The Hubbertville Lions welcomed the Woodville Panthers to Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium on Friday night to open the first round of play-offs. The Lions won the coin toss and elected to receive with Dax Benton, Trey Snow and Tanner Upton lining up to receive the opening kick. Ryan Brubaker made the kick reception fighting his way up field to the 34-yard line where Ethan Nichols garnered his offensive front to the field for their opening possession.
First down brought Benton around the right side with Justin Ball and others making the stop after a two yard gain. Following a rushing attempt by Upton and an incomplete passing attempt from Nichols to Zach Hubbert, the Lions found themselves facing fourth down at their own 33-yard line. Lathan Holliday dropped back to punt the ball away but Benton took the snap and connected on a pass with Upton who rambled across mid-field to the Panthers 40-yard line before the stop could be made. Keeping the possession alive, Nichols called upon Upton and Holliday to continue the rushing attack leaving the Lions facing third down and two yards at the Panthers 32-yard line. Breaking from the huddle, Benton took the ball deeper on the Panthers advancing for another first down at the 26-yard line. With the snap of the ball Upton continued the ground attack followed by Benton and on third down Nichols attempted a pass connection over the middle with Holliday but Adam Ramirez was in position knocking the ball away and leaving the Lions facing fourth down and eight yards at the 24-yard line. Benton took the snap and connected with Snow down the right side line with Snow taking the ball to the end zone for the first score of the evening. The PAT kick by Benton with Tre Tranum snapping and Nichols holding was perfect and with 6:55 remaining in the opening quarter the Lions were leading 7 - 0.
Benton's ensuing kick sailed out of bounds setting the Panthers up for their first offensive possession at their own 41-yard line. The Panthers opened their first possession with the air attack on first down with Justin Ball attempting to connect with Jackson Peek over the middle but the ball fell incomplete. Baker took the hand-off on second down but was met immediately at the line of scrimmage by Z. Hubbert leaving the Panthers facing third down and ten yards. Reverting back to the passing attack was unsuccessful as Ball and Nick Baker couldn't make the connection bringing up fourth down for the Panthers. Ball dropped back and punted the ball away with the ball rolling to a dead stop at the Lions 34-yard line.
On first down Benton wasted very little time off the game clock by rambling around left end following his line of blockers and racing untouched to the end zone for the quick six. The PAT kick by Benton sailed outside the uprights and with 5:38 remaining in the first quarter the Lions led 13 - 0.
Adam Ramirez made the reception on the ensuing kick by Benton at the 15-yard line and was brought down by Tatt Huffman and Brady Tucker at the 24-yard line. Z. Hubbert continued his dominance on the defense by breaking across the line of scrimmage for the stop on Angel Motesdeoca on first down. Facing second down and fourteen yards, the Panthers were moved back an additional five yards for an illegal procedure. On the reply of down, Ball was brought down near the line of scrimmage by Cannon Alexander and Benton leaving the Panthers facing third down and seventeen yards. With the snap of the ball, Ball connected on a quick pass with Peek but Benton, Z. Hubbert and others were on the stop leaving the Panthers facing fourth down and four yards. Ball once again punted the ball away with Nichols making the reception at the 26-yard line and advancing to the Lions 41-yard line.
The Lions stuck with the rushing attack with Benton gaining five yards and Holliday advancing the ball across mid-field to the Panthers 48-yard line for the first down. With the new first down, Holliday continued to fight for yardage on the ground leaving the Lions facing third down and two-yards at the 41-yard line. Upton got the call to fight for the needed yardage moving the ball deeper and leaving the Lions facing fourth down and inches following the official measurement. Holliday took the hand-off over right guard to the 35-yard line keeping the possession alive for the Lions as the first quarter came to a close.
Opening the second quarter, Benton took the snap around the right end and was shoved out of bounds after a twelve yard rushing attack. Facing first down at the 23-yard line, Nichols went to the air attack connecting in the end zone with Z. Hubbert for the score. Following a penalty against the Lions for a delay of game on the PAT; Benton's kick sailed straight down the center of the goal post and with 11:40 remaining in the opening half the Lions were leading 20 - 0.
Peek made the reception from Benton's ensuing kick at the seven yard line and was met for the take-down by Z. Hubbert at the 19-yard line. Following the stop the Panthers were penalized for a personal foul moving the ball back deeper just near the 10-yard line. Tatt Huffman, Upton and Tristan Nairemore made the stop on Ball on first down and on second down Ball connected with Baker on a slant pass near the line of scrimmage with Baker reaching the 28-yard line for the first down. Following a penalty on first down for an illegal procedure, the Panthers were penalized once again for a personal foul moving the ball back even deeper to the 11-yard line. Facing first down from their own 11-yard line, A. Montesdeoca took the hand-off and was met immediately at the line of scrimmage for the solo stop by Upton. Ball then reverted to the passing game and connected with Montesdeoca and following the completion the Lions were penalized for a personal foul moving the ball to the twenty-nine yard line. Facing third down and nine yards, Ball continued with the passing attack with another attempt to connect with A. Montesdeoca but Upton remained in position for the break-up. Fourth down brought Ball lining up and punting the ball away with the ball rolling to a rest at the Lions 39-yard line.
Holliday took the hand-off up the middle on first down for a six yard gain and on second down Benton took the hand-off from Nichols fighting his way over the right side of the line of scrimmage racing untouched for the 56-yard rushing touchdown. The PAT kick by Benton put the Lions up 20 - 0 with 8:42remaining in the first half.
Benton's ensuing kick was fielded at the six yard line by Baker who fought his way up field to the 48-yard line with Benton on the saving tackle for the Lions. First down brought Ball with the hand-off from Baker around the right side but Ryan Brubaker and Holliday were in the backfield for the stop resulting in a two yard loss on the play. Baker connected with Peek in the backfield on a slant pass but Tre Tranum and Benton were on the spot for the take-down pushing the Panthers back an additional three yards. Baker stuck with the passing attack on third down and Brubaker stepped in front of the connection intended for Collin Cash almost intercepting the ball leaving the Panthers facing fourth down and fifteen yards. Ball once again found himself lined up deep in the backfield to punt the ball away. Ball's punt sailed out of bounds and into the stands of the home team giving the Lions possession at their own 47-yard line.
Reverting back and forth on rushing attacks between Upton and Holliday the Lions moved the ball to the Panther 32-yard line. Facing second down and five yards, Benton took the snap and went to the air attack connecting with Nichols over the middle with Nichols scrambling his way to the 12-yard line before he could be brought down from behind. First down brought Holliday fighting up the middle with the ball popping loose but Z. Hubbert was in the right spot to scoop the ball up and fight for yardage leaving the Lions facing second down and five yards at the 7-yard line. Nichols took the snap and dropped back and connected with Brubaker in the right corner of the end zone for the score with 3:00 remaining before the half-time break. Benton's kick on the PAT was unsuccessful and the score stood 33 - 0 in favor of the Lions.
Misery continued for the visiting Panthers as A. Ramirez made the reception on the ensuing kick from Benton at the 12-yard line. A strong hit by Tranum on the stop knocked the the ball loose with Brett Wright making the successful recovery for the Lions at the Panthers 25-yard line. Benton took the pitch-out from Nichols on first down and raced untouched to the end zone but the play was called back after the Lions were penalized for an illegal block setting the Lions up with a first down at the Panthers 19-yard line. First down brought Holliday up the middle for a nine yard gain and on second down the Lions were penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to the 16-yard line. On the replay of down, Holliday took the hand-off to the end zone for the touchdown and following Benton's successful PAT kick the Lions were leading 40 - 0 with 1:04 remaining until the end of the first half.
Benton's ensuing kick was fielded at the 24-yard line by Tyler Franks who bobbled the ball but managed to recover before being brought down at the 20-yard line by Brady Tucker. First down brought Ball out of the backfield with the hand-off over the left side of the line but Benton, Huffman and others were on the stop. The Lions were penalized on the stop for a face-mask infraction moving the ball up field to the 36-yard line. Ball went to the air attack on first and second down with both attempts falling incomplete and on third down Upton made the interception for the Lions setting up Nichols and the offensive front at the Panthers 32-yard line with 18.2 seconds showing on the clock. With the snap of the ball, Nichols took a knee allowing time to expire on the first half of play.
Returning from the locker room Tranum booted the second half opening kick deep to the 13-yard line with Peek making the reception and fighting his way to the Panthers 43-yard line where he was met by Austin Tucker and Huffman for the stop. First down brought A. Montedeoca up the middle with the rushing attack but Tranum remained in position for the solo stop after a four yard gain. Baker relieved Ball at quarterback for the Panthers and connected thru the air on second down with Ramirez who advanced to the Lions 39-yard line before B. Tucker and Snow could make the stop. Tucker broke across the line of scrimmage and sacked Baker on first down for a five yard loss but on second down Baker went back to the passing attack connecting with Cash who was brought down immediately by Z. Hubbert at the Lions 32-yard line. Facing third down and three yards, A. Montesdeoca took the hand-off around the right end for the first down and out of bounds at the 27-yard line. First down brought additional misery as the ball wasn't secured on the snap with Baker making the successful recovery back near mid-field at the Lions 48-yard line. Facing second down and thirty-one yards, Baker went back to the passing game but Snow remained in position knocking the ball away from the reach of Ball to bring up third down. Baker connected with Ramirez on a short pass at the line of scrimmage but he was met immediately for the solo stop by Brubaker leaving the Panthers facing fourth down. Opting to fight for the needed yardage proved to be unsuccessful as Benton stepped in front of the pass making the interception for the Lions and returning the ball up field to the 39-yard line. The Panthers were penalized for an ineligible receiver deep down field but the Lions declined the penalty.
Upton took the hand-off on first down but was met near the line of scrimmage by a host of defenders and on second down Holliday advanced the ball over right guard leaving the Lions eight yards shy of the first down marker. Nichols attempted a pass connection with Brubaker on third down but the ball fell incomplete sending Holliday in to punt the ball away.
Following off-setting penalties on the punt, the Panthers offense lined-up for the possession at their own 35-yard line. On first down Ball took the hand-off ten yards deep on the Lions before Holliday and Upton made the stop. Successful defensive stops by Holliday, Huffman, Upton and Z. Hubbert left the Panthers facing third down and inches near the Lions 45-yard line but a penalty against the Panthers for delay of game moved the ball back just near the mid-field line. Electing to revert to the passing game on the replay of down was unsuccessful as B. Tucker stepped in front of the pass intended for Peek knocking the ball out of reach bringing up fourth down. The Lions defensive pass protection remained strong as Z. Hubbert knocked the ball to the ground on fourth down turning the ball over to the Lions.
Nichols called his own number on first down and rushed around the left side of the line of scrimmage but was met for the stop by Cash leaving the Lions facing second down and nine yards. Holliday took the hand-off straight up the middle fighting off would be tacklers and rambling down to the 6-yard line before Ball could bring him down to save the score. Upton got the call to fight for the end zone and he went over the left side of the line of scrimmage for the score with 1:00 remaining in the third quarter. Benton's PAT kick was perfect and the score stood 47 - 0.
Tranum's ensuing kick was fielded at the 16-yard line by Peek who was met by Nairemore and Logan Moye for the stop at the Panthers 47-yard line. First down brought Ball out of the backfield with the rushing attack up the middle with Upton, Wright and Devin Bush on the stop for the Lions. Facing second down and one yard, Baker called his own number and fought his way around the right end before cutting back across the middle reaching the Lions 30-yard line before Snow, Nairemore and a host of others made the stop as the third quarter came to a close.
The Panthers were moved back five yards on the snap for an illegal procedure call and on the replay of down Ball took the hand-off around the right end for a seven yard pickup with Gage Key making the solo tackle for the Lions. Facing second down and eight yards, A. Montesdeoca rushed over left guard for the first down with Nairemore and others on the stop at the 15-yard line. Evan Dozier, Moye and a host of others were on the tackle for the Lions after Ball advanced the ball deeper to the 4-yard line. With the snap on first down, Ball fought into the end zone for the Panthers first points on the evening with 10:27remaining in the contest. The PAT kick by Ball was perfect and the score stood 47 - 7.
Brubaker made the fair catch reception at the 41-yard line on the ensuing kick from Ball setting the Lions offensive front up for the possession. Brubaker took over as quarterback for the Lions and on first down Blake Anthony got the call to continue the rushing attack. Second down brought Key out of the backfield along with penalty flags against the Lions for a procedure call which was declined by the Panthers. Facing third down, Hunter Berryhill took the hand-off from Brubaker advancing the ball for a five yard gain leaving the Lions facing fourth down and five yards. Holliday returned to the field and punted the ball away with the ball rolling out of bounds at the Panthers 36-yard line.
Rushing attacks by A. Montesdeoca moved the ball deeper down field on the Lions with defensive stops by Key, Anthony, Colby Tidwell, Evan Dozier and Nick Selman. Facing third down and three yards at the Lions 38-yard line, Baker connected with Cash who fought his way down the side line where he was forced out of bounds at the 20-yard line. With a first down just inside the Lions red zone, Ball took the hand-off and fought his way to the end zone for his second touchdown of the night with 4:57 remaining on the game clock. Following a time-out by the Panthers coaching staff, Jose Montesdeoca took the ball across the goal line for the two-point conversion leaving the score 47 - 15 in favor of the Lions.
Nichols lined-up deep for the reception on the ensuing kick from Ball making the reception at the 27-yard line before being brought down at the 25-yard line by Ramirez. Sticking with the game ground, Brubaker and the Lions offense took the remaining time off of the clock with Anthony, Moye and Brady Porterutilizing the rushing attack allowing for time to expire on the game clock and allowing for the Lions to exit the field with the 47 - 15 victory. Team captains for the Lions were players representing the class of 2017.
The successful win advances the Lions into the second round of the play-offs. This Friday night the Lions will travel to Hackleburg to face the Panthers of Region 8. Game time is 7:00p.m.
Comments from Head Coach Lamar Harris:
"Our guys came out in tonight's game and really fought hard in the first half of the game. They exchanged a lot of good hard licks and we stood our ground on the field. It's always beneficial to take control of the game early and that's exactly what the guys did tonight. We wanted that effort from our players in this game and they responded from the opening possession forward. It's a great way to start off in the play-offs. We've got a tough road ahead and with Hackleburg coming up next week it's gonna be a test as we've found ourselves facing them in the play-off season several times over the years. It will be a very treacherous contest and will be a hard-fought battle. We are going to have to be hitting the field on all cylinders if we want to continue playing and extend our season. I'm excited about the opportunity and the week ahead on the practice should be very beneficial. Our fans continue to be strong supporters and have really shown up when we needed that extra motivation for our players so I know this weeks game will be no different. We just hope our side of the field will be loud when we need them and I'm hoping that dedicated support can assist us in securing the victory and allow the guys to move on deeper in the season as we continue fighting for the overall team goal."