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Hartselle loses heartbreaker at Muscle Shoals

MUSCLE SHOALS – Hartselle erased a 14-point deficit in the final 7:15 of regulation, but Muscle Shoals made the plays in the two overtimes to escape with a 36-28 win.

Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey said his team left it all on the field once again, but his team just didn’t do enough to come out with the win.

“A lot of teams would have given up when they got down 21-7, but they didn’t quit,” Godsey said. “We didn’t play well in the second and third quarters. Maybe we need to try being the team that’s up 21-7 instead of having to come back.”

Hartselle (4-2, 1-2) got on the board first with a 12-yard touchdown on Jake Tiffin’s 12-yard pass to Jamal Jackson. Cody Salem added the extra point to put the Tigers up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Muscle Shoals would take a 14-7 lead at the half, thanks to two huge scoring plays. The first came on a 52-yard run on the option to the left side. The second was a 60-yard pass that somehow made it to a Trojan receiver through three Hartselle defenders.

The Trojans added their final score of regulation, capping a 48-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown.

Hartselle finally got its offense going in the fourth quarter. The Tigers had a promising drive end with an interception at the Muscle Shoals 5.

The Tigers forced a three-and-out and got the ball at the Trojan 32 with 7:15 to play. On fourth-and-6, Tiffin found Jaylan Jackson for a 26-yard touchdown strike, cutting the advantage to 21-14 with 5:17 left in the quarter.

After forcing Muscle Shoals to punt, the Tigers were backed up on their own 2-yard line with 2:28 left on the clock. Hartselle picked up first downs thanks two a pair of pass interference penalties.

Tiffin later hooked up with Tobias Mitchell to give Hartselle a first down at the Trojan 30 with a minute to play. Tiffin then hooked up with Jamal Jackson for the touchdown on the next play.

Salem’s extra point kick knotted the score at 21 with 42.9 seconds to play.

Hartselle actually had an opportunity to win the game in regulation after recovering a Muscle Shoals fumble at the Hartselle 48 with 33.2 to go.

However, Hartselle could only drive to 26 before time ran out on the clock.

In the first overtime, Easterling put Hartselle up 28-21 with a 2-yard touchdown.

The Trojans answered with a 2-yard touchdown of its own and then scored on its possession of double overtime. After Hartselle was called for being offside, the Trojans ran in the two-point conversion for the eight-point lead.

However, the Tigers were unable to answer to extend the game to a third overtime.

The Tigers will look to rebound as they host Cullman at J.P. Cain Stadium next week.