Football News 2013 Football News 2013 Berry Write Up 2
2013 Berry Write Up 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen J. Dunavant   
Monday, 25 November 2013 00:00

The Hubbertville Lions made history on Friday night by defeating their cross county rivals, the Berry Wildcats in the quarterfinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs and advancing to the semi-finals for the first time since the school fielded its first football team in 1935. The game was played before a standing-room only crowd which many estimate to be the largest crowd ever to witness a football game on the school campus in Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium. Both teams were representatives from Region Five with host Hubbertville finishing the regular season in second place and Berry finishing out regular season play in third place. The Lions had worked their way deeper into the playoffs by defeating Collinsville and Falkville and Berry continued post season play by defeating Donoho and R.A. Hubbard to advance to the Friday night face-off with both teams fighting for the opportunity to continue their seasons.

 

Team captains for the Lions were Seniors: Spencer Benton, Austin Bourland, Dakota Dozier, Devin Marcum, Landon Miller, T.J. Pratt, Brandon Smith and Jordan White. Representing the visiting Wildcats as seniors were: Weston Bonner, Jeremiah Chaney, Terrance Hollingsworth and Troy Locke. Team Captains met at mid-field with Berry winning the coin toss and electing to receive the opening kick.

 

McCain Hubbert booted the ball to the 22-yard line with Troy Locke bringing the opening kick-off up field to the 31-yard line where Jordan White made the tackle for the Lions. Weston Bonner lined up under center and the much anticipated battle began. First down brought the pitchout to Hollingsworth who rambled around left end and out of bounds after a 1-yard gain. On second down James Raines took the ball around the right side of the line of scrimmage with Austin Palmer and Nathan Young making the tackle at the 38-yard line. Raines took the handoff over right tackle on third down fighting his way to the Wildcats 45-yard line to set Bonner and the offense up for another possession. First down brought Hollingsworth up the middle with the handoff but he was met at the line by Devin Marcum for the stop resulting in no gain on the play. On second down Hollingsworth took the snap and scrambled over the line of scrimmage where he was met once again by Marcum, along with Kris Parson and others resulting in a 2-yard gain. Facing third down and eight yards, Bonner lined up under center pitching the ball out to Hollingsworth who was met once again at the line of scrimmage by Marcum, Young, and Landon Miller for the stop bringing up fourth down and seven for the Wildcats. Bonner lined up in the backfield and punted the ball away with A. Palmer waiting to receive.

 

Vess Benton and the Lion offensive front took the field and on first down T.J. Pratt was met by Locke and Casey Corkerin for the stop after a 3-yard gain. Dax Benton took the handoff on second down advancing for 6-yards over right tackle with Brandon Simmons and a host of others on the tackle. Facing third down and one, Miller took the over left tackle advancing to mid-field for the first down before Locke and Hollingsworth could make the stop. With a new set of downs, V. Benton called upon Pratt to move the ball but he was met at the line of scrimmage for the stop by Chaney and a host of defenders for no gain. Second down brought V. Benton with the keeper around the right side of the line of scrimmage but Hollingsworth and Blake Abernathy were in place for the stop after a 7-yard gain. On third down D. Benton took the handoff but Abernathy met him at the line for the solo tackle resulting in no gain. Facing fourth down and three from the Wildcat 43-yard line, the Lion coaching staff elected to fight for the needed yardage. Pratt got the call to carry but was met at the line by Abernathy, Hollingsworth, Bonner and Chaney resulting in the turn-over on downs to the Wildcats.

 

Hollingsworth took the pitchout on first down and raced around the right side line and out of bounds after a 5-yard gain. N. Young remained in position on second down making the stop on Chaney after a 2-yard gain. Bonner took the snap but found M. Hubbert in the backfield for the sack and a 1-yard loss bringing up fourth down and four for the Wildcats. The Wildcat coaching staff elected to fight for the needed yardage with Hollingsworth lined up at quarterback. Hollingsworth took the snap and attempted a pass connection with Charleston Hudson but the ball fell incomplete resulting in the ball over on downs to Hubbertville.

 

Pratt took the handoff on first down but was met by Bonner, Chaney and others after a 1-yard gain. Second down brought D. Benton with the carry but he was stopped at the line of scrimmage by a host of defenders resulting in no gain. Trouble continued for the Lion offense on third down with V. Benton being sacked at mid-field by Chaney setting up fourth down and twelve. M. Hubbert dropped back and punted the ball away with Hollingsworth and Chaney back to receive but both players elected to allow the ball to roll deep down field to the 6-yard line.

 

Bonner called his own number on first down picking up 5-yards before Parson and Marcum could make the tackle as the first quarter of play came to a close. On second down, Chaney advanced over left tackle for 3-yards with Marcum, Miller and M. Hubbert on the stop. Hollingsworth took the pitch out onn third down and scrambled around the left end with White making the solo stop near the 16-yard line setting up fourth down and inches. Fourth down brought penalty flags flying with the Wildcats penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back just shy of the 11-yard line. Bonner lined up in the end zone and punted the ball away with Austin Palmer making the reception at the Wildcat 40-yard line and advancing deep down field but the return was neglected as the Lions were penalized for an illegal block in the back returning the ball to mid-field.

 

First down brought Miller up the middle for a 13-yard rushing attack with Hollingsworth, Chaney and a host of others making the tackle. Facing first down at the Wildcat 37-yard line, Miller got the call to carry again but was met at the line of scrimmage by Brandon Simmons, Chaney and others resulting in no gain. On second down V. Benton attempted his first pass of the evening attempting to catch the Wildcats off guard but the ball fell from the finger tips of Pratt setting up third down. Sticking with the passing game was unsuccessful as Miller couldn't make the completion resulting in fourth down and nine for the Lions. Once again M. Hubbert lined up in the backfield to punt the ball away but Bonner fought his way across the line into the backfield to block the punt and advancing to the Lion 47-yard line.

 

First down brought Bonner with the rushing attack over the left side of the line of scrimmage with M. Hubbert, Pratt and White on the tackle after an 8-yard gain. Bonner called his own number once again on second down with a carry up the middle where Marcum, Parson and others made the tackle. Following official measurement the Wildcats continued the drive with Hollingsworth taking the ball over left tackle for 2-yards with Marcum on the stop. Second down brought Hollingsworth lined up in the quarterback position taking the snap and rushing around the right side of the line of scrimmage where he was forced out of bounds by Anthony Dillard at the 21-yard line resulting in another first down for the Wildcats at the Lion 24-yard line. N. Young and White rushed into the backfield and brought Hollingsworth down behind the line of scrimmage for a 2-yard loss on first down and on second down Hollingsworth took the snap and attempted a pass connection over the middle to James Raines but pressure by Parson resulted in the ball being overthrown. Facing third down and 12-yards, Bonner returned to the quarterback position and attempted a pass connection to Chaney but Dakota Dozier was on coverage knocking the ball away to set up fourth down. On fourth down Hollingsworth returned to the quarterback spot with Pratt and N. Young sacking him deep in the backfield. Following the play the Wildcats were penalized but the penalty was declined setting the Lions offense up at their own 32-yard line.

 

D. Benton took the handoff on first down rambling for 8-yards with Abernathy on the solo tackle for the Wildcats. Second down brought more of D. Benton but Hudson met him near the line of scrimmage resulting in a 1-yard gain. Facing third down, V. Benton called upon Miller to fight for the needed yardage and Miller advanced the ball up the middle to the 47-yard line to keep the drive alive. First down brought a penalty against the Wildcats for jumping off-sides. Facing first down and five at the Wildcat 48-yard line, V. Benton called his own number but was met at the line by Chaney and Ronnie Finch resulting in no gain on the carry. Second down brought penalty flags against the Lions for illegal procedure moving the ball back across mid-field to Lion 47-yard line. On the replay of down, D. Benton rambled around the right side of the line of scrimmage but Bonner and Chaney made the tackle after a 4-yard gain. Facing third down and six, V. Benton connected thru the air with Pratt who rambled to the Wildcat 45-yard line setting up fourth down and three. V. Benton called upon Miller to move the ball for the needed yardage and Miller took the handoff to the 40-yard line to keep the drive alive. First down brought D. Benton taking the handoff and passing the ball down field to Gabe Stidham who rambled to the 11-yard line before being brought down from behind by Bonner. With the ball inside the Wildcat red zone for the first opportunity of the night, Pratt took the handoff for a 5-yard gain with Chaney, Abernathy, Hollingsworth and others on the tackle. D. Benton got the call to carry on second down but was met immediately at the line of scrimmage by a host of defenders for the stop. On third down White took the handoff from V. Benton and was brought down at the line of scrimmage with .11 seconds remaining in the first half of play. The Lions were penalized for an illegal procedure call and on the replay of down, V. Benton attempted a pass connection with D. Benton in the left corner of the end zone but the ball zoomed in and out of the receivers hands with 5.7 seconds remaining. Facing fourth down with time an issue the Lion coaching staff elected to attempt a field goal. The Lions were penalized for a delay in game infraction moving the ball back but with the snap of the ball by Miller, with V. Benton holding, D. Benton's kick sailed perfectly thru the uprights putting the Lions on the scoreboard first with 2.3 seconds remaining in the half.

 

M. Hubbert's ensuing kick was received by Hudson setting the Wildcat offense up at the 48-yard line. Hollingsworth took the snap and rambled around the left side line where he was forced out of bounds bringing the first half to a close with the Lions in the lead 3 - 0.

 

Opening the second half Hudson's kick was fielded by White but the ball came loose with Dillard recovering for the Lions deep down field at the 6-yard line. On first down D. Benton fought his way over right tackle fighting off would be tacklers for a 12-yard gain to regain some of the yardage and give the Lions a new set of downs at the 18-yard line. With Miller being injured in the closing minutes of the first half, N. Young lined up in the backfield and took the handoff over right guard for a 7-yard gain with Bonner and Abernathy on the tackle. Second down brought Pratt over left guard for a 2-yard gain with Locke, Simmons and others on the stop. Facing third down and one, N. Young took the ball over right guard for the first down at the 30-yard line. D. Benton was stopped on first down at the line of scrimmage by Bonner and Shanon Johnson resulting in no gain. On second down the Lions were penalized for an illegal procedure and on the replay of down the Lions found themselves penalized again for delay of game. Facing second down and 21-yards at the 19-yard line, N. Young took the handoff over right guard with Abernathy on the solo tackle after a 3-yard gain. Third down brought V. Benton attempting to connect thru the air down field but the ball was knocked down at the line of scrimmage to bring up fourth down for the Lions. M. Hubbert dropped into the backfield and punted the ball away with Chaney making the reception at the Wildcat 47-yard line and G. Stidham on the stop at the Lion 48-yard line.

 

Hollingsworth took the pitchout around the right side of the line of scrimmage and was brought down by Dozier for the stop at the 31-yard line. Hollingsworth then took the pitchout in the opposite direction moving the ball inside the Lion red zone to the 18-yard line before N. Young and M. Hubbert were able to make the saving tackle. On first down Chaney fought his way up the middle but Dillard made the solo tackle after a 3-yard gain. Second down brought more of Hollingsworth this time around the left side of the line of scrimmage where N. Young and Parson made the tackle after a 2-yard gain. Facing third down and five at the 13-yard line, Bonner attempted a pass into the end zone to connect with Hudson but D. Benton was in position to knock the ball away setting up fourth down. With the snap of the ball, Bonner found White in the backfield forcing the sack and turning the ball over on downs to the Lions at their own 11-yard line.

 

First down brought Pratt with the handoff over left guard but Hollingsworth, Bonner, Abernathy and a host of other defenders made the stop after a 3-yard gain. D. Benton took the ball over right tackle bursting his way up field for a first down at the 22-yard line with Bonner on the stop for the Wildcats. On first down N. Young was met for the stop by Johnson after a 3-yard gain. Pratt took the handoff and rambled his way around the left side of the line of scrimmage on second down but the ball was knocked out with the Wildcats recovering the loose ball at the Lion 27-yard line.

 

On first down M. Hubbert fought his way across the offensive line to sack Bonner for a 1-yard loss. On second down Hollingsworth attempted a pass connection in the end zone with Corkerin but coverage by V. Benton and A. Palmer resulted in the ball being overthrown. Third down brought additional problems for the Wildcat offense as they were penalized for jumping off-sides moving the ball back to the 16-yard line. On the replay of down, Hollingsworth attempted another pass to the end zone but White was in position knocking the ball away. Fourth down brought Bonner attempting a pass connection with Hollingsworth in the backfield but the Wildcats were penalized for an illegal procedure infraction turning the ball over to the Lions once again deep in their own territory.

 

D. Benton took the handoff on first down for a 3-yard gain with Abernathy, Bonner and others on the stop. Pratt took the handoff on second down for what appeared to be an excellent rushing attack moving the ball deeper down field but the Lions were penalized at the line of scrimmage for holding, moving the ball back to the 19-yard line. On the replay of down, Pratt took the handoff once again but was brought down by Locke at the 24-yard line. Third down brought D. Benton with the rushing attack with Chaney and Hollingsworth on the tackle setting up fourth down and two for the Lions as the third quarter of play came to a close.

 

Following quarter break to exchange ends of field, D. Benton took the handoff and rushed over right tackle to reach the 36-yard line for the first down keeping the drive alive for the Lion offense. Pratt took the ball around the right end fighting off would be tacklers with Hollingsworth making the stop just shy of the first down marker. Following official measurement for the yardage, N. Young took the handoff and fought his way behind blockers to reach mid-field resulting in a first down. D. Benton continued the rushing attack but was met by Johnson for the stop after a 1-yard gain. Second down brought D. Benton with the carry once again around the right side of the line of scrimmage but the ball was knocked loose on the tackle but V. Benton fought his way into position to make the recovery for the Lions. Facing third down and ten, D. Benton took the handoff again racing around the right side of the line of scrimmage where he was met by Hollingsworth and Hudson for the tackle. Fourth down brought M. Hubbert into the backfield to punt the ball away with the ball rolling out of bounds at the Berry 27-yard line.

 

Hollingsworth took the snap on first down and rambled his way around the right side line and out of bounds at the 42-yard line. On first down N. Young fought across the line of scrimmage and sacked Hollingsworth in the backfield for a 2-yard loss. Facing second down and twelve, Hollingsworth took the snap again and advanced behind blockers over the right side of the line of scrimmage racing untouched into the end zone for a 61-yard rushing touchdown to put the Wildcats on the scoreboard with 7:17 remaining in the ball game. Bonner connected thru the air with Chaney on the PAT and the Wildcats lead increased to 8 - 3.

 

D. Benton, A. Palmer and White lined up to receive the ensuing kick but Pratt made the reception at the 37-yard line advancing to the Lion 41-yard line where a host of defenders made the stop. Pratt took the handoff on first down but was met at the line of scrimmage by Chaney, Abernathy and others for the stop and no gain. Second down brought V. Benton with a pass attempt to Pratt but the ball fell just beyond his finger tips setting up third down. Facing third down and nine, V. Benton called upon G. Stidham to move the ball and Stidham made the pass reception at the line of scrimmage but was met immediately by Johnson and Locke for the stop after a 2-yard gain. M. Hubbert found himself in a familiar position punting the ball out of the backfield with the ball rolling dead at the 16-yard line.

 

On first down Hollingsworth fought his way up the middle but N. Young was on the stop after an 11-yard gain. The Wildcats called a time out and following the time-out, Hollingsworth took the handoff rushing over the right side of the line of scrimmage for a 37-yard gain with Pratt making the tackle from behind to save the touchdown. With a first down across mid-field at the Lion 40-yard line, Parson reminded Hollingsworth of his presence on the field by bursting into the backfield to sack Hollingsworth for a 5-yard loss. Hollingsworth rushed around the left side of the line of scrimmage on third down but N. Young and Marcum remained in position for the stop after a 6-yard gain. Facing third down and 9-yards the Wildcats were penalized for a delay of game infraction moving the ball back to the 44-yard line. Hollingsworth remained in the quarterback position and with the snap of the ball rushed over left guard with D. Benton on the solo tackle at the Lion 37-yard line. Facing fourth down and 7-yards the Wildcats coaching staff called time out. When play resumed Hollingsworth continued in the quarterback position and was met at the 31-yard line by Marcum for the solo tackle resulting in the ball being turned over on downs to the Lions with the rushing attack 2-yards short of the needed yardage.

 

With time ticking on the game clock, V. Benton and the Lion offense realized the possession would have to be successful and result in a touchdown for a chance to win the game. First down brought an unsuccessful pass connection from V. Benton to G. Stidham. On second down, D. Benton took the handoff but was met in the backfield by Abernathy for a 2-yard loss. Third down brought Abernathy and Simmons into the backfield to sack V. Benton for an additional 1-yard loss. Facing fourth down and thirteen yards, V. Benton called upon White to make the reception over the middle but the Wildcats were penalized for pass interference resulting in a first down for the Lions at their own 43-yard line. First down brought penalty flags for an illegal procedure against the Lions moving the ball back to the 38-yard line. On the replay of down, V. Benton connected with D. Benton thru the air for a 6-yard gain with Bonner and others on the stop. Second down brought V. Benton attempting to connect thru the air with Pratt but the ball fell just beyond his finger tips setting up third down and nine yards at the Lion 44-yard line. With the snap of the ball, V. Benton went back to White thru the air but the ball fell incomplete leaving the Lions facing fourth down with time ticking away. On fourth down, V. Benton called upon Pratt for a connection thru the air deep down field. Pratt raced down the right side of the field and in an attempt to make the reception he stumbled falling onto his back at the Wildcats 30-yard line, but miraculous making the reception without the ball hitting the ground, resulting in a first down for the Lions. First down brought another pass connection from V. Benton to G. Stidham at the line of scrimmage but Stidham was brought down at the 22-yard line to leave the Lions facing second down and 2-yards. With the snap of the ball, V. Benton faked the handoff to D. Benton and connected thru the air with G. Stidham along the right side line with Stidham advancing the ball into the end zone for the touchdown with 53.9 seconds remaining in the ball game. The Lions elected to go for two points on the PAT but the conversion was unsuccessful as D. Benton was tackled in the backfield by Abernathy, Locke and other defenders leaving the score in favor of the homestanding Lions 9 - 8.

 

D. Benton's ensuing kick was fielded at the 24-yard line by Johnson with White and a host of Lion defenders making the tackle at the Lion 44-yard line. With time ticking away, Hollingsworth took the snap advancing ten additional yards to the Lion 33-yard line for another first down to stop the clock. With the snap of the ball the game was secured for the Lions as V. Benton made an interception at the 9-yard line advancing up field to the 24-yard line where he took a sliding stop in the field of play at the 24-yard line. Following the play the Wildcats were penalized for a personal foul moving the ball up field to the 39-yard line. A. Palmer lined up at the quarterback position and took the snap falling to his knee to give the Lions the hard fought victory and advancing the team to the semi-finals for the first time in school history.

 

The Lions will travel to Reform to face off against another Region 5 foe; the Pickens County Tornadoes. The teams met earlier in the season for game seven on their schedules with the Tornadoes winning the contest 50 - 7 over the visiting Lions. Pickens County has advanced into the playoffs with an unblemished 10 - 0 record and have playoff wins over Gaylesville, Addison and Ragland. Game time is 7pm.

 

Comments from Coach Lamar Harris:
"Tonight we found ourselves in an old fashioned defensive football game. This one will go down in the books here at Hubbertville as a history making game for our school and for the players whom were involved. I'm extremely proud of the guys for holding their composure as time was ticking away on us at the end of the game. The defensive stop on fourth down gave us the opportunity to fight our way back down the field and insert some passing plays which we hadn't used until that point in the game. The end result of scoring the go-ahead touchdown was perfectly executed. Both teams fought a hard defensive battle here tonight. When it looked as though we were finished after their touchdown score, our guys fought and found within themselves the desire to keep fighting for this one.... it's an unbelievable come back win, one which I'll always cherish. This group of guys have remained focused throughout the season and we've been blessed to have a great group of seniors who have taken a productive leadership role starting early in the year. That doesn't happen every year but with this group of guys I didn't really expect anything less. I'm happy for them as well as the whole team. Our fan base has been with us all year and that support was a big benefit for us tonight. I feel as though the fan support was very beneficial and helped the team to pull this one out in the end tonight. We've made history. Our first ever semi-final in football, a year with 11 wins in the season and back to back 10 game wins in the last two seasons. It's exciting to have the opportunity to continue leading and working with this group of players. In closing I'll say we've surprised a lot of people with the results thus far in the year and I'm hoping we can continue with additional playing time."

Last Updated on Monday, 25 November 2013 08:13
 
 

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