PHS opens stadium in style
Joe Holmes, Enquirer Correspondent
Priceville – With a standing-room only crowd of more than 2,000 fans looking on, Priceville christened its new stadium Friday night with an impressive 33-14 win over visiting Hanceville.
The visitors struck first blood on the opening drive of the game when Josh Hunter connected with Rodney Hall from 35 yards out. Chris Townes' point-after failed, putting Hanceville up 6-0 at the 8:22 mark of the first quarter.
It took a defensive gem to get the Priceville offense cranked up. Cornerback Cody Allen put the Bulldogs in business with a beautifully timed interception of Hunter then came in at tailback to pick up 22 yards on successive carries.
Brad Helton put Priceville on the board with a 26-yard jaunt.
Then with the conversion the score was 7-6 with 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
Noting the fact Priceville ran for 318 yards, Bulldog head coach Marty Chambers said he his offensive line took over the contest.
"That made the difference in the game," he said. "We got down early, but the boys just kept fighting and turned it around."
Again the Bulldog defense did its part when Dale Taylor partially blocked a Zach Twilley punt deep in Hanceville territory.
Taylor then took it in from 11 yards out with 9:54 left in the first half. Helton's point-after attempt was blocked to leave the score at Priceville 13, Hanceville 6.
A fumble recovery by Dustin Hamilton put the Priceville offense back on the field seconds later at the Hanceville 17-yard-line.
On fourth-and-eight, Hunter Teague reeled in the screen pass from quarterback Zach Fairbanks from 15 yards out to post Priceville's third TD of the evening.
This time Helton's point-after split the uprights and Priceville commanded a 20-6 lead with 8:41 left in the first half.
Looking to get on track, Hanceville's Hunter went to the air again, only to have Helton pick off the pass attempt and return it to the visitors' 28-yard line. Teague took it in from the two-yard line at the 6:12 mark of the first half. The point-after failed, but Priceville's lead stood at 26-6.
David Horton's fumble recovery set the Bulldogs up at mid-field, but Hanceville's Corey Copeland intercepted a deflected Fairbanks pass to kill the Bulldog drive.
The visitors would score with just 28 seconds left in the half on a five-yard quarterback keeper by Hunter. Townes was good on the point-after to draw Hanceville to within 12 points at 26-14.
Allen led all rushers with 147 yards on 14 carries. Teague added 56 yards on 15 carries with two rushing and one receiving TD. Fairbanks completed five-of-16 pass attempts for 46 yards with one TD and one interception.