• 41°
Hartselle Enquirer

Tigers rout Buckhorn to open 6A state playoffs

HARTSELLE – The Hartselle Tigers entered the first round of the 6A state playoffs looking to overcome the demons of playoffs past. The Tigers were looking for their first win in the playoffs since 2018 when they defeated Pelham 35-7.

Thanks to the play of Ri Fletcher and the Tigers’ defense, Hartselle routed the visiting Buckhorn Bucks 52-7 to get the victory they were seeking.

“The win was big for us in getting that first playoff win under our belt,” Hartselle head coach Bryan Moore said. “We dominated all phases of the game and scored in all three.”

The Tigers got touchdowns from Stinnett Hagemann and Landon Blackwood to take a 14-0 lead just more than 5 minutes into the game. Hagemann’s score came on a seven-yard run, while Blackwood’s touchdown came on a 22-yard reception from Jake Smith.

Fletcher scored the first of his three touchdowns on the next Tigers’ possession with a 62-yard run down the Hartselle sideline to put Hartselle up 21-0 with 4:03 left in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Fletcher returned a Buckhorn punt 49 yards to put the Tigers up 28-0 with 9:03 remaining in the half.

The Bucks got on the scoreboard less than a minute later when quarterback Terrence Robinson broke a couple of tackles on his way to a 48-yard touchdown run. Following the extra point- Hartselle led 28-7.

Fletcher and the Tigers answered right back as he followed his blockers and returned the Buckhorn kickoff 85 yards to extend the lead to 35-7.

“Ri’s performance tonight was pretty special,” Moore added. “He scored three different ways tonight.”

Hartselle tacked on a defensive touchdown with 43 seconds left in the first half when a snap sailed over the Bucks’ quarterback’s head into the endzone. After a struggle for the ball, Kaden Worley recovered the turnover for a Tigers score and a 42-7 halftime lead.

The Tigers added 10 points in the second half on a 38-yard field goal by Crawford Lang in the third quarter and an 11-yard touchdown run by Noah Lee in the fourth quarter.

Fletcher finished with 231 yards of total offense, including 97 yards rushing, an 85-yard kickoff return and a 49-yard punt return.

“It means a lot to get past the first round for me,” Fletcher said. “I missed my chance at a score on the first punt when I took a fair catch, but I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again the second time, which led to the punt return touchdown.”

Smith was 7-of-10 for 108 yards with one touchdown. Blackwood finished 3-of-4 passing for 32 yards, and he had two receptions for 63 yards with a touchdown, along with a carry for 17 yards. Lincoln Bryant added 65 yards rushing on nine carries.

Worley led the defense with nine tackles, while sophomore Porter Simmons had eight, including two for loss. Peyton Steele had five tackles and an interception.

“Simmons’ play was big for our defense,” Moore said. “He controlled the Buckhorn line of scrimmage and was causing issues for the Bucks in the backfield all night long.”

No. 5 Hartselle (11-0) will host No. 8 Center Point (9-1), who defeated Jackson-Olin 26-8. The Tigers defeated Jackson Olin 39-6 earlier in the season.

“Having a second home game in the postseason is huge for us,” Moore said. “I expect a wild and raucous atmosphere at J.P. Cain Friday night.”

At a Glance

Town of Falkville to hold Christmas in the Park Sunday

At a Glance

Hartselle Holiday Market returns Saturday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Old Hartselle post office to become event center, new home for chamber  

At a Glance

‘Have a Hart’ information session to be held Dec. 2

Morgan County

Future leader

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Spirit of Thanksgiving: Volunteers deliver 266 food bags on holiday for Meals on Wheels  

At a Glance

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Winter window wonderland  

At a Glance

Council to interview candidates for Parks and Rec director job  

Hartselle

Live nativity scene returns to First Christian Dec. 7-10

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local church prepares 400 Thanksgiving meals

News

HIS students help clean up effort at Mt. Tabor Cemetery 

News

Lovely landscape

News

Morgan buys SUVs to transport seniors, deliver meals

News

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

News

Morgan teen exhibits grand champion at Alabama National Fair

News

Murder-for-hire defendant seeks bond

MULTIMEDIA-FRONT PAGE

Stadthagen supports

News

SALUTE

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Second grade students in Hartselle honor heroes

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

At a Glance

Vinemont man killed in single-vehicle crash

At a Glance

Littlest Christmas Tree Farm opens Friday

x