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Hartselle Enquirer

Hawks beat Priceville on last play

Paul Wilson
Special to the Countian

Danville quarterback Caleb Hill rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Hawks to a 41-38 double overtime win over the Priceville Bulldogs last Friday night in Priceville.

However, it was Riley Self who was the hero on the biggest play of the night.

In the second overtime Nic Bell’s 27-yard field goal gave Priceville its first lead of the night at 38-35. Danville then opted to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 3 instead of playing for the tie.

On the play, Hill took the snap from center, ran left and pitch to Self, who ran into the end zone to give the Hawks their first win of the season. Self carried the ball just four times for 25 yards in the game.

Hill’s first touchdown came on an 86-yard run on Danville’s second play from scrimmage. Cody Hudgins added the PAT and with 8:18 left in the first, Danville led 7-0.

Priceville would take the ensuing kick and drive 43 yards in 13 plays, setting up a fourth-and-goal from the Hawk 10. The Bulldogs converted three of four third down plays and quarterback Chance Ellsworth was especially effective, completing 4-of-5 passes for 36 yards. The drive ended with no points as Danville blocked the field goal attempt.

Following the blocked field goal, Danville drove to midfield before punting to the ball back to Priceville. Hawk punter Seth Fagan pinned the Bulldogs deep in their own territory and the Danville defense then forced a three and out.

A short punt by Priceville gave the Hawks excellent field position and the Danville offense made the most of it, going 35 yards in six plays with Trey “don’t call me Justin” Jones scoring on a 4-yard run.

Danville set up to kick the extra point but Hawk head coach Scott Curd for the fake. Jones ran the ball into the end zone untouched and with 6:26 left in the half, Danville had a 15-0 lead.

Priceville wasted little time responding as Ellsworth hit wide receiver Bell for the first of four touchdown passes on the evening. This pass, a 56-yarder, cut Danville’s lead to 15-7 after Bell added the PAT. Neither team would score the rest of the half, although Priceville did drive deep into Hawk territory before a Dallas McAbee interception ended the scoring threat for the Bulldogs.

Danville took the second half kick and drove 80 yards in 10 plays to take a 22-7 lead. The offensive line consistently opened holes for Hawk runners Hill, Justin Hannah and Jones with Hill getting the score on an 11-yard run. Hudgins added the PAT to give Danville a 22-7 midway through the third.

Priceville’s second touchdown was almost identical to their first as Ellsworth and Bell hooked up once again. The TD pass covered 62 yards and Bell kicked the PAT making the score 22-14 in favor of Danville with 6:45 left in the third.

The Bulldog defense forced its first three and out and Priceville’s offense was quickly back on the move. On its first play, Ellsworth hit Harold Blades for a gain of 20 to give the Bulldogs a first down at the Danville 38.

Priceville would get as far as the Hawk 28 but, after a penalty and a run lost 5 yards, Danville senior DL Tyler Crowe picked off Ellsworth’s pass and rambled some 34 yards to give the Hawks the ball at the Priceville 34. The Danville offense would score three plays later on a 4-yard run by Hill. Hill’s run was set up by a 29-yard pass from Hill to Jones. The PAT failed but Danville led 28-14 late in the third quarter.

Hill, though he would score no more touchdowns, brought Hawk fans to their feet with his defensive play as he stripped the ball from Bulldog receiver William Mears after Mears had broken into the clear for an apparent touchdown. Hill also recovered the football and the quarter ended with Danville holding a two-touchdown lead.

Priceville would score twice in the final period to tie the game. Forrest Clemons scored on a 2-yard run to cut the lead to seven and, with just 57 seconds left in regulation, Ellsworth and Bell connected on a 10 yard pass, sending the game to overtime.

Danville got the ball first to open the overtime period and took just two plays to score. Hill ran for 6 yards on first down and Jones scored from 4 yards out the following play. Hudgins kicked the PAT to make it 35-28

A 5-yard penalty pushed Priceville back to the 15 and the Bulldogs gained just one yard before facing a 4th and goal from the 14. As they had three previous times, Ellsworth and Bell got together to send the Bulldog faithful into a frenzy with Bell catching the 4th down pass in the end zone. Bell added the PAT to tie the game at 35.

In the second overtime period Ellsworth failed to connect with his receivers on three straight attempts forcing Bell to try a 27-yard field goal. His kick was good and Priceville had its first lead of the night at 38-35.

On first down, Hill ran for 3 yards. Hannah was then stopped for no gain before Hill hit Jones for a gain of 4 yards setting up the fourth down play. From there, it was up to Hill and Self to give the Hawks the 41-38 win over the Bulldogs

With the win, Danville moves to 1-4 while Priceville drops to 2-3.

Each team will be back in region play tomorrow night with Priceville hosting Ardmore and Danville hosting West Morgan. It will be homecoming for the Hawks. Kickoff for each game is set for 7 p.m.