Tigers claim victory in preseason game
Tonight's game against Austin High is for real
Lindsay Vaught, Sports Correspondent
STEVENSON – The Hartselle Tigers got their first taste of game action with a preseason jamboree game against the number three-ranked team in 4A, the North Jackson Chiefs at R.D. Hicks stadium in Stevenson last Friday night.
Final scores don't mean much in preseason games but for the record Hartselle won 8-6 with sophomore Michael Scott scoring the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter, long after the starting units for both teams had retired.
Both teams' starters went the first half that ended with North Jackson leading 6-0. Hartselle's offense had little success on the ground, running mostly off tackle and end sweeps. Jeremy Orr gained only 18 yards on 9 carries.
Held to only 34 yards rushing in the first half, the Tigers moved the ball through the air as quarterback Kevin Jones connected with Brad Spivey over the middle for a 16 yard gain in the second quarter. The Tigers would later turnover the ball on downs deep in North Jackson territory.
Jones finished the night with 22 yards passing on 5 completions.
Head coach Mike Smith said he was satisfied with the first half performance of his first unit.
"I wanted to see how my quarterback would play under the lights, and overall I'm pleased, considering we didn't prepare for this team," Smith said. "They gave us a lot of looks. I didn't see him (Jones) make any bad decisions and he made some checks at the line of scrimmage. We kept the offense basic, didn't want to show much so we only ran about four or five different plays. What I'm looking for in these games is blocking, tackling, and getting after somebody. I thought we had very good effort.
"Winning a jamboree game is not important, what I'm looking for is competing and being physical."
Several players stood out on defense. Linebacker Juwan Ward registered seven tackles and blocked an extra point while defensive back Trey Clark had an interception to thwart a North Jackson drive. The only scoring of the half came with 33 seconds left when North Jackson fullback Clayton Seale went over from 3 yards out to cap an 8-play, 62 yard drive.
Hartselle linebacker Ben Atchinson, who made a big hit on the first play from scrimmage, perhaps spoke for many when he said he is glad the season is finally here.
"A good hit always feels great, especially when it's against another team and not our first team offense", he said.
One starter did not play. Junior tailback Isiah Herring, who is still rehabbing a shoulder, was held out as a precaution. See HERRING, B-3