GATESVILLE — Cheers erupted in McKamie Stadium when the Gatesville Hornets won against the previously undefeated Hillsboro Eagles 22-16 Friday in their homecoming game.

The Hornets haven’t won a game since 2018, when they beat China Spring 29-25. Head coach Luke Howard is in his second season with the Hornets and was ecstatic about his first win at the helm of the team.

“It obviously feels great,” Howard said. “These guys bought into the process all the way back into last year. It was such a rough year. It’s obviously rewarding and all the credit to these guys.”

The score was tied 9-9 for most of the first half until Gatesville junior wide receiver Logan Edwards (11) ran in a touchdown for the Hornets with 46 seconds left in the second quarter.

Though they had the lead at halftime, Howard knew they’d have to keep their heads in the game to come out on the other side with a win against the Eagles.

“Let’s clean it up and go play. We felt like if we just go execute every play, we’ve got a great chance, so that was just the message,” Howard said. “Let’s play a clean football game, go be physical, run the football and let’s come away with this thing.”

A touchdown by Edwards again in the second half was the last that the Hornets would get for the game, but their defense only allowed the Eagles one more touchdown in the second half securing their win.

Though it was their best game this season, Howard admitted that there were several mistakes in the first half that he and the Hornets will be working on for their next game.

“We had a lot of opportunities that we missed on, but we still had the lead at halftime, so that was obviously refreshing,” Howard said. “Even though we didn’t play great, we had an opportunity to win the football game, and we found a way to get it done.”

Football season schedules are ever changing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuesday, according to Gatesville Independent Sschool District’s Twitter page, their game this week against Lampasas was cancelled.

“This week’s varsity football game at Lampasas has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns among LHS players. Gatesville ISD was notified Monday night about the situation, and out of caution the decision to cancel Friday’s game was made by Lampasas ISD officials.”

The Hornets plan to take on the Salado Eagles next week on Oct. 2 in Eagle Stadium.