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Hartselle Enquirer

Cullman-handling

By Staff
Bearcats outplay Tigers in all aspects in Hartselle’s 37-10 defeat to Cullman
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
CULLMAN — The strength of the Tigers failed them at the worst possible time.
Hartselle, which has been one of the strongest defensive teams in Region 8 this season, allowed 37 points to the Bearcats and gave up over 300 yards of total offense on the way to a 37-10 drubbing at Woodard Stadium.
The Tigers could have wrapped up a playoff berth with a victory, but instead now find their postseason destiny in the hands of another team. If Walker defeats Athens Friday night, Hartselle is out of the playoffs regardless of what the Tigers do in their last region game against Brewer.
Cullman’s Carson Williams completed 22-of-40 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown, becoming the first quarterback this season to break the 200-yard mark against Hartselle. In their previous seven games, the Tigers had allowed just 819 passing yards.
The Tigers came to Cullman shorthanded after losing their starting quarterback Wes Chenault for the rest of the season when he was injured in the Athens game. Godsey rotated quarterbacks Tony Weaver and Luke Bole, but both struggled to maintain any consistency on offense and each turned the ball over once — with Cullman converting both turnovers into touchdowns.
The Bearcats were especially strong against the Hartselle running game, holding the Tigers to only 92 yards rushing. Hartselle had been averaging 224 yards on the ground coming into Friday night’s loss.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard first when Ray Canafax connected on a 42-yard field goal a little more than midway through the first quarter. Cullman was quick to answer with a John Nyquist kick of 37 yards in the second quarter.
Perhaps the biggest turning point of the game came on Hartselle’s next possession. On first-and-10 from the Hartselle 42, Weaver fumbled and the ball was recovered by Cullman’s Dustin Reed. On the next play, Williams passed to Colton Terry streaking down the sideline for a 39-yard touchdown.
Cullman added another touchdown near the end of the first half on a 5-yard run by Cody McCroy.
The Tigers seemed re-energized at the start of the second half, forcing Cullman to punt out of bounds at its own 36-yard line and giving Hartselle great starting field position. The Tigers took advantage, putting together a 10-play drive before Weaver took the ball in from two yards out and Canafax’s extra point cut the Cullman lead to just a touchdown.
But the rest of the game was all Cullman, as the Bearcats scored on their next two offensive possessions. McCroy scored on a 15-yard run and Williams a 12-yard run as Cullman added 14 points in just a little under four minutes of play.
The Bearcats iced the game away with a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Hartselle tries to keep its playoff hopes alive Friday against Brewer at J.P. Cain Stadium in the final region game of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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