The Hinesville Hurricanes couldn’t weather their own storm Saturday and dropped their preseason game, 18-12, to the visiting Beaufort Hornets.
But the defending Southeaster American Football League champion Hurricanes didn’t go quietly, staging a second-half comeback bid before running out of time.
Both teams were a bit rusty and the rain made the pigskin slippery, which led both quarterbacks to fumble snaps on their respective opening possessions.
Beaufort scored first after recovering a Hurricanes fumble at Hinesville’s 15-yard line. The Hornets quarterback fumbled the snap but was able to grab it the ball on a bounce and run it in for a touchdown.
In the second quarter, Hurricane Joseph Matavao stormed through three defenders and into the end zone. But a penalty flag negated the touchdown and Hineville turned over the ball on downs.
The Hornets added another touchdown to lead, 12-0, at halftime.
In the third quarter, Matavao’s 10-yard run capped a Hinesville drive and cut the visitor’s lead to 12-6.
Beaufort responded with a touchdown to go up, 18-6. Hinesville quarterback Frank Troupe hit Tyrone Gaines in the corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter to pull the Hurricanes to within 18-12, but time ran out.
The Hurricanes’ regular season begins June 18 against the Darlington Warriors. The game is at 7 p.m. at Long Bell Stadium at the Liberty County Recreation Department.