Hartselle solid against rival Austin
By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
With a season-opening road game at Chelsea just seven days down the road, Hartselle got in a final dress rehearsal Friday with a 14-7 victory over Austin in a jamboree at J.P. Cain Stadium.
Hartselle used four turnovers to keep Austin in check in the game that featured starters for a little more than a half.
The Tigers, coming off a 12-1 season a year ago, picked off two Austin passes and forced a pair of fumbles in the win.
Austin’s lone touchdown came late in the fourth quarter when Jaleel Young scored on a 46-yard touchdown reception.
Hartselle opened the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Will Lang to Payton Sittason. Both players were making their first starts after playing in reserve roles last season.
James Sieglock added a short touchdown in the third quarter to cap Hartselle’s scoring.
Hartselle played solid control offense, turning the ball of just once against the Black Bears’ defense.
Isaiah Fowler and Kameron Wallace each had an interception in the Tigers’ win. Austin Borden and David Filiatrault both came up with fumble recoveries and Robby Reece tipped a pair of Ethan Netherton passes in the first half.
Junior linebacker Jake Kimbrell came up with the hit that set up Filiatrault’s fumble recovery.
Defensively, Hartselle’s young lineup stepped up to keep Austin in check until late in the game when the Black Bears scored against Hartselle’s reserves.
Austin’s offense was hampered by a pair of interceptions inside the Hartselle 10-yard line.
Will Tiffin also had an interception for the Tigers, but the play was nullified by a holding penalty.
Sittason scored in the first quarter when he took a Lang pass into the end zone from 13 yards out for the game’s first score.
Seiglock’s touchdown came following another Austin turnover. Logan Cain forced a fumble that was picked up by Austin Borden, who advanced the turnover to the 17-yard line.
Seiglock capped the short drive two plays later with a 2-yard touchdown run that increased the lead to 14-0.
Sieglock handled much of the offensive load in the first half, picking up 59 yards on 16 carries as Hartselle looks to fill the loss of Class 5A Back of the Year finalist Marquez Jones.
Hartselle opens up the regular season Friday with a 7 p.m. matchup at Chelsea.
The Tigers beat Chelsea, coached by Hartselle native Wade Waldrop, 29-13 last season in the Tigers’ home opener.