Fletcher runs wild in win over Golden Eagles
The Hartselle Tigers bounced back from their double-overtime loss to Muscle Shoals with a 21-14 win over Athens to clinch the second spot in the region.
“We knew the game was going to be a struggle due to limitations we were facing with the injuries we had coming into the game.” Hartselle head coach Bryan Moore said. “Our offensive line led the way to 300 total yards rushing.”
The Tigers took a 7-0 lead with 6:40 remaining in the first half. Ri Fletcher scored on a 9-yard run to cap off an eight-play 51-yard drive.
Athens responded with a 10-play, 74-yard drive to cut the lead to 7-6 with 2:29 remaining in the first half.
Ri Fletcher scored his second touchdown on a 49-yard run with 10:55 left in the third quarter to give Hartselle a 14-6 lead. He finished the drive with 70 yards rushing.
The Golden Eagles tied the game with 6:27 remaining with a one-yard touchdown run and a successful two-point conversion.
Less than three minutes later, Fletcher scored again, this time on a 13-yard run to give the Tigers the lead again with 3:28 remaining. Fletcher added 54 yards rushing on the five-play, 58-yard drive.
On Athens’ next possession, the Hartselle defense rose to the occasion and held the Gold Eagles short of the first down when they needed a yard on fourth down. The turnover on downs gave the ball back to Hartselle, who ran the clock out to pick up the victory.
“The defense made a huge play on fourth-and-one to give us the ball back and let us run out the clock,” Moore said.
Fletcher ran for a season-high 250 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Tigers.
“The team is running the ball better the last couple of games after a slow start to the season,” Fletcher said. “I feel like I am getting strong as the season goes on, but I know I couldn’t do what I have done the last couple of games with the play of my offensive teammates.”
Noah Lee finished with 102 yards passing. Lincoln Bryant added 45 yards rushing, while Jayden Morris had 50 yards receiving.
The Tigers (6-2, 3-1) will play at Decatur Friday night.