Tigers claw back
Hartselle scores 5 unanswered goals to beat Decatur, advance to Morgan County final
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Just call them the Comeback Cats.
Down 4-0 in the first half, the Tigers staged an uncanny rally by scoring five unanswered goals to defeat Decatur 5-4 on the last day of pool play Saturday. The Tigers also defeated West Morgan 7-0, giving Hartselle enough points to advance to the championship game against Austin Tuesday at 7 p.m. Decatur and Austin faced off in the girls' championship game Monday night.
Josh Newsome got the ball rolling for Hartselle against Decatur, scoring two of the first two Tigers goals with Nikolas Gajardo scoring the other. The three goals were all scored in the final five minutes of the first half and gave Hartselle life and a fresh burst of confidence as it went into halftime down just 4-3.
"That game was just unreal," Hartselle coach Darrell Harris said. "I made a few changes with our keeper and subbed in a few younger guys and all of a sudden we started playing."
The Tigers scored the equalizer on an Aaron Burleson goal with five minutes left in the game and Mike Walker scored the winner with just minutes to go. Burleson had been out for the past two weeks with an injury and the Decatur game was his first back with the team since returning from the injury.
The comeback against Decatur could have been for naught if Hartselle had lost its final game against West Morgan, but the Tigers scored early and often as they put away the Rebels.
"We went up 2-0 early and I was able to sub in some guys from the JV team and let kids play some new positions," Harris said. "It was one of those games where the kids were really able to have some fun out there."
Walker, Gajardo, Chase Taylor, Aslan Davis, Whitt Young, Josh Harris and Tyler Bennich scored goals for Hartselle in the win.
Hartselle is currently locked into third place in Section 8 behind Athens and Cullman and will miss the playoffs this year. Harris said that his team is looking to the Morgan County championship as "our playoff game for this year."
The championship game between Austin and Hartselle was not completed at press time. Check next week's issue of the Enquirer for coverage of the game.
Other Saturday pool play scores: (Boys) Austin 1, Brewer 1; Brewer 0, Decatur 0; Priceville 4, West Morgan 1; Austin 9, Priceville 0. (Girls) Decatur 2, Brewer 0; Austin 2, Priceville 0; Hartselle 3, Priceville 1; Friday scores (Boys) Decatur 3, Priceville 1. (Girls) Decatur 7, Priceville 0; Decatur 7, Priceville 0; Thursday scores (Boys) Hartselle 3, Brewer 1; Decatur 3, Priceville 1. (Girls) Austin 2, Brewer 1; Hartselle 8, West Morgan 0; Brewer 5, West Morgan 0; April 18 scores (Boys) Brewer 8, West Morgan 0; Hartselle 2, Priceville 1; Brewer 2, Priceville 0; Austin 3, Hartselle 1. (Girls) Brewer 2, Hartselle 2; Priceville 1, West Morgan 0; Brewer 3, Priceville 1; Austin 3, Hartselle 1.