HANCEVILLE – For the first half, the Hanceville Bulldogs went toe to toe with the Addison Bulldogs in coach Craig Flanigan's debut at Ray Talley Stadium Friday night.
But the contest became a different story in the second, with Addison dominating and pulling away from Hanceville by a final margin of 46-20.
Addison forced three turnovers in the third quarter, including one on the final play of the period in which Noah Rice scampered 40 yards to the end zone to extend the lead for the visiting Bulldogs to 34-14.
Two touchdowns were added to the Addison side of the scoreboard in the final period thanks to field position with both drives well inside Hanceville territory.
Both exploded for two touchdowns apiece in the second quarter that had the fans delighted for offensive football on the final Friday of August under humid conditions.
The difference in the game by halftime was a 65-yard run from Addison fullback Ben Robinson on the first play from scrimmage that gave the visitors a 7-0 lead.
Addison executed a long TD to begin the second stanza when Rice, from his quarterback position, raced 69 yards up the middle and Addison led 14-0 when Zeb Maze followed with the conversion.
Trailing by two touchdowns, Hanceville got the ball back after a Maze punt went into the end zone. Starting from their 20, the Bulldogs utilized their running attack featuring BJ Smalls. Smalls would gain 135 yards in just the second quarter.
Hanceville accounted for seven first downs during the long 80-yard series as Smalls went around eight end for the score from 15 yards out with 3:27 to go in the period. The extra point from Austin Jones narrowed the deficit to 14-7.
But Addison got a huge kickoff return from Chandler Cookenmaster, putting the visitors in possession at the Hanceville 42. Rice would finish it with a run from the 10 and the kick by Maze made it 21-7 with only 36 seconds left until halftime.
All Hanceville needed was one play to reduce the margin to a one-score game. Smalls took the handoff from Branen Hurst and got loose for 70 yards down the left side to put Hanceville in striking distance at 21-14.
At the half, Hanceville had outgained Addison in total offense 216 to 195 with 157 coming in the second quarter, led by Smalls who had 160 yards on the ground by intermission and a pair of touchdowns.
But the game changed to Addison's advantage when the visitors recovered a fumble on the first play of the third period at the Hanceville 26. After a 2-yard loss on first down, Robinson found a hole for a 28-yard run and the kick from Maze sent Addison to a 28-14 cushion, just a minute into the final half.
Hanceville's vaunted offense that ripped Addison apart in the first half, managed just 41 yards in the third quarter. RJ Evans got an 11-yard run and a first down to the Hanceville 40 when he lost the ball as time was running out in the third.
Rice scooped it up and raced untouched to pay dirt for his third score of the game and a 34-14 lead for Addison entering the final quarter.
A 33-yard punt return from Cookenmaster put Addison at the Hanceville 17 early in the fourth. Maze would find the end zone for the first time in the game on a run from the 10-yard line. He missed the conversion with Addison leading 40-14 and 8:36 remaining in the game.
The next Hanceville series ended with a loss on downs at its 37. A 27-yard run by Robinson set up the final score when freshman Jacob Smithson took it in from the 7-yard line with 4:38 showing on the clock. Addison was enjoying a 46-14 advantage and began to send in plenty of reserves to finish the evening.
Hanceville answered with a 75-yard scoring drive, highlighted by a 41-yard run to the end zone from Cameron Barbee. The extra point was wide left and Hanceville was down 46-20.
The home team recovered a squib kick and had a chance for another score, but Addison prevented it and went home with the victory and a 2-0 start on the 2016 season.
Robinson ran for 148 yards and scored twice for the undefeated visitors while Rice gained 92 yards on the ground and had two touchdowns plus a third score on the fumble return. Addison would finish with 284 yards of total offense and 10 first downs.
Hanceville won the statistics, gaining 331 yards on offense, 202 coming from the legs of Smalls who scored twice. Hanceville had three fumbles in the second half and 115 yards of offense. The Bulldogs also gave up the ball once on downs and had to punt twice in the second half that set up Addison in great field position on returns.
Now the two teams of Bulldogs begin their quests for success in regional play. Hanceville is at Fultondale next Friday to open 3A, Region 6 with Addison getting a visit by Southeastern in its opener in Class 1A, Region 7.
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