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Hartselle Enquirer

Hartselle overcomes turnovers to beat Jags

By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
HUNTSVILLE - Hartselle’s victory over J.O. Johnson last Thursday at Milton Frank Stadium was anything but perfect.
With four first-half turnovers in the 23-0 victory over the Jaguars - two fumbles and two interceptions - the Tigers didn’t look like the same team that beat Chelsea handily a week earlier.
No, this was not perfection. But in some ways, the Tigers might be better than they showed in the opening win over the then-No.9 Wildcats.
Hartselle overcame the turnover troubles with a stifling defense and another strong effort from senior running back Marquez Jones, who finished with 108 yards rushing on 24 carries.
Shutting out a team like Johnson is something special.”
J.O. Johnson was playing without head coach Harold Wells, who was hospitalized a day before the game for swelling following back surgery. Assistant coach Mac Howard stepped up to fill Wells’ void.
Jones scored three touchdowns, including two in the first half, to pace the Tigers’ offense.
Hartselle had a solid offensive game plan for the Jaguars, finishing with almost 300 yards of total offense.
J.O. Johnson managed just 32 yards of total offense in the game as Hartselle’s defense stood tall after being put in some tough situations, especially with the first-half turnovers.
J.O. Johnson crossed midfield just three times in the first half - all with the help of Hartselle turnovers - but the Jaguars were unable to break the Tigers’ defense.
Hartselle wasted little time in taking the upperhand in the game, driving 38 yards for a touchdown that was set up by Logan Cain’s interception.
Jones capped the possession with a 3-yard touchdown run with 8:21 remaining in the first quarter.
Hartselle struggled to get untracked late in the quarter. The Tigers mishandled a punt return and had an interception end a drive deep into Jaguars territory.
The Tigers dropped a punt return in the second quarter, but Hartselle’s defense held the Jaguars again on downs to get the ball back late in the quarter.
This time, Hartselle took advantage. The Tigers moved 80 yards on a drive that was keyed by three Andrew Howard receptions and a 23-yard pass from Luke Bole to Braddock Wilson to set up Jones’ second score - a 23-yard run just before the end of the half.
Bole’s 2-point conversion run was stopped short of the goal line and the Tigers’ lead stayed at 12-0.
Hartselle moved deep into Johnson territory on the first possession of the second half, but the Jaguars’ defense stripped Howard of the football after a long reception near the Jaguars’ 20-yard line.
The defense again held Johnson in check and following a short punt, the Tigers were able to punch the ball in on a 1-yard Jones run with 6:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Jones added a two-point conversion run to push the lead to 20-0.
Jomas Meixner gave Hartselle its final points of the night on a 24-yard field goal with 8:19 remaining in the game.
Meixner, a native of Germany who just recently joined the football team, just missed on a 27-yarder three minutes later when his kick bounced hard off the left upright.

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