PREP FOOTBALL: Hanceville drops shootout against Locust Fork 55-46

A host of Bulldog defenders sack Locust Fork during Hanceville’s 55-46 loss to the Hornets Thursday night. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The Hanceville Bulldogs played host to the Locust Fork Hornets Thursday night and couldn’t quite keep pace in a very high-scoring affair.

Locust Fork won the toss and elected to receive, but the Hornet offense failed to gain a first down.

Hanceville took over possession on its own 17 and on its second play from scrimmage, quarterback Zack Campbell hit Logan Guthery in stride down the home sideline for an 81-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead with 9:06 left in the first quarter.

With the first coming to a close, Locust Fork started on its own 36-yard line. Driving the ball down the field, the Hornets found themselves on the Bulldog 45-yard line when they hit Branden Ellison on a screen pass and he took it 45 yards for the touchdown with 1:17 left in first, giving Locust Fork a 7-6 advantage.

Hanceville came right back with a 55-yard touchdown strike of its own that made it Hanceville 14, Locust Fork 7 with 9:54 left in the second.

Locust Fork tied the game with a 1-yard touchdown run by Micah Calvert with 6:48 left in the half, and after the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs, a Locust Fork drive made it all the way down to the Hanceville 5-yard line. Charlie Cater called his own number for Locust Fork and gave the Hornets a 21-14 lead with 2:21 left in the half.

Hanceville ended the first half scoring on a 4-yard run by Trevor Shadden that cut the lead to 21-20 going into the break.

After a great halftime show by both bands, the Bulldogs received the second half kickoff and opened up with a pass that was picked off by the Hornets. After a 45-yard drive down to the 1-yard line, Locust Fork scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to go up 27-20 early in the third.

Hanceville, starting on the 50-yard line, found Brodie Malcom behind the defense for a 50-yard touchdown pass that cut the lead to 27-26 with 7:28 left in third.

After the kickoff, Locust Fork was sitting at its own 30-yard line when Bo Joles picked off a Hornet pass and took it in for the score to make it Hanceville 34, Locust Fork 27 with 7:15 left in the third. Locust Fork’s offense was hitting on all cylinders and struck back, with Oden scoring again to tie the game at 34 with 5:28 left in the quarter.

Hanceville’s Shadden brought the crowd to its feet on the ensuing kickoff when he went untouched for 80 yards and the go-ahead touchdown with 5:16 left in the third to make it 40-34.

The third-quarter scoring didn’t end there. Locust Fork got the ball back, and with a strong passing attack and hard running, the Hornet quarterback led his team down to the 1-yard line where Cater called his own number and gave the Hornets a 41-40 lead with 3:31 left in the third.

Hanceville did not give up. Shadden took in a 35-yard pass for another touchdown that put the Bulldogs up 46-41.

Trailing by five points, the Hornets used a 96-yard scoring drive to get the go-ahead touchdown. The drive was capped off by a Cater to Oden 30-yard touchdown pass, and after the 2-point conversion, Locust Fork was on top 49-46 with 3:57 left in the game.

The Bulldogs wouldn’t go away without a fight. They tried hard, but turned the ball over on downs and Locust Fork got the ball back with just over two minutes to go. It looked like the Bulldogs were going to get a much-needed stop, but on fourth-and-4, Cater called his own number again, busting through the Bulldog defense for a 41- yard touchdown run that put the game away with a final score of 55-46.

The Bulldogs will be back home next week to finish up the regular season against the Good Hope Raiders.

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