Essex comes up just short in Fruitdale

FRUITDALE — John Essex came up just short in its first region game of the season Friday, falling to Fruitdale 34-32.

The Hornets led most of the game, taking an 18-16 lead into the locker room at half time before watching Fruitdale get a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.

“We should have won it,” John Essex head coach Jerome Antone said. “The kids played hard. I’m telling you the 13 kids we’ve got, they played hard. I’m proud of them. We’re going to be alright.”

Markiese Tucker paced the Hornets with 148 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Demarcus Bennett added 98 yards and a pair of scores on 14 carries.

Dimtri Brock caught four passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Cedric Cooks went 13-for-18 through the air for 219 yards and two scores.

The Hornets (1-1) host Marengo next week.