PREP FOOTBALL: Explosive running game leads Cullman past Albertville 31-7

Cullman running backs Jayden Sullins (23) and Jaylen Hughey (6) racked up over 300 yards in the Bearcats’ 31-7 win over Albertville. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – After handling Columbia 48-0 on the road last Thursday, the Cullman Bearcats returned to Oliver Woodard Stadium this week to collect their third straight win of the season over Albertville. Cullman’s defense, backfield and offensive front dominated yet again this week and those performances helped lead the Bearcats to a 31-7 win over the Aggies.

Cullman running backs Jayden Sullins and Jaylen Hughey both had big nights on the ground. Sullins racked up 162 yards on 16 carries in the win while Hughey tacked on 148 more on just 10 carries and found the end zone three times. Together they made up 310 of Cullman’s 372 yards of offense and ripped off seven runs of 10 yards or more. Hughey was a factor in the Bearcats’ defensive performance as well. Albertville was held scoreless for almost the entire game before punching one in late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach and Cullman forced four turnovers in the win as well.

“It’s a work in progress and the goal is to get better every week and every day in practice with every rep and I think you’re seeing the results of that, but we’ve got to keep on grinding. What we’re facing this second half of the season is a murderer’s row, ok,” Glasscock said. “There are playoff positions at stake, we’ve got the nation’s top running back in Roydell Williams coming in here next week and it’s no time to think we’ve arrived because we certainly haven’t. There’s a ton of things to clean up from this game but I’m proud of their effort. I’m proud of the focus, I felt like we had a great week of practice and I thought our guys played like that.”

The Bearcats struck first in the opening quarter when Hughey took one up the middle 25 yards into the end zone and made it 7-0 but both defenses locked things down for the remainder of the first. Matt Brock intercepted an Aggies pass early in the second quarter to give the ball back to the offense and Cullman tacked on three more points to stretch its lead to 10-0 when Brody Adams connected on a 35-yard field goal midway through the period.

Quarterback Max Dueland capped off a scoring drive with just over a minute remaining in the half by hitting Isaiah Jones on a fade from 11-yards out to make it a 17-0 game going into the break.

The score held for most of the third quarter until Hughey scored his second touchdown of the night from seven yards out to give the Bearcats a 24-0 lead and they got the ball back from Albertville on its next possession when the Aggies fumbled the ball going into the end zone for a Cullman touchback. Two plays later, Hughey put the game away by bursting through the line and out running the defense for a 74-yard touchdown run that extended the lead to 31-0 with just over a minute to play in the third.

Albertville ran one in from 11-yards out later in the fourth to cut the lead to 31-7 but it was too little too late, and the Bearcats pulled away to collect their third straight win and move to 3-2 on the year. Cullman will be back at home next week to face 6A powerhouse Hueytown and star running back Roydell Williams.

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Nick Griffin