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Hartselle Enquirer

Falkville defeats rival Danville 13-12 in fierce battle

By Staff
Paul Wilson, Enquirer Correspondent
The Danville Hawks and the Falkville Blue Devils kicked off the 2006 high school football season last Thursday night at Burl Vest Stadium in Falkville, although it took a little while to get going.
For the first three quarters the most exciting event in the game occurred when the power went out midway through the second quarter. But the fourth quarter was everything a football fan could want. The lead changed hands three times with Falkville emerging with a 13-12 victory over Danville.
The first half saw little in the way of offense. Each team would threaten one time apiece. Falkville put together its best drive of the half on its second possession of the game. Following a 36-yard John Dalton punt, the Blue Devils took over at their own 30. Falkville would drive deep into Hawk territory before an incomplete pass on fourth-and-1 at the Danville 3 gave the ball back to the Hawks. Key plays in the Falkville drive included passes of 25 and 21 yards from sophomore quarterback Jonathan McNatt to Cody Sewell and Shane Ellis. The pass to Ellis gave Falkville a first-and-10 at the Hawk 12. Blue Devil tailback Brandon Clark would gain 9 yards on first down but Falkville could get no closer.
The second quarter was dominated by Danville, but the Hawks could not get any points. After the Hawks’ defensive stand ended the opening quarter, Danville drove to the Falkville 39 before turning the ball over on downs at the Blue Devil 38. The key play in the Danville drive was a 36-yard run by senior quarterback John Dalton giving Danville a first-and-10 at midfield. The Hawks would get one more first down before giving the ball to the Blue Devils. Danville would threaten again late in the half, driving down to the Falkville 19 before time ran out.
The third quarter looked to be a carbon copy of the first half before Danville finally got on the scoreboard late in the period. The Hawks’ scoring drive started at midfield following a 38-yard Falkville punt. On second-and-11 Dalton found senior wideout Trent Potter open and the two connected for a 50-yard gain to the Blue Devil 1. Two plays later, Dalton scored on a 1-yard run. The Danville PAT was blocked but the Hawks had a 6-0 lead with 3:03 left in the third.
Falkville would take the lead on the ensuing drive, going 80 yards in nine plays. Blue Devil halfback Dustin Jump scored the Falkville touchdown on a 15-yard run. The extra point was good giving Falkville a 7-6 lead with 10:59 left in the game. McNatt and Sewell hooked up twice on the drive for a total of 41 yards.
The Falkville lead lasted all of 11 seconds as Dalton took the kickoff and raced 80 yards straight up the field to retake the lead for Danville. The Hawks’ try for two failed but with 10:48 left in the game Danville had a 12-7 lead.
Falkville got the last score of the night going 19 yards in three plays. The drive was set up by the Blue Devil defense as they forced and recovered a Danville fumble. Two runs by Dustin Jump gave Falkville a second-and-goal at the Danville 1. The Blue Devils were then called for illegal motion moving the ball back to the 6. The penalty did not seem to faze the Devils as on the next play McNatt found a wide-open Jace Wilemon for the Falkville touchdown. The Falkville try for two failed but Falkville led 13-12 with 6:38 left in the contest.
To Danville’s credit, the Hawks refused to roll over. Taking the ball at its 27, the Hawks used runs of 11 and 31 yards by Dalton and freshman Levi George to move deep into Falkville territory. On first down on the Blue Devil 29, Danville senior fullback Alex Randolph was stopped for no gain. An incompletion and 4-yard run by Dalton gave the Hawks a fourth-and-6 situation at the Falkville 25. Dalton dropped back and scrambled before lofting the ball towards the end zone. For a moment it looked as if the Hawks would get a touchdown but a Blue Devil defender tipped the football and McNatt intercepted the pass to end the Danville drive.
The Blue Devils then took the football over at their own 34 and used a power running game to run out the clock giving them their first victory over Danville since the 2002 season.
Each team will open region play tomorrow night as Danville will host Holly Pond and Falkville will host Westbrook Christian.

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