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Hartselle’s defense stops a Scottsboro runner for no gain. Special to the Enquirer/Mariann Parker

Hartselle closes out regular season with 10-7 loss at Scottsboro

Hartselle closed out the regular season Friday night by traveling to Scottsboro for a matchup with the 5A Wildcats. 

The Tigers came into the game looking to close out the regular season on a two-game winning streak and build some momentum heading into the first round of the playoffs at Fort Payne. 

It was the defenses that dominated the game for both teams, and Scottsboro came away with the 10-7 win. 

In the first quarter, the Tigers’ opening possession ended with an interception that was turned into seven points by the Wildcats. 

Those seven points would be the only points of the first half, as both teams would be forced to punt on eight consecutive drives. 

The second half started with the Tigers forcing a Wildcat fumble that was recovered by defensive back Hunter Diver. 

Hartselle would convert the turnover into points on the very next play, when quarterback Cal George hit Izayah Fletcher for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Following the extra point, the game was tied at 7-7. 

Special to the Enquirer/James Meadows
No. 32 Brinten Barclay and No. 45 Tucker Hayes with other Hartselle Tigers protect No. 12 Cal George as he drops back to pass.

Following another Wildcat punt, the Hartselle offense looked to build some momentum – but it ended when a Tiger fumble was recovered by Scottsboro. 

The Wildcats would convert the second Hartselle turnover into three points when Mees DeJongh hit a 28-yard field goal, giving Scottsboro the 10-7 lead. 

Hartselle had one more chance late in the fourth quarter. The Tigers drove the ball into Wildcat territory looking to tie the game or take the lead. The Tigers’ drive and chance to win the game ended with a fumble, their third turnover of the game, at the Scottsboro 31-yard line. 

The Tiger offense had the ball for less than 10 minutes, as the Wildcats offense held onto the ball for more than 38 minutes. 

Hartselle finished with a season-low 107 yards of total offense, 14 yards rushing, and one first down. 

The Hartselle defense kept the game close, holding the Wildcats to 200 total yards. 

Hartselle (4-6) turns its focus toward a first-round matchup against 6A Region 8 champion Fort Payne (8-2) Friday night. 

The last time these two teams met was in the first round of the 2012 playoffs in similar circumstances. The Tigers entered the game as the fourth seed, while the Wildcats were 10-0 and ranked No. 2 in the state. Hartselle came away with a 14-6 victory that night to advance to the second round.