PREP FOOTBALL: Hanceville stumbles, falls to 0-2 on season


HANCEVILLE – The Hanceville Bulldogs left Ray Tally Stadium Friday night with a bad taste in their mouth. The Bulldogs fell to area rival Winston County for the first time in since 2010. This drops the Hanceville record to 0-2, 0-1 in region play.


The Bulldogs won the toss and elected to receive in hopes of getting on the board first to put pressure on the visiting Yellowjackets. Hanceville got off to a strong start behind the running prowess of Dontae Reese who picked up 18 yards on his first three carries. However a delay of game penalty, the forts of nine Hanceville penalties on the night, forced the Bulldogs into a passing situation where sophomore quarterback Branen Hurst was sacked by Winston County’s Kevin Ward. Hanceville was forced to punt the ball to the Jackets and, following a 23 yard return, Winston County set up shop just on their side of the 50 yard line.


The visitors from Winston County showed their ability to move the ball in big chunks right away as QB Timber Blankenship found Gary Brown out of the backfield for a 17 yard gain into Hanceville territory.  The Jackets continued to move the ball well but a costly block in the back penalty de-railed the drive and Winston County would eventually settle for a field goal attempt that missed wide right and kept the score knotted at 0-0.


The Bulldogs took over on their own 11 and they too decided to go to the air on first down, but the Hurts pass was picked off by Cody Henderson and the Yellowjackets were in business once again.  After a false start and a negative play, Blankenship hooked up with Brown again, this time for 16 yards. Facing a fourth and one with a missed field goal already in the books, Winston County opted to try for the first down and they converted when Henderson busted up the middle for 13 big yards. Two plays later Brown carried it in from just inches away and Winston County tallied the one and only score of the first quarter, 7-0.


Hanceville ended the first quarter and started the second with the ball but another costly sack by Jacket linebacker Phillip Daniel forced another Bulldog punt.


Winston County started the drive at their own 35 and needed just one play. Blankenship let a pass fly that found the hands of Henderson who took it to the house to the tune of 65 yards to put the Jackets on top 14-0 but the duo were not done. Hanceville went three and out on their next possession and when Winston County got the ball back, Blankenship once again hit Henderson, this time for 41 yards and the score to give the visitors a comfortable 21-0 lead heading to halftime.


The third quarter opened with Winston County on their own 43 yard line thanks to a decent kickoff return. Brown started the drive with a six yard carry and the Jackets were helped out with some added yardage thanks to a Hanceville penalty.


Henderson got the carry on the next play and ran the ball to the right hash. He was stopped there but reversed his field, coming all the way back to the left sideline where he found daylight and sprinted 33 yards to pay dirt to put Winston County up 27-0 following the failed PAT. A pop up onside kick resulted in a another Jacket possession, and another score by Brown to bring the score to 36-0 with just over 10 minutes left to play in the third quarter.


Hanceville found themselves in a huge hole where it would be easy to just quit and look forward to next week, but I assure you, the Bulldogs do not know the meaning of the word quit. Hanceville forced a fumble to stop a Winston County scoring drive, taking over on their own 30 yard line. Three plays and a first down later, the ball was stuck in the gut of Reese and he did the rest. The senior standout busted through the line and streaked 59 yards for the first Hanceville touchdown on the night. Reese would find the end zone again, from eight yards out, for the final score of the ballgame. Final score Winston County 41 Hanceville 12.


The Bulldogs face Vinemont next week in region action.