Tigers shutout Pats, 42-0
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
FLORETTE – A home playoff game is coming closer to being a reality for the Hartselle Tigers after Friday's 42-0 rout of the Brewer Patriots.
The victory was the fifth in six region games for Hartselle and moves them within one win of clinching home field advantage for the opening round of the AHSAA playoffs.
"We accomplished what we wanted to do tonight. Coming here and getting a win," Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey said.
"We're one win closer to our goal (a home playoff game).
"I think we've also built on the momentum of the past two weeks."
The Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their opening drive when Seth Watson connected with Joe Walter Norris on a 35-yard scoring pass.
Patrick Whatley added the point-after.
On the next Hartselle possession, the Tigers fumbled the ball away after driving to the Patriots 36-yard line.
With 10:51 remaining until the half, Justin Youngblood scored on a nine-yard run to end a seven-play 80-yard drive all on the ground. With the point-after, the Tigers lead by 14 and the offensive starters were through for the night.
Godsey began substituting freely after the score.
Hartselle used four quarterbacks and 12 different Tigers carried the ball, amassing 311 yards rushing.
"Letting the young guys work was good," Godsey said.
"They work hard in practice every day and it's a reward to give them some playing time.
"I'm happy to get a lot of young guys some work tonight and see them contribute."
Hartselle's defense would provide the game's next points when Tiger linebacker Johnny "Moo Moo" Jones picked up a fumble and went 24 yards to the end zone.
The fumble was caused by Michael Scott and Travis Lightle.
Whatley added his third point-after for a 21-point cushion with nine minutes remaining in the opening half.
Hartselle drove 74 yards in 11 plays to take a four-touchdown lead into the half. Gary Orr scored from the one-yard line with just over three minutes to play in the half.
With the point-after, Hartselle led 28-0.
Orr gained 54 yards on six carries during the drive.
Youngblood brought the crowd to its feet, when he returned the second-half kickoff 98 yards for a score.
Ray Canafax added the point-after for a 35-point Tiger lead.
Korbyn Kelley closed out the scoring when he hit paydirt from 10 yards out with 6:11 left in the third quarter.
Canafax added his second point-after for the 42-0 final.
The Tigers recorded their first shutout of the season and extended their scoreless quarters string to six.
Kelley's run followed a 37-yard interception return by cornerback Quinn Dunlap to the Brewer 20-yard line.
The Tiger defense limited the Pats to only 136 yards of total offense.
The win upped the Tiger's record to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in 5A, Region 8 play. Hartselle can clinch a home game in the first round of the state playoffs with a win at Walker on Oct. 29.The Vikings are 5-3 overall and 4-2 in region play.