Hubbertville hosted arch rival Berry on Friday night at Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium. The Wildcats won the coin toss electing to receive the opening kick. Demarcus Johnson, Dalton Terry and Christian Emberg lined up deep to receive the kick from Dax Benton with Johnson fielding the ball at the 14-yard line advancing out to the Wildcats 39-yard line where Brady Tucker made the solo stop for the Lions.
The Wildcats opened the possession with Emberg connecting on a pass with Terry near the line of scrimmage for a three yard gain with Cannon Alexander making the defensive stop for the Lions. Emberg called his own number on second and third down but Tanner Upton, Trey Snow and Alexander remained in position for the Lions leaving the Wildcats facing third down and six yards but the Lions were penalized for a late hit on Emberg moving the ball up field to the Lions 43-yard line. First down brought Johnathan Locke out of the backfield with the carry but Tucker brought him down after a four yard gain. Emberg on a keeper rushed around the left side of the line of scrimmage picking up the first down and keeping the opening drive alive for the Wildcats. Facing first down at the Lions 30-yard line, Emberg got the call to advance the ball deeper rushing over left tackle with Tucker and Benton making the saving tackle at the 20-yard line. With a new set of downs, Locke took the hand-off up the middle where he was met for the stop by Alexander and Benton after a five yard gain. Second down brought more of Emberg with the rushing attack advancing over his left tackle reaching the 7-yard line before Upton could bring him down. Facing first down and goal deep in the Lions red zone, Isaac Darty took the hand-off but was met immediately for the stop by Upton leaving the Wildcats facing second down and goal at the line of scrimmage. Johnson took the pitch-out in an attempt to find the end zone but he was met by Alexander, Tristan Nairemore, Tre Tranum and a host of other defenders resulting in no gain on the play and leaving the Wildcats facing third down and goal at the 7-yard line. Emberg called his own number once again and took the ball over the right side of the line of scrimmage fighting his way to just near the 2-yard line where a host of determined Lion defenders made the saving tackle bringing up fourth down for the visiting Wildcats. Fourth down brought Johnson out of the backfield with the ball rushing up the middle with the ball being fumbled and the Lions making the saving recovery at the 1-yard line keeping the Wildcats hard fought opening drive from putting points on the scoreboard.
Lion Quarterback Chandler Young called upon Lathan Holliday to move the ball out of the backfield to allow some space for the Lions offensive front. Holliday took the ball over left tackle reaching the 8-yard line on first down with Jeremiah Gann and a host of angry defenders on the stop. Second down brought Benton with the hand-off out of the backfield racing down the left side line behind his blockers and reaching the Wildcats 39-yard line before being chased down from behind by Emberg for the saving tackle. Upton took the hand-off on first down advancing the ball nine yards with Chris Teeter making the tackle. On second down Holliday advanced the ball to the 28-yard line keeping the drive alive. Benton took the snap on first down but couldn't find a receiver open down field so he was brought down in the backfield for a two yard loss by Caleb Brueggemann, Darty and a host of others to bring up second down. Benton got the call to fight for needed yardage taking the hand-off up the middle for a six yard gain with Ethan Morrison, Hunter Cannon and others on the stop leaving the Lions facing third down and six yards. Snow took the hand-off and scrambled around the left side of the line of scrimmage but was met by Dawson Jones and others for the stop after a one yard gain. With the Lions facing fourth down and five yards just three yards short of the Wildcats red zone, Holliday got the call to fight for the first down but he was met for the defensive stop by Alex Jones and other Wildcat defenders at the 20-yard line turning the ball over on downs.
First down for the Wildcats brought Johnson out of the backfield with the rushing attack but Ethan Nichols remained in position for the stop after a two yard gain. Emberg fought his way out of the backfield for a four yard gain on second down with Upton, Holliday and Tranum making the stop as the first quarter came to a close.
As play resumed, Emberg attempted another rushing attack on third down but Alexander was on the spot for the stop after a 1-yard gain leaving the Wildcats facing fourth down and three yards at their own 27-yard line. Terry lined up in the backfield and punted the ball away with the ball rolling dead at the Lions 34-yard line.
Upton took the hand-off up the middle for two yards with Johnson and N. Morrison on the stop. On second down Young went to air for his first passing attack on the night connecting down field with Ryan Brubaker who advanced deep down field awarding the Lions with a first down at the Wildcats 31-yard line. Snow got the call to advance the ball on first down taking the hand-off around the left side of the line of scrimmage for an additional first down at the 20-yard line. First down brought Holliday up the middle with the rushing attack for a two yard gain with Brueggemann and TyrRone Foster and a host of others on the stop. Benton took the hand-off on second down fighting his way forward for a one yard gain with Walt Bowling and Johnson making the tackle near the 17-yard line. On third down Young went back to the passing attack and connected with Benton over the middle in the end zone for the score. With 8:01remaining in the first half of play the Lions were first to light up the scoreboard. On the PAT attempt, Holliday took the hand-off from Young and advanced over left guard untouched for the two-point conversion putting the home-standing Lions in the lead 8 - 0.
Nichols ensuing kick was fielded with a fair catch signal by Bonner at the 42-yard line setting Emberg and the Wildcats up for their third offensive possession of the game. Johnson took the hand-off on first down advancing around the left side of the line of scrimmage where Nichols, B. Tucker and Brubaker were on the stop. Facing second down and eight yards, Berry was penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to the 39-yard line. Emberg called his own number but was met immediately at the line of scrimmage by Austin Tucker and Benton for the stop. On third down the ball came loose during the rushing attempt and following the scramble the Wildcats came away with the recovery setting up fourth down at their own 37-yard line. Facing fourth down and long yardage, Terry punted the ball away with Snow scooping up the bouncing ball at the 28-yard line and advancing it out to the Lions 35-yard line where Nathan Morrison made the solo tackle.
Young brought the Lion offensive front back to the field and on first down Upton took the hand-off around the left end for a nine yard gain before Gann and Bonner could make the stop. Second down brought Holliday over left guard picking up the first down at mid-field with the Lions recovering a fumble on the play. On first down Young attempted a deep pass over the middle but Gann made the interception for the Wildcats fighting his was back to the 35-yard line where Upton made the solo tackle.
First down brought Johnson with the hand-off but Snow and Benton met him in the backfield for a four yard loss. On second down Bonner fought his way out of the backfield picking up a twelve yard gain with Upton and a host of others making the stop for the Lions. Emberg attempted a pass connection with Bowling deep down field on third down but Brubaker was on coverage as the pass fell incomplete. Facing fourth down and two yards, Johnson was met in the backfield by Benton, Alexander, Tranum and a host of other Lion defenders resulting in the ball over on downs to the Lions at the Wildcats 40-yard line.
Benton was met in the backfield by N. Morrison for a two yard loss on first down and on second down Upton picked up the loss yardage but the Lions were penalized moving the ball back to the Wildcats 48-yard line on a holding infraction. Facing second down and eighteen yards, Holliday got the call to rush up the middle but the Lions found themselves being penalized once again on the possession, this time for an illegal procedure. Facing second down and twenty-eight yards near their own 47-yard line, the Lion coaching staff called upon Upton to fight for yardage with Upton moving the ball over the right side of the line of scrimmage for a two-yard gain as N. Morrison remained in position for the solo tackle. Benton secured the ball on third down rushing around the right side line as time expired bringing the first half to a close.
Benton, Brubaker and Upton lined up deep for the Lions to receive Terrys second-half opening kick but Tranum made the recovery on the ball at the 38-yard line setting Young and the Lions offense up for their first possession of the second half. Benton wasted little time off the clock advancing the ball to mid-field on first down before Brueggemann could make the solo tackle. With the snap of the ball, Holliday took the hand-off up the middle for an additional six yards with Bonner, Gann and others on the stop leaving the Lions facing second down and four yards. The Lions were penalized for movement on second down and on the replay of down, Benton took the ball out of the backfield rushing around the right side of the line of scrimmage to the Wildcats 45-yard line with E. Morrison making the solo tackle. Facing third down and five yards, Holliday fought his way up the middle with the rushing attack but the stop by Cannon and others left the Lions facing fourth down and three yards. Benton took the ball out of the backfield fighting his way to the Wildcats 35-yard line for the first down before Gann, Bowling and others were able to bring him down. On first down the Lions were penalized once again for an illegal procedure moving the ball back five yards. On the replay of down, Benton took the snap and rambled over the right side of the line of scrimmage down field to the 14-yard line before Dawson Jones could make the saving stop. With the ball resting inside the Wildcats red zone, Benton took the ball out of the backfield rushing over right guard for a nine yard gain before Gann and a host of others could make the stop. Facing second down and inches near the five yard line, Upton finished off the drive by fighting his way into the end zone for the score with 6:39 remaining in the third quarter of play. The Wildcats held the Lions out of the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt leaving the score at 14 - 0 in favor of the Lions.
Nichols' ensuing kick was fielded at the 34-yard line by Bowling with Snow and a host of other Lions on the stop at the 40-yard line. First down brought Darty with the rushing attack out of the backfield but Upton and Benton were on the stop after a three yard gain. Emberg called his own number on second down but Zach Hubbert, Snow and Upton were on the spot for the stop resulting in no gain on the play. Facing third down and seven yards, Emberg took the ball around the left side lines for the first down with Nichols making the solo tackle at the Lions 44-yard line. First down brought Johnson out of the backfield with the rushing attack but Benton, A. Tucker and Alexander made the stop at the line of scrimmage. Emberg on a keeper gained an additional four yards with Alexander and Holliday making the stop at the 38-yard line. Facing third down and five yards, Johnson got the call to fight for the needed yardage rushing over the left side of the line with Brubaker and Upton on the stop leaving the Wildcats facing fourth down and four yards at the Lions 37-yard line. Following the decision to fight for the needed yardage, Emberg went to the air attack connecting on the pass with Terry along the right side line with Brubaker making the stop at the 24-yard line. Keeping the drive alive and moving closer to the Lions red zone, Johnson got the call to carry the ball on first down but he was met at the line of scrimmage by Tatt Huffman, Upton and others for the defensive stop. Second down brought Emberg with a keeper but Holliday, Upton, Huffman and others were quick in the backfield for the sack. Following the defensive stop the Lions were penalized for a face-mask penalty moving the ball deeper into their red zone at the 15-yard line. Emberg took the snap and found Holliday, Upton, Tranum, Huffman and others quickly in the backfield for the back to back quarterback sacks and moving the Wildcats back to the 18-yard line. Facing second down and thirteen yards, Emberg was sacked once again in the backfield for an additional three yard loss by Michael Porter and Tre Tranum. On third down Emberg went to the air attack and connected over the middle with Bonner who rambled his way into the end zone for what appeared to be the first score on the evening for the visiting Wildcats but penalty flags for holding moved the ball back to the 36-yard line setting up a replay of downs as the third quarter of play came to an end.
Facing third down and thirty-one yards, Bonner was met near the line of scrimmage for the stop by Porter, Snow and Benton leaving the Wildcats facing fourth down and 30-yards. Emberg went back to the passing attack in an attempt to connect with Terry in the left side of the end zone but Brubaker was in coverage for the Lions as the ball fell out of reach. The Wildcats breathed a breath of fresh air and hope as the Lions were penalized on the play forcing a replay of the down. Facing fourth down and twenty at the 25-yard line, Emberg called upon Bowling and made the pass connection near the 18-yard line but Benton was in position for the immediate take-down turning the ball over on downs to the Lions at their own 18-yard line.
Upton took the hand-off on first down rambling around the left end for a quick first down at the 28-yard line before Terry could make the solo tackle. With the snap of the ball, Benton gained an additional nine yards setting up second down and inches for the Lions close the 38-yard line. Sticking with Benton on the rushing attack proved successful as he took the ball up the middle to the Lions 45-yard line before Brueggemann, Emberg, Gann and a host of other Wildcat defenders could bring him down for the stop. First down brought Holliday out of the backfield with the rushing attack for a three yard gain with Johnson and others on the tackle. With the snap of the ball the Lions were once again penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to the 43-yard line. Young called his own number on the replay of down and picked up four yards with E. Morrison making to solo tackle for the Wildcats. Facing third down and eight yards, Upton was met in the backfield by E. Morrison for a one yard loss and leaving the Lions facing fourth down and nine yards at their own 45 yard line. Following a time-out by the Lion coaching staff, Terry and Emberg dropped back for Benton's punt but the ball sailed to the 24-yard line rolling to a dead stop.
First down brought Bonner scrambling his way down the right side line with Zach Hubbert on the solo tackle for the Lions after a three yard gain. Johnson got the call to fight for yardage advancing the ball to the Wildcats 35-yard line with Benton and Upton making the stop. On first down, Emberg once again found A. Tucker and Holliday in the backfield for the sack and a four yard loss on the play. Facing second down and fourteen, Emberg decided to go back to the passing attack but Brubaker was in position to make the interception at the Lions 40-yard line bringing the short possession to a halt.
First down brought Benton out of the backfield fighting his way up the middle for a six yard gain with Gann, Johnson and others on the stop. Upton rushed over right guard on second down taking the ball out to mid-field for the first down before Terry, Tyrone Foster and a host of angry Wildcat defenders could make the stop. First down brought Holliday up the middle with the rushing attack for a three yard gain with D. Jones, Johnson, Gann and others making the stop. Sticking with Holliday on the rushing attack the Lions moved the ball to the 41-yard line and were facing third down and one when the ball was fumbled on the snap with the Wildcats making the recovery to bring the turn-over possession to a halt for the Lions.
Following the fumble recovery the Cats set-up for their final possession of the game at their own 41-yard line with Emberg calling his own number on first down and advancing the ball around the left side line where he was forced out of bounds. Penalty flags against the Lions for a late hit moved the ball deeper to the Lions 33-yard line and on first down misery continued for the Wildcats as the ball was fumbled but Darty managed to come away with the ball making the successful recovery at the 35-yard line for the Wildcats. Second down brought Emberg scrambling out of the backfield fighting his way down to the 6-yard line where Snow and B. Tucker made the saving stop for the Lions. First down brought Johnson out of the backfield with the rushing attack but Benton, Z. Hubbert, Upton and others were on the stop leaving the Wildcats facing second down and goal near the three-yard line. With 18.1 seconds remaining in the ballgame, Emberg took the snap and scrambled around in the backfield trying to find an open receiver as time quickly ticked away forcing him to tuck the ball and ramble back across the field across the goal line for the score with 5.3 seconds remaining in the game. The PAT pass was unsuccessful as Brubaker reminded Emberg that he was still on the field making his second interception of the night in the end zone and denying the Wildcats of the additional points.
Young lined up deep for the Lions on the ensuing kick-off from Terry with the ball rolling to a dead stop at the 27-yard line. Young led his offensive front to the field and took the snap, dropping to his knee to allow time to expire on the game clock and awarding the Lions with the victory 20 - 6 over the visiting Wildcats. Captains for the visiting Wildcats were: Cameron Bonner, TyRone Foster, Jeremiah Gann and Ethan Morrison. Serving as captains for the Lions were: Dax Benton, Lathan Holliday and Tre Tranum.
This Friday night the Lions will get a break from Region 5 play but will continue playing on their home-field as they host the Hackleburg Panthers at Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium. Game time is 7:00p.m.
Comments from Head Coach Lamar Harris:
"Really proud of the guys for sticking with it tonight and remaining very physical throughout the game from the start up until the finish. We knew this game was going to be very hard fought from the opening-kick all the way up until the end of the game. We as teams expect that when we face-off against each other on the field. We had a very hard physically fought week up on the practice field and our guys seemed to mend together in understanding our game plan and what we would be expected to execute if we were to walk off the field with the win. Overall I feel as though we stuck to that game plan and it payed off. The first possession with Berry moving the ball down the field and taking time-off the clock wasn't something we wanted to experience early-on in the game, but I am proud of the defensive stand which brought the drive to an end and kept them out of the end zone. We answered that twelve play possession by moving the ball from our own goal line all the way back down to just outside their red zone, but they stepped up and held us on fourth down and two plays later the first quarter came to an end. Two plays following the start of the second quarter we had our second possession of the game and we took advantage by taking the ball in for a quick score early in that possession and held on for the lead at the half-time break. Our third quarter play really stood out in the game tonight as we took the second half opening kick possession in for another score and followed that by the fumble return for another quick score which helped our momentum. I have lots of respect for the Berry players and I commend them for their hard-fought effort in tonight's game. Both teams showed class and sportsmanship and that's what we should expect when we meet on the field. These young guys played really hard tonight and players on both teams are to be commended for their hard fought effort and conduct."