Photo: Hokes Bluff’s Trent Dooley (15) attempts to bring down Glencoe’s Justin Dove during the Eagles’ 35-6 victory in high school football last Saturday (Sept. 28) at GHS. (Alex Chaney)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
A 16-hour delay and near triple digit temperatures could not prevent Hokes Bluff from winning its fourth straight game against its ancient rival from across Hwy. 278.
The visiting Eagles (3-2, 1-2) scored five touchdowns in 10 plays, all the first half, on the way to a 35-0 victory over Glencoe last Saturday (Sept. 28). The win ended Hokes Bluff’s losing streak at two games and narrowed the Yellow Jackets’ series lead to 42-33-1.
Most of the Eagle starters remained on the sideline after the first half, during which Darrian Meads scored four touchdowns on just seven total carries to essentially put the game out of reach. The senior halfback finished with 44 rushing yards.
The Hokes Bluff defense allowed Glencoe (0-5, 0-3) little or no room to operate. The hosts mustered just 67 total yards, including minus-23 at halftime. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets had one non-penalty first down and crossed midfield only twice. The Jackets’ first 10 offensive possessions ended in seven punts, two lost fumbles and the halftime buzzer.
Glencoe’s lone score came with 1:17 left in the game when Jacob Perry caught a tipped pass in stride at the Eagle 30-yard line and ran untouched into the end zone for the Yellow Jackets’ first points of the 2019 season
Hokes Bluff head coach Mike Robertson noted that the postponement of the game from Friday night to Saturday morning did not seem to affect his players. The contest was called shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Friday following a lightning storm that either delayed or postponed several other local high school football games.
“We’ve got a good group of seniors that’s been through a lot and are mentally tough, so it really wasn’t a big deal. As far as the heat goes, we practice every day at 3:00 when it’s even hotter.”
Friday’s portion of the game was halted after just 58 seconds and two plays from scrimmage due to lightening strikes in the area. On Saturday, the action started with Glencoe having a first down and 10 at the Eagle 34.
Following an incomplete pass, Hokes Bluff’s Dylan Boatner scooped up a fumble at the Yellow Jacket 45 and took it into the end zone for the score. Jadan Burns followed through with the first of his five extra points.
The Glencoe offense responded with four straight three-and-outs, and the Eagles took advantage with touchdown runs from Meads at 5:59, 3:06 and 33.1 of the first quarter and at the 10:07 mark of the second period.
The Yellow Jackets had a good opportunity late in the first half after Daniel Maye’s 20-yard run on a fake fourth down conversion, but the drive ended at the Eagle 37 when the halftime buzzer sounded.
Robertson cleared his bench in the second half, which for the most part consisted of an exchange of punts until Perry’s late score.
Maye rushed for 47 yards on 19 attempts.
“I thought our starters came out and played extremely hard,” said Robertson. “Luckily we got a lead and didn’t have to play any of our starters in the second half, which was huge considering how beat up we are right now.”
Hokes Bluff finished with 111 total yards, 84 via the rush. Meads led defensively with seven tackles, followed by Will Clemons and Austin Blevins with six each.
“I’ve been down 49 to 6 at halftime in this [series], so I know what it’s like to be on the other end,” said Robertson. “Give [Glencoe head] coach [Brian] Alred credit. He did a really good job of preparing his team. I thought [Glencoe’s] kids played hard.”
Both teams resume region play this Friday (Oct. 4). Hokes Bluff travels to Ashville, while Glencoe hosts Pleasant Valley.