PREP FOOTBALL: Arab hammers Hazel Green at home 49-21


ARAB, Ala. – After collecting a massive win over Guntersville last week and securing this year’s region title, the Arabian Knights were back home Friday night to finish their regular season slate against Hazel Green. Arab got off to a bit of a slow start in this one but found is rhythm late in the first quarter on the way to a dominant, 49-21 performance against the Trojans.

Hazel Green extended its opening drive with a fake punt and eventually finished things in the end zone to take an early, 7-0 lead over the Knights. However, Arab answered with a long, methodical drive that capped with a 2-yard touchdown run by Drake Franklin and with just over a minute left to play in the first, the score was knotted at 7. The Knights took their first lead of the night on their next possession when Drew Puccio took a handoff on a jet sweep and ran it into the end zone from 19 yards out. Following Aiden Wooten’s extra point, Arab led 14-7 with about eight minutes remaining in the first half.

The Trojans responded with another scoring drive to tie the game at 14 with three minutes on the clock in the second quarter but the Knights were able to retake the lead before the half. Big runs by Franklin moved the chains quickly for Arab and quarterback Aidan Cox finished the drive with a 1-yard QB sneak into the end zone to put the Knights back in front 21-14 with 36 seconds to play in the half. Arab held onto that lead going into the locker room at the break.

The Knights began to create some separation in the third quarter. A touchdown pass from Cox to Strickland made it 28-14 early in the third and a fumble forced by Will Caneer and recovered by Caleb Perkins gave the ball back to the offense with a short field. A few plays later, Hayden O’Reily ran it in for a 4-yard touchdown and put the Knights on top 35-14. The next Arab possession ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Dakota Nesmith and gave the Knights a commanding, 42-14 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Following another Trojans score, O’Reily ran in another touchdown from 6 yards out to make it a 49-21 game midway through the fourth and those were the final points of the night as Arab wrapped up its regular season with a 49-21 win over Hazel Green.

The Arabian Knights finish the regular season with a record of 9-1, their first 9-win season since 1993, and they’ll be back home in two weeks to host Brewer in the opening round of the 5A State Playoffs.

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