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Special to the Enquirer/Mariann Parker Hartselle’s No. 7 Addison Parker returns an interception during first-half action.

Hartselle dominates No. 10 Brooks for first win of season

The Tigers opened the home portion of their season by hosting Class 4A No. 10 Brooks at JP Cain Stadium Friday night.

Hartselle was coming off a disappointing 45-14 loss to open the season at Austin, while the Lions were coming off a 69-38 win over Lauderdale County.

The Tiger defense set the tone early in the game, as they forced a Brooks turnover on the first play. Jonathan Carnes intercepted Brooks quarterback Carson Daniel at the 40-yard line.

The interception set the Tigers up with good field position; however, the Brooks defense held tough to force Hartselle to try a 40-yard field goal that hit the crossbar.

The Tigers’ second possession came after the Hartselle defense forced the Lions into a three-and-out. The drive was set up by an Ian Bodine 19-yard punt return, giving the Tigers a starting line at the Brooks’ 41. 

After a holding penalty negated a five-yard gain, Cal George ran for a 40-yard touchdown on the next play, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 7:27 to go in the first quarter.

Following another Brooks three-and-out, the Tigers started their third possession of the first quarter in excellent field position at the Brooks 39-yard line. On first down, George hit Jayce Dubose for an 11-yard gain down to the 28-yard line. 

Following a five-yard Hartselle penalty that pushed the ball back to the 33, Brinten Barclay took over. He had two carries for 33 yards and a touchdown, leading to a 14-0 Tiger lead with 4:40 left in the first.

Brooks finally got on the board following a 14-play, 66-yard drive. Daniel hit Kobe Warden for a 16-yard touchdown with 10:24 to go in the second quarter. 

This made the score 14-7.

The Tigers would get on the board again following a five-play, 65-yard drive. 

The drive was highlighted by a George to Bodine connection for 28 yards and Barclay’s three carries for 27 yards; the touchdown was Barclay’s second of the night. 

With 9:06 to go in the second, Hartselle pushed the lead to 21-7.

The Lions’ offense seemed to be getting in a nice rhythm on the next possession. After starting on their own 19-yard line, the Lions were once again marching downfield on the Tiger defense. 

After Brooks gained 59 yards on seven plays, however, Addison Parker shut the drive down with an interception of Daniel that he returned to the 20-yard line.

A personal foul penalty forced the Tigers to start from their own 11-yard line. Hartselle moved the ball out to the 26-yard line following a George pass to Za Fletcher, but another Tiger personal foul penalty moved the ball back to the 12-yard line. 

On the next play, George hit Bodine on a crossing pattern for an 88-yard touchdown pass and a 28-7 lead with 2:58 to go before halftime.

The Tigers forced another Brooks turnover when Daniel fumbled the ball at the Lions’ 35-yard line. Hartselle scored five plays later, as Barclay ran 17 yards for his third touchdown of the night, giving the Tigers a 35-7 lead with 1:40 to go.

Hartselle opened the second half with a 10-play, 89-yard scoring drive that took four minutes off the clock. 

The Tigers’ ground game dominated the drive with 61 yards on seven carries, highlighted by a George 27-yard touchdown run that gave Hartselle a 42-7 lead with 7:55 to go in the third.

Following another short Brooks drive, the Tigers took over at their own 23-yard line. This drive saw the Hartselle passing attack lead the Tigers downfield. 

George was 3 of 4 for 54 yards. His 36-yard touchdown to Fletcher was his second TD pass of the game, and it gave the Tigers their final points of the night and a 49-7 lead with 1:30 to go in the third quarter.

Brooks scored three times in the fourth quarter to make the final score 49-29. 

Two of the Lions’ scores came off Hartselle turnovers – an interception returned for a touchdown and a fumble inside the Tigers’ 20-yard line.

The Tigers had a balanced night offensively, as they gained 217 yards on the ground with five touchdowns and 226 yards through the air and two touchdowns. The Tigers outgained the Brooks offense 443 to 273.

Stars of the game

  • George finished with 303 yards of total offense, 226 passing and two touchdowns, plus 77 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
  • Barclay finished with 95 yards rushing on 10 carries for 9.5 yards per carry average and three touchdowns.
  • Bodine had three catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.

Next week

Hartselle (1-1) travels to Athens (0-1) to open Class 6A Region 7 action.

Athens is coming off a 21-14 loss to Gardendale Friday night.