Devils Lake Firebirds hold Turtle Mountain Community High School below its averages, beat the Braves 27-8.

Senior running back Joey Hornstein got into a rhythm Friday night. But it was the offensive line who gave him the instruments.

“Turtle Mountain is a big team and we knew it was going to be hard to run on them so for our offensive line (Jack Kuntz, Robert Serumgard, Isaak Brown, Collin Schneider and Kyle Gratton), and tight end (Jacob Andrews), to control the line of scrimmage the way they did was tremendous to see. That was our game plan and they did a great job executing it,” said Devils Lake head coach Jake Wateland.

Hornstein rushed for 195 yards, scored four times and the Firebirds defeated Turtle Mountain Community High School 27-8 on Military Appreciation night from Roller Field.

“Last week didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” Wateland began referring to the 39-19 loss to Central Cass on Aug. 31. “The guys knew that we didn’t play to the standard we expect so I was curious to see how we were going to rebound this week.

“We had an excellent week of practice, the guys worked their butts off and it showed tonight.”

The Firebirds (2-1) took their opening drive 78 yards on 13 plays before Hornstein waltz from 2 yards out that gave Devils Lake the early 6-0 lead. On their next possession, the Firebirds needed just six plays to go 95 yards, capped off by Hornstein’s second touchdown of the night to put Devils Lake up 12-0.

It only took three runs, including the touchdown and the two-point conversion, to put the Firebirds up 20-0 after a TMCHS shanked punt out of bounds gave the Firebirds the possession at the Braves’ 5. Hornstein’s final touchdown, a 55 yard sprint along the sideline, to open the second half put TMCHS away.

For the game, the Firebirds rushed for 280 yards as a team.

“For us, we just have to keep building. … We’ll enjoy this win this week, get refocused and have another great week of practice (this) week,” Wateland said.

The Braves (2-1) who came into the game averaging 303 yards rushing per, was held to just 89 on the ground and their leading rusher, Levi Lafountain, rushed for 71 yards, 134 yards below his average. Isaiah Samuelson, who replaced starting quarterback Keisin Peltier who sustained an injury, was 6 for 8 for 55 yards passing and scored a 4 yard rushing touchdown.

Samuelson also had an interception for TMCHS.

Chris Harris can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ