By Tommy Shields/Sports Correspondent
Hokes Bluff dropped its seventh game of the season last Friday (Oct. 19), losing 19-15 to Class 4A, Region 5 rival Anniston by a score of 19-15.
“I think our kids played well,” said Hokes Bluff head coach Mike Robertson. “Our line played well, our running back played well and our quarterback played well. We just didn’t make the plays when we needed them, and that is something [Anniston was] able to capitalize on.”
The Eagles (1-7, 0-6) drew first blood after the Hokes Bluff defense picked off an errant Bulldog pass.
The Eagle offense embarked on a 10-play, 73-yard drive that was capped off by an 18-yard touchdown strike from Brad Robertson to Charlie Reed, a score that put the Eagles up 7-0 with 18 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
But the Bulldogs (6-3, 4-2) struck back two possessions later on a bruising, up-the-gut touchdown run by Rashad Williams to put the score at seven-all with 4:25 remaining in the second period.
Hokes Bluff drove the length of the field on its next possession but was unable to convert a 38-yard field attempt, leaving the score tied at 7-7 going into the locker room.
The Eagles recovered an onside kick on the second half’s opening kickoff and quickly converted the turnover into points on a two-yard TD run rumble by Chase Beggs. Robertson had a few more tricks up his sleeve, and after a fake field goal attempt, a successful two-point conversion put the score at 15-7 at the beginning of the third quarter.
The next Hokes Bluff drive was cut short by an interception by Tydarious Williams. Another Bulldog three-and-out was the result of the next drive, but the Anniston defense stood strong when Da’monta Miller picked off another errant Eagle pass.
Miller was the key factor on the next Anniston drive, going 50 yards through and around the Eagle defense for the Bulldog’s second touchdown of the game. But a failed two-point conversion attempt left the Dawgs down two points going into the fourth quarter.
On the next Hokes Bluff series, a failed fourth down try snuffed out the chance for additional points. What would have been a 66-yard touchdown run was wiped out by a holding penalty, and Anniston turned the ball over on downs.
The Bulldogs soon got the ball back, and four straight pass completions later, the Dawgs were sitting pretty in the end zone after a 30-yard touchdown heave to Da’monta Miller and a 19-15 lead.
The Eagles kicked in their two-minute drill on the next series, with quarterback Brad Robertson leading the Bluff all the way to the Bulldog 7.
The Eagles were poised to punch in the go-ahead touchdown, but the Anniston defense rose to the occasion when Jamar Jones picked off the last Hokes Bluff pass of the night.
Robertson was 16-for-28 in passing for with 246 yards and a touchdown.
In the rushing game, Beggs went 76 yards on 28 carries, while Robertson added 30 yards on five attempts. Beggs also caught three passes for 41 yards.
Reed had six receptions for 96 yards, while Nick Woodruff caught five passes for 79 yards.
Chase Pope led the Eagles in tackles with 13, followed by Dylan McKee with 12, Noah Click with 10 and Jake Ponder with eight.
Next week the Eagles finish out region play with a trip to Cherokee County.