• 66°
Hartselle Enquirer

Defense is the difference as Devils knock off Pennington

By Staff
Dan Vinson, Enquirer Correspondent
BLOUNTSVILLE – The Devil defense did it again.
The Falkville Blue Devils ended the regular season on a high note Friday night as they defeated the J. B. Pennington Tigers by a score of 9-6.
The Blue Devil defense came away with four interceptions to ruin homecoming for the Tigers. Falkville coupled a strong defensive effort with a potent passing attack to serve notice that they were heading into the playoffs with the ability and heart to compete.
When asked about his team's performance, Falkville coach Neil Estes said, "When you execute like they did, everything looks good. (Quarterback Jonathan) McNatt made very good decisions and made it easier for us to move the ball. When you are a freshman at the quarterback position you have to learn from your past mistakes, and he has done that."
The Blue Devil offense made very few mistakes to learn from on Friday night as McNatt was able to throw the ball to Jeremy Stiles and Cory Shadden in their first offensive series. Falkville was able to move the ball against the Tiger defense before finally having to punt it away.
The beginning of the second quarter saw the Blue Devil defense come up big for the first of many times during the game.
Pennington quarterback Eli Holcombe dropped back to pass on a third down situation and lofted the ball toward the end zone. Before a Tiger receiver could position himself to catch the pass Falkville defensive back Shadden batted the ball into the air and into the waiting arms of teammate Cody Simpson.
Falkville was able to move the ball down to the Pennington 10-yard line behind the gritty running of Blake Jump and McNatt while Simpson had 23 yards receiving on the drive. Jonathan Lindsey was called in to make a 27-yard field goal for the first points of the night.
Pennington's first offensive series of the second half did not turn out well for the Tigers.
Holcombe threw his second interception to Simpson, who was able to return the pick to the Tiger 38-yard line.
This time Falkville took full advantage of the turnover as Stiles took a Kevin Russell pass for 26 yards and into the end zone. The extra point was blocked by the Tigers keeping the score 9-0 in favor of the Blue Devils.
The lead quickly shrank back down on the next Tiger possession as Falkville made one of the few defensive mistakes of the night. Tiger running back Cody Hodge broke several tackles and ran for 51 yards and a touchdown, making the score 9-6.
The Tigers made a game of it as they were able to move the ball on their next possession. But as time was getting short and faced with fourth down, the Tigers tried a desperation fake punt. The result was an interception, this time by Jump.
On the last Tiger possession of the game, Falkville's Dustin Reeves put the final nail in the Tiger coffin with another interception. The Blue Devils were able to run out the clock and go into the playoffs with a victory.
Coach Estes has been able to guide Falkville to the playoffs in just his first year as head coach. He has turned around a Falkville program that was winless last year and made them playoff eligible this year.
Commenting on next week's first-round playoff opponent, Estes said, "We've got to batten down the hatches because Lexington is a powerhouse."

News

Christmas in the Park enjoyed in Falkville despite rain

News

Somerville woman arrested after threat made in Priceville

News

Officials: Escaped Morgan inmate apparently caused his own death

News

Majority leader Stadthagen sees strength in election of 26 republican legislators

News

Lacey’s Spring community fighting proposed rock quarry

News

Hartselle students participate in character expo

News

Authorities: Gifts in unlocked cars a tempting target so take preventive measures

At a Glance

Three arrested for theft of vehicle in Hartselle

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Christmas parade to be held Thursday  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Some concerned over new Hartselle superintendent hire  

At a Glance

Town of Falkville to hold Christmas in the Park Sunday

At a Glance

Hartselle Holiday Market returns Saturday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Old Hartselle post office to become event center, new home for chamber  

At a Glance

‘Have a Hart’ information session to be held Dec. 2

Morgan County

Future leader

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Spirit of Thanksgiving: Volunteers deliver 266 food bags on holiday for Meals on Wheels  

At a Glance

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Winter window wonderland  

At a Glance

Council to interview candidates for Parks and Rec director job  

Hartselle

Live nativity scene returns to First Christian Dec. 7-10

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local church prepares 400 Thanksgiving meals

News

HIS students help clean up effort at Mt. Tabor Cemetery 

News

Lovely landscape

x