HATTON — Clinging to a 2-point lead, Hatton coach Michael Hathorne put the game in the hands of his offensive line, and his team ground out a 16-play scoring drive to seal a 35-27 homecoming win over region rival Colbert Heights.
Trailing 29-20 at the half, Colbert Heights (1-6, 1-4 Class 2A Region 8) scored near the end of the third quarter on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Cade Claunch to Blake Fisher to make the score 29-27 going into the final quarter.
Hatton (3-4, 3-2) then mounted a 16-play, 75-yard drive, all running plays, 13 of which were runs by Romie Senior. Shadoe Stephenson scored on a 6-yard touchdown run, and Hatton then stopped one last Colbert Heights drive to preserve the win.
“We felt good from the beginning about our running game,” Hathorne said. “On that last drive, we got in a formation where we had them out-numbered a little, and we just blocked it well up front. I have a lot of confidence in our offensive line.”
The teams traded first-quarter touchdowns, and Hatton scored on back-to-back drives to open the second quarter and jump out to a 21-7 lead. But Colbert Heights came back, as Claunch throwing two more touchdowns to Fisher on back-to-back possessions, to make the score 21-20. Hatton responded with a 42-yard touchdown pass of its own from Dakota Bishop to Dylan Hughes, and converted a two-point play to take a 9-point lead into halftime.
“We talked at halftime about finding their receivers,” Hathorne said. “The first half we had been looking at the quarterback too much. We did a better job in the second half and were able to hold them to just one score. Our kids are fighters, to the end.”
PHIL CAMPBELL — The Golden Bears (4-3, 3-2) benefitted from five Bobcat turnovers, including four fumbles, two of which came on kickoff returns. Lexington also scored a safety when a bad snap by Phil Campbell sailed through the end zone, and recovered a fumble in the end zone for another touchdown.
Lexington’s John Taylor Greer rushed for 89 yards on 10 carries – all in the first half. Greer also opened the scoring on a 6-yard TD run with 7:45 to play in the first quarter.
Peyton Davis scored on touchdowns of 38 and 36 yards, while Matthew Putman recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for another Golden Bear touchdown.
Hunter Killen returned the second half kickoff 55 yards for a touchdown, and Dakota Saint scored on a 3-yard run late in the game.
Phil Campbell (2-5, 1-4) got on the board with 2 seconds to play on a 1-yard run by Jacob Hamilton.
RED BAY — Red Bay shook off
an early Cherokee touchdown to score 41 unanswered points en route to its fourth consecutive region victory.
Matt Belue ran for 82 yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns as the Tigers (4-3, 4-1) kept themselves in prime position to have home field advantage in the playoffs. With the win, the Tigers remain second in the region.
Cherokee (2-4, 0-5) scored on the opening kickoff with a 90-yard return by Jeffrey Patrick. The Indians didn’t score again until the fourth quarter when David Alfaro scored on a 15-yard run.
Meanwhile Red Bay racked up 305 yards of offence and held Cherokee to only 77 yards.
Trailing 7-0, Steven Wood scored on runs of two and 12 yards for the Tigers, before Belue’s 15-yard run made it 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Belue had a 2-yard scoring run in the second and then caught a 20-yard screen pass from Justin Payne before the half.
Tyler Reach got Red Bay’s final score with a 2-yard run in the third quarter.