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UNDEFEATED! HJHS 8th grade beats Discovery Middle 34-22 to finish season 7-0

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
On a cold Tuesday night, the Hartselle Junior High eighth grade football team did the same thing they’ve done all year. They won a football game.
The Tigers knocked off previously-undefeated Discovery Middle School 34-22 at J.P. Cain Stadium, ending the Panthers’ own 14-game winning streak and giving Hartselle a North Alabama championship and a 7-0 record. Those eighth graders who played last season improved their HJHS mark to 14 straight wins, as the 2005 HJHS seventh grade team also went undefeated with a 7-0 record.
It wasn’t easy, as Hartselle had to come back from a 14-6 deficit at halftime to keep its winning streak intact.
Sieglock and four other players on this year’s team — Will Lang, Zach Maples, Will Tiffin and Alan Durham — have played together since youth football and their teams have won 43 straight football games. They have literally known nothing but winning.
Coming into Tuesday’s game, Discovery had not only put together a 6-0 record, but no opponent had held the Panther offense to less than 30 points. In its previous six wins, Discovery outscored its foes 258-76.
Discovery took an initial 8-0 lead in the second quarter but Hartselle responded with 1:42 left in the quarter when Lang found Dumas open on a fade route and Dumas did the rest, racing 50 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion (teams must go for two in eighth grade football) failed and Discovery added another touchdown with just 17 seconds left in the second quarter to make the score 14-6.
The Tigers showed no shock at that late score, responding with a scoring drive of their own on the first possession of the second half.
Lang again found Dumas, this time with the receiver scoring on a 17-yard touchdown on fourth down. Another two-point conversion failed and Discovery added a touchdown of its own to make the score 22-12 in favor of the Panthers.
It was all Tigers from there.
Hartselle bounced right back on its next possession, when Lang found Hayden Williams open for a 40-yard touchdown with 3:03 left in the third. Again the conversion attempt failed as the Tigers trimmed Discovery’s lead to 22-18.
After holding the Panthers four-and-out, Hartselle took over on the Discovery 37-yard line. On the very first play following the turnover, Malcolm Fossett followed his blocking and took it in for a touchdown, with Sieglock adding the two-point conversion run to put Hartselle in front for the first time, 26-22.
Discovery tried to mount a responding drive, but Sam Roberts’ interception of a Levi Randolph pass gave Hartselle the ball back as the fourth quarter began. The Tigers added one more touchdown on the night when Sieglock took it in from 4 yards out with 3:50 left in the game. The touchdown run was set up by a Lang-to-Williams pass that covered 32 yards.
Sieglock added the two-point conversion run to give the victorious Tigers a final 34-22 advantage.

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