sure make a difference. And it sure helped having Christensen back at quarterback, as the 6-2, 188-pound senior didn't play in last week's 41-14 loss to Osage.

Kelley declined to say why Christensen didn't play, but he welcomed him back with a smile --- and a 37-point win.

"Sam worked hard all summer and we were able to get in the game tonight, and he took a leadership role," Kelley said. "He came ready to play and the kids turned it up a notch, knowing that he was back there."

Fulton rushed for 265 yards and outgained Versailles 412-169. Junior Travis Dean gained 112 yards on just seven carries, Ford had 83 yards on six attempts, and Christensen added 72 yards on eight tries.

The Hornets led 7-0 after one quarter, 30-0 at the break and 43-0 after three.

Versailles (1-1) --- 0-10 last year and now 3-24 since Week 5 of the 2011 season --- didn't put up much of a fight. And the Tigers certainly didn't help their own cause by the play of their not-so-special teams.

They did some things that made you go, Huh?

In the first half, the Tigers tried a fake punt on fourth and 22, fourth and two from their own 14, and fourth and six from their own 42.

They made the second --- which may have been the biggest head-scratcher of them all --- missed the other two, and both of the latter led to Fulton touchdowns. They also had botched a punt attempt that ended up in a safety.

"We hadn't seen the fake punt from them," Kelley said. "When it's fourth and whatever, it was a long way, that was a pretty gutsy call. But sometimes when you feel the momentum going the other way, you have to take a chance and I understand why they did it."

Versailles avoided the shutout on a 4-yard run Dalton Schmidt with 5 minutes left. It won't get any easier for the Tigers, who host powerful California next Friday, while Fulton plays at MMA.

"We had a hard week last week (the loss to Osage)," Kelley said. "We had some expectations at the beginning of the year and when you come out in your first game and lay an egg and get your tails beat, you have to regroup.

"We were able to do that and when you bounce back from a game like that, it makes you feel better about yourself."

In a big way.