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Hartselle handles Panthers in jamboree

HUNTSVILLE – Hartselle scored three unanswered touchdowns in the first half Friday night on the way to a 26-13 victory over Huntsville at Milton Frank Stadium.
Malcom Fossett scored on runs of 1 and 4 yards and Blaze Lawrimore added a touchdown reception on a pass from Will Lang to stake a 20-6 halftime lead.
Both teams were able to play reserves in the second half to help build depth for the 2010 season that opens this week. Hartselle will host Athens Friday night at J.P. Cain in a matchup of former Class 5A, Region 8 opponents.
The Tigers will enter the 2010 season ranked sixth in the state in Class 5A after reaching the quarterfinals three times in four years.
The jamboree was Hartselle’s first action since the season ended with loss to McAdory in the quarterfinals. The Tigers did not play a spring game.
For the Tigers, the win was nice Friday, but the Hartselle coaching staff was also looking at limiting mistakes and getting players in the right positions.
“Any time the scoreboard is on you want to win the game,” said Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey. “We will be able to learn a lot from the film and that will help us more than anything.
“We still have a long way to go, but I was pleased with our effort. We’ve got a young football team and we’ve got a long way to go.”
Hartselle is coming off a 10-3 season and will have plenty of new faces in starting roles this season. Part of the mission in the jamboree was getting to see players in game-type situations, especially the younger players.
“I really saw a little bit of everything,” Godsey said. “We were really fortunate that we were able to play a lot of young kids. That was a good thing.”
Hartselle overcame a pair of fumbles in the first half that led to an early Huntsville field goal.
“After those two early turnovers, our defense was able to hold Huntsville to just a field goal,” Godsey said. “On one, our offense responded and drove the length of the field and scored.
“Those are things that will help you down the road.”
After the first-quarter Huntsville field goal, Hartselle answered with a drive that was capped by Fossett’s first touchdown that gave the Tigers a 6-3 advantage.
Lang and Lawrimore teamed up on a 5-yard touchdown pass in the middle of the end zone four minutes later to add to the lead.
In the second quarter, Hartselle added a 1-yard touchdown run by Fossett to push the lead to 20-6.
Hartselle’s final score of the night came on a 10-yard touchdown run by Blake Slayton in the second half.
Huntsville’s reserves scored with 3:23 remaining to cut the final margin to 26-13.