PREP FOOTBALL: Addison drops tight game at Hackleburg 32-28

The Addison Bulldogs fell to Hackleburg on the road 32-28 Friday night. (Courtesy of Cindy Luker)

HACKLEBURG, Ala. – Addison traveled to Hackleburg, Alabama to take on the Panthers for a game with major region championship implications. In an exciting back and forth affair, the hometown Panthers came away with a thrilling, 32-28 victory. With Hackleburg already having beaten the other power of the region, Meek, the Panthers are now in great position to capture a region championship.

The game could not have started out any better for the visiting Bulldogs, as on a second and 10 play, Bulldog QB Jed Wilkins scampered 69-yards for the touchdown.  A missed two-point conversion later, and at the 11:04 mark of the first quarter, Addison led 6-0.

Hackleburg came right back and after a short Addison kick off, it would be a problem all night, Hackleburg drove 54 yards for the tying score as Jaquan Reeder, a tremendous athlete, scored from 14-yards out. The two-point play was no good. The key play on the drive was the Panthers converting a fourth and 8 play for just enough yards for the first down. At the 6:49 mark, still in the first quarter, it was all tied up at 6.

Addison took over at their own 25-yard line and answered the Panthers touchdown. Wilkins found Elijah Roberts for a beautiful 24-yard pass putting Addison in business at midfield. Three plays later, Braden Luker dashed 38-yards, untouched, for the go-ahead Bulldog score. Two-point attempt was no good and with 3:26 to go in the first quarter Addison led 12-6.

Hackleburg’s first play from scrimmage on their next drive was a little bit of razzle dazzle. Panther QB Blaise Vickery threw a backwards pass in the flat to Reeder who found a streaking Daughtry Gober down the field for a 55-yard half back pass touchdown. There wasn’t a Bulldog within 15-yards of Gober. Another missed two-point try and the game was tied again at 12 in an exciting first quarter.

After a couple of non-scoring possessions by both teams, Hackleburg took over possession in the second quarter at their own 10-yard line. Nine plays later, the Panthers scored the go-ahead touchdown, as Vickery found Cameron Ingram from 5-yards out. Reeder completed the second halfback pass as he threw it to Gober for the successful two-point conversion. With seven minutes left in the half, Hackleburg led for the first time, 20-12.

Addison had a golden scoring opportunity, as Addison’s Bobby Williams recovered a Panther fumbled punt at the Panther 22-yard line. The Panther defense stiffened, and they stopped the Bulldogs on a fourth down play. The half ended with Hackleburg up 20-12.

Hackleburg received the second half kickoff and decided that they were going to control the line of scrimmage and they did just that. The Panthers ran eleven plays for 63 yards and QB Vickery ran it in for the touchdown from 3-yards out. Two-point play was no good. Key play on the drive was Hackleburg converting a fourth and ten play from the Bulldog 15-yard line. With 6:30 on the clock in the third quarter, Hackleburg stretched their lead to 26-12.

This is where, if there is any such thing as a moral victory, Addison found it. On the road and down two scores, with Hackleburg with all the momentum, Addison didn’t quit. Wilkins led the Dawgs on a nine-play drive that covered 73-yards for a touchdown. Addison converted two key downs as Wilkins and Jacob Mauldin moved the chains. Then an unlikely player stepped up as young Elijah Roberts took an off-tackle handoff at the Panther 47-yard line, ran this way and that and after making about half the Panther defense miss him, took it into the endzone for the touchdown. Hayden Holland steamrolled into the endzone for the two-point conversion and with 2:21 to go in the third quarter, Addison had trimmed the Panther lead to 26-20.

After an exchange of possessions, Addison took over at midfield and on first down, Wilkins struck again. Wilkins galloped 50-yards for the go-ahead score. Wilkins then ran in the two-point conversion and Addison had pulled ahead with 6:43 to go in the game, 28-26.

Now, Addison had the crowd into it and all the momentum. The defense had to step up and the game would be won. It wasn’t to be as Hackleburg, who played very poised on this drive went 80-yards for the winning touchdown. Hackleburg converted a third and fifteen, a third and nine and a fourth and two on the drive. Vickery found Gober again for a 5-yard touchdown pass with only 49 seconds remaining on the clock. Addison just could not get off the field on third down. The two-point attempt was no good and the Panthers led 32-28.

Addison got one last chance to move the ball and did get down to the Panther 38-yard line when the clock hit zero. Addison had lost a hard-fought game, 32-28. Both teams played hard and neither fan base would sing the praises of the officiating.

Now barring some miracle, Hackleburg will roll to the region championship while Addison will battle Meek in a couple of weeks for the number two seed in the region.

Addison drops to 2-2 (2-1 region) and will travel to play Waterloo for a region game. Hackleburg moves to 2-1 (2-0 region) and will host Hubbertville in a non-region game.

Unofficial stats

Addison had 33 rushing plays for 296 total yards. Addison had 21 passing plays for 104 total yards. Addison had 54 total plays for 400 total yards.

Hackleburg had 35 rushing plays for 134 total yards. Hackleburg had 23 passing plays for 179 total yards. Hackleburg had 58 total plays for 313 total yards.

Wilkins had 10 completions out of 21 attempts for 104 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Wilkins had 13 carries for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns. Luker had 5 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. Roberts had 1 carry for 47 yards and a touchdown. Holland had 7 carries for 19 yards. Mauldin had 7 carries for 31 yards.

Luker had 3 catches for 32 yards. Jacob McLamb had 3 catches for 36 yards. Roberts had 1 grab for 24 yards. Holland had a catch for 8 yards.

On defense, Addison was led in tackles by Holland with 9. Kaden Dyson had 7. Bradley Willette and Jordan Hubbert had 5 each. Isaiah Treece had 4. Roberts had 3. Luker, Tanner Lawrence, Seth Hammack, Wilkins, William Stewart and Bobby Williams each had 2.

Hubbert had a sack and Williams recovered a fumble.

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