Tigers run for home
Tigers clinch home playoff game
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
JASPER – They're coming back home. The seniors haven't played their last home game this season, after all.
The Hartselle Tigers wrapped up second place in 5A, Region 8 with a 32-10 win over the Walker Vikings. The win assured the Tigers a home playoff game on Nov. 12.
"Anytime you come to Walker and win, that's an accomplishment," Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey said. "Ask any coach in Alabama what's one of the toughest places to get a win and they'll say Walker. The Viking's are a good defensive team and you don't normally get 30 points on them. So, I think you have to say our guys did a great job tonight. "
Senior running back Justin Youngblood led the way with 248 yards rushing and three touchdowns, in addition to returning a kickoff 96 yards for a fourth score.
Hartselle opened the game moving 67 yards in 13 plays to take a 6-0 lead when Youngblood scored from 13 yards out. The kick for point-after failed.
The Tigers added a safety on the next drive. Hartselle forced a Walker punt, but the snap sailed over the head of punter Cory Boshield and bounded toward the end zone. Boshield ran back and kicked the ball out of the end zone from his own two-yard line. The play gave the Tigers an eight-point lead.
Hartselle drove 62 yards in 11 plays after the ensuing free kick. The drive stalled at the Viking 12-yard line. Ray Canafax then connected on a 29-yard field goal to push the Tiger lead to 11-0 early in the second quarter.
The Vikings answered with a safety of their own just before the half.
With 2:11 remaining until the intermission, a shotgun snap sailed over the head of Seth Watson from the 15-yard line. Watson scrambled back and fell on the ball as it crossed the goal line.
Hartselle extended their lead on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, when Youngblood got loose for a 61-yard touchdown run. Canafax's point-after gave Hartselle an 18-2 lead.
The Vikings responded on the next drive moving 63 yards in six plays. The touchdown came on a three-yard run by Sylvester Stewart.
Colton Harris ran in the two-point conversion, cutting the lead to 18-10 with 6:21 left in the third.
The Hartselle special teams provided the backbreaking play on the ensuing kickoff when Youngblood took the kick at his own four-yard line and broke to the right sideline, running untouched for his third score of the night. With the point-after, Hartselle led 25-10.
Youngblood added a 45-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers finished the night with 314 yards rushing, while holding the Vikings to 99 yards on the ground.
Youngblood upped his season rushing total to 1,453 yards and 19 touchdowns.
In addition, he has scored two touchdowns on kickoff returns and another on a pass reception, bringing his season total to 22 scores.
The victory improves Hartselle record to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in Region 8. Walker slipped to 5-4 overall and 4-3 in region play.
The Tigers will host the No. 3 seed out of 5A, Region 6 on Nov. 12.
"Wrapping up home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs is an outstanding achievement for our guys," Godsey said.
Hartselle 8 3 14 7 – 32
Walker 0 2 8 0 – 10
1st Quarter –
Hartselle – Justin Youngblood 13-yard run (kick failed), 5:53, 6-0
Hartselle – Safety ball snapped out of end zone, 4:15, 8-0
2nd Quarter –
Hartselle – Ray Canafax 29-yard field goal, 10:22, 11-0
Walker – Safety, Seth Watson falls on ball in end zone, 2:11, 11-2
3rd Quarter –
Hartselle – Youngblood 61-yard run (Canafax kick), 11:42, 18-2
Walker – Sylvester Stewart three-yard run (Colton Harris run), 6:21, 18-10
Hartselle – Youngblood 93-yard kickoff return (Canafax kick), 6:07, 25-10
4th Quarter –
Hartselle – Youngblood 45-yard run (Canafax kick), 11:32, 32-10
17 First downs 11
38-314 Rushing 27-99
337 Total yards 237
23 Pass yards 138
8-3-1 A-C-I 34-13-1
2-42.5 Punts 4-46.3
2-0 Fumbles/Lost 1-0
10-110 Penalty 7-60
Hartselle – Justin Youngblood 24-248-3 TDs, Seth Watson 3-37, Korbyn Kelly 3-16, Spencer Orr 2-9, Gary Orr 2-4
Walker – Josh Walls 11-55, Sylvester Stewart 10-33-TD
Hartselle – Watson 3-8-1-23 yards
Walker – Walls 13-34-1 138 yards
Hartselle – Hartselle – Gary Orr 2-13, Justin Billings 1-10
Walker – Ryan Killingsworth 3-48, Chad Daniels 2-50, James King 2-29, Sylvester Stewart 2-20