Tigers smash Trojans, 49-14
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
Muscle Shoals – The post-game locker room was not loud and boisterous. The team seemed to play without their usual emotion and fire. It was a workman like performance, but one good enough for a five-touchdown victory.
The Hartselle Tigers improved to 2-1 in 5A, Region 8 play with a 49-14 rout of Muscle Shoals.
"We got two quick easy scores and then I think we let up a little bit," Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey said. "I thought Muscle Shoals played harder than we did part of the first half, but then we got going again. I'm very proud of our defense for shutting them out in the second half."
The Tigers broke on top with 7:53 left in the first quarter on a six-yard run by quarterback Seth Watson. The drive covered 82 yards in eight plays. A 47-yard Watson to Chris Wiley pass was the key play in the march. With Patrick Whatley's point-after, Hartselle led 7-0.
A minute and a half later the Tigers upped their lead to two touchdowns when Justin Youngblood scored from three yards out. The seven-yard drive was set up by Quinn Dunlop's 36-yard interception return.
The home-standing Trojans then took control of the game and mounted a comeback with less than 10 minutes left in the opening half.
Muscle Shoals scored twice on Mark Oaks to Ken Cupp touchdown passes to knot the score at 14.
The Tigers then came to life again and scored just before the half on a one-yard run by fullback Gary Orr. The run ended a 12-play 73-yard drive.
The Tigers then pulled away on the opening drive of the second half. Youngblood broke the second play of the third quarter for a 48-yard gain to the Trojan seven-yard line.
Chris Wiley then scored the first of his two touchdowns on a reverse from the six-yard line.
Whatley's fourth point-after gave Hartselle a 28-14 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Wiley caught a 22-yard scoring pass from Watson with 11 minutes to play. With the point-after, Hartselle lead 35-14.
Korbyn Kelley scored the next Tiger touchdown, from nine yards out with just under five minutes to play.
Kelley set up his scoring run with a 35-yard dash to the Muscle Shoals 15.
Caleb Blanton closed out the scoring when he scooped up a fumble, caused by Michael Reed, and raced 55 yards to pay dirt with 3:20 left to play.
Ryan Canafax added his second point-after to make the final 49-14.
Youngblood went over the 100-yard rushing mark for the fourth time in five games, as he finished with 132 yards on 24 carries.
Wiley had his second 100-yard receiving game of the season with 121 yards on four catches.
On defense, Tiger lineman JD Glenn and Travis Lightle had one and one-half sacks each, while Joe McClanahan had another. Lightle, Dunlap and Wiley all batted down one pass attempt each. Chase Taylor had his first interception of the season in the second half..
"I think it's good when you can come out flat and still win big," Godsey said.
"It's Athens next week, so we'll need to play a lot better than we did tonight."