• 72°
Hartselle Enquirer

Overmatched: Cullman QB passes for 4 TDs as Tigers fall to 1-4

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
CULLMAN – A tough start to the season got even tougher Friday night as the Cullman Bearcats beat up Hartselle 45-20 to drop the Tigers to 1-4 on the season. Cullman (5-0) raced out to a 14-0 lead just five minutes in and never allowed Hartselle to get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
"We had as good a week of practice as we've had all year," Hartselle coach Bob Godsey said. "I thought we were ready, but we just don't have much margin for error. We got down early and tried several times to get back into it and we just couldn't get it done."
The Bearcats won despite injuries to several key players, most notably starting running back Michael Timmons. But Cullman's running game did not suffer as running back Jacob Smith (97 yards on 19 carries) and sophomore backup quarterback Bryan Steele (69 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns) helped pace the Bearcats to 198 rushing yards.
It was the passing game where the Bearcats did most of their damage, however. Junior quarterback Tyler Caldwell threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns, including three to senior wide receiver Gavin Ellis. Ellis, who is listed in the Cullman program as 6-foot-6, finished with nine catches for 163 yards and proved a tough mismatch all night long for Hartselle's secondary.
Ellis delivered a major blow to Hartselle's hopes when he caught a 36-yard Hail Mary pass as time expired in the first half to put Cullman up 28-7. He also had touchdown catches of 38 and 4 yards.
"With five or six seconds to go we felt like we had nothing to lose and we should take a shot," Cullman coach Mark Britton said. "We wanted to be aggressive and it worked out for us.
"We were missing a couple of guys but everyone did a little extra tonight to make up for those losses."
Down 14-0 after one quarter, Hartselle broke onto the scoreboard when Montrell Murphy ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 9:24 remaining in the first half. Murphy had a productive night for the Tigers, finishing with 77 yards on 13 carries.
Cullman stretched the lead back to 14 points on its next possession, with Steele scoring from 2 yards out with 5:28 left in the second quarter.
Cullman's Justin Self intercepted a Luke Bole pass at the Hartselle 31 in the third quarter and the Bearcats took advantage of the turnover. Caldwell found Christopher Fisher – another big target at 6-foot-4 – open for a 14-yard touchdown with 4:12 left in the third quarter as Cullman increased its lead to 35-7.
It didn't take Hartselle long to respond. On the first play from scrimmage in the Tigers' next drive, Bole found senior Tony Weaver open on a short pass in the flat and Weaver followed strong blocking for a 62-yard touchdown.
Hartselle's final touchdown came with 9:26 left in the fourth quarter when the Tigers ran a nifty reverse play. Bole took the snap and handed off to Murphy, who then handed off to Marquez Jones for a 7-yard touchdown. The extra point failed and Hartselle trailed 38-20.
The Tigers tried an onside kick but it was recovered by Steele.
The Bearcats then put together an eight-play drive with Ellis scoring on a 4-yard reception.
Hartselle hosts Brewer for homecoming this Friday night at J.P. Cain Stadium as the Tigers try to rebound with a strong second half of the 2007 season. Despite the 1-4 start, Hartselle can still qualify for the playoffs with wins in its next three region games – at home against Brewer (1-2 in Region 8) and Athens (2-1) and on the road at J.O. Johnson (1-2).
"We can still accomplish what we want to accomplish which is getting in the playoffs," Godsey said. "We've got three big games coming up right here, and it's like I told (the team) – we're just going to find out simply what we're made of. There's no talking; there's nothing left to be said or done. We either go out and get it done these next three games or we don't and sit at home during the playoffs. It's just that simple."

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Goodbye to a good boy

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

College Street Players to present Newsies: The Broadway Musical 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle adds two police officers 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle bomb threat deemed hoax

Editor's picks

At 90, Carl Winton keeps on trucking

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle man with rare genetic condition headed to Grand Ole Opry

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan delegation discusses recent legislative session 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

College Street Players to present Newsies: The Broadway Musical

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

HU adjusts rates for water, sewer and natural gas services

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Town Council helps Priceville Elementary furnish school 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle City Schools hires three math coaches for 2024-25 school year 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Crestline students rock Alabama Stock Market Games, poster contest

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

New EMA director worries and plans for a living

Falkville

Jonna’s journey: Local woman battles Glioblastoma with unyielding faith 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheriff’s Office opens applications for 2024 youth academy

Brewer

MCS Technology Park to host STEAM summer camp for middle school students 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Bridging the gap: Hartselle Historical Society launches guided walk downtown bringing history to life

Falkville

Storm shelter companies see increase in calls for installation

Falkville

Morgan County rabies clinic to be held June 1

Eva

Community class reunion celebrates Morgan schools

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hats off: Class of 2024 graduates from Hartselle High School

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

City adjusts garbage routes for Memorial Day

Falkville

Larry Madison has been a pillar in Falkville for four decades

Hartselle

Hartselle trio nominated for two K-LOVE awards

x