Tigers take Rain Bowl II

Hartselle defeats Cullman in familiar rain game

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

Hartselle defeats Cullman in familiar rain game

Last year, Hartselle made the trip to Cullman and outlasted the Bearcats 14-13 in a rainstorm. Most thought it couldn’t have gotten worse, but they were very wrong. As Hartselle welcomed Cullman for the first game of the 2016 season, Mother Nature showed that just when you think it can’t rain any harder, it can. However, despite the bad weather, J.P. Cain stadium was absolutely rocking as the two big-time rivals met for the first game of the season. Hartselle and Cullman aren’t used to playing in the first game as they are usually in the same region, but all it did was add to the excitement for both teams. To make the rivalry even bigger, this would be the 95th installment of the series with both teams tied and whoever wins would take the lead.

Hartselle took the ball first but started shaky and were forced to punt. Cullman would take advantage and drive down the field to the Hartselle 40. The Bearcats would then kick a 49-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Hartselle would shake the rust off on the next drive however, as Jordan Stover busted through for a huge 39 yard run to put the Tigers in Cullman territory. Hartselle would march to the Cullman four a few plays later thanks to a 14 yard catch from Seth Garner and a 12 yard run by Stover. Stover would knock it in a few plays later to give Hartselle the 7-3 lead.

The Tigers would keep the foot on the gas the next drive as Stover broke another big run of 27 yards to advance to the Cullman 23. Connor Landers would then take his turn as he bruised his way inside the goal line. Trevor Oakes would then find Garrett Wade for a 6-yard touchdown pass to put Hartselle up 14-3.

Hartselle look poised to take over the game before halftime as they were marching into Cullman territory, but then the rain hit and Cullman took advantage. The Bearcats would pick Oakes off at their own 7 and then proceed to march down the field while chewing all the clock in the process. Cullman would cut the score to 14-10 with 13 seconds left and send the game to halftime.

As the second half started, both teams started sluggish. However, it would be Hartselle that found their groove first as Oakes found Garner to convert a 3rd and 15 to the Cullman 40. Oakes would again find Garner to move to the Cullman one-yard line but an illegal receiver downfield would bring it back. Still, the Tigers would move back down to the 11 when Oakes connected with Luke Godsey to convert a 3rd and 13. Oakes would then find Wade for the second time to put Hartselle up 20-10.

Despite being down by 10 in the fourth, Cullman refused to lie down. The Bearcats would put together an impressive drive where the converted several fourth downs and finish it with a score to cut the lead to 20-17 with 6 min left. Knowing Hartselle needed a score to put the game out of reach, Stover put the team on his back on the next drive. Stover busted a few runs to push Hartselle to the Cullman 38. He finished the drive a few plays later with a 31 yard touchdown run to put Hartselle up 27-17. Stover had nothing else on his mind but scoring that touchdown. “We needed it” Stover said, “I knew we needed to score to win.”

The Hartselle defense would do their job on the next drive by stopping Cullman on fourth down to seal the game and give Hartselle the 27-17 win.

After the game, Head Coach Bob Godsey was very happy with his team’s performance. “I’m so proud of these guys” Godsey said, “They have been bought in since January. Hopefully this is the start of something special.”

Player of the game: Jordan Stover. When it rains as hard as it did, it makes the passing game very difficult. Luckily for the Tigers, Jordan Stover was ready to answer the call. When the rain made it to hard to pass, Stover stepped up to the plate and delivered big run after big run. He also answered the call when the Tigers needed a score to seal the game by busting a 31-yard touchdown run. Cullman will likely remember number 2 for a long time.

Editor's picks

Heartbreaking finish: Hartselle comes up a run short in state baseball finals

Decatur

Fallen Morgan County officers remembered, families honored  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle drops Game 1 to Hillcrest, needs two wins for state title

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Despite title loss, Hartselle thankful for state experience 

Editor's picks

Hartselle baseball legend dies

Breaking News

Hartselle baseball legend William Booth dies at 79

At a Glance

ALDOT patching area of Thompson Road tomorrow, Thursday

At a Glance

Spring-time market day in Hartselle scheduled for May 18 

Hartselle

New Crestline Elementary School welcomes students

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle industry closing, affecting more than 150 jobs  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Habitat for Humanity applications for homeownership available June 3 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

State seeking death penalty for Fort Payne woman accused of pushing victim off cliff

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Pilot of ultralight dies in Hartselle plane crash

Editor's picks

Northern lights visible from north Alabama

Hartselle

Hartselle students to attend Boys State

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

High scorers: 42 Hartselle students a part of ACT 30 plus club

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle projects budget surplus based on midyear numbers 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Planned Hartselle library already piquing interest 

Brewer

Students use practical life skills at Morgan County 4-H competition

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

After 13 years underground, the cicadas are coming 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle students collect pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House

MULTIMEDIA-FRONT PAGE

Priceville students design art for SRO’s police car 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Junior Thespians excel at state festival 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

$15k raised for community task force at annual banquet  

x