HACKLEBURG - Hackleburg ended the 2018 season with a 22-12 victory over rival Phil Campbell on Thursday, Nov. 1.
The win gave the Panthers their 16th consecutive victory over their longest-running rival. It also improved Hackleburg’s lead in the all-time series to 50-33-1.
The victory ended Hackleburg’s season at 3-7 overall and 2-4 in Class 1A, Region 8. Phil Campbell dropped to 2-8 overall and finished 1-5 in Class 3A, Region 8.
Panther head coach Rod Hudson expressed his pride in the way his team performed for senior night.
“I am really proud of our guys winning our last game for the seniors--Kaleb Moore, Sawyer Lynch, Camron Randolph, James Nichols and Evan Holmes. Kaleb and Sawyer have been around here for a long time. They played a lot of games for us.
“Our offensive line played well against a much-bigger Phil Campbell team,” the 10-year head coach added. “We played physical and had a lot of guys make plays when they had the opportunity.
“We had two picks by freshmen Josh Cooper and Joe Carter and a key fumble recovery in the fourth quarter. Noah McCarley and Kylean Dulaney played well on defense.”
Continuing, Hudson said, “Kaleb carried the ball 40 times and ran the ball hard for four quarters.”
Phil Campbell received the opening kickoff and was immediately stifled by the Panther defense as Hackleburg forced a three-and-out before the Bobcats punted.
The two teams traded possessions before Hackleburg’s offense saw Kaleb Moore run in from five yards away for the first points of the game midway through the second quarter. The senior quarterback carried in the 2-point conversion to give the Panthers an 8-0 advantage with 5:20 left in the half.
The second half saw Moore score his second rushing touchdown of the game when he sped into the end zone from 75 yards away. An unsuccessful 2-point attempt left Hackleburg holding a 14-0 lead with 4:37 left in the game.
The Bobcats used a heavy dose of Ridge Raper on the following drive before he ran in for a 13-yard touchdown. The 2-point try was no good to leave the Panthers’ lead at 14-6 with 2:23 left in the game.
Phil Campbell’s comeback attempt did not end there as the Bobcats scored again with 6:30 left in the contest with Luke Barnwell carrying the ball across the goal line for a four-yard touchdown. The 2-point attempt was once again no good to keep Hackleburg’s advantage at 14-12.
The Panthers sealed the game by converting a fourth-down play with Moore using a jump pass to find Camron Randolph for an 18-yard touchdown. Moore carried in the 2-point try to give Hackleburg a 22-12 lead with 2:09 left in the game.
Josh Cooper intercepted a Phil Campbell pass on the next drive to give Hackleburg the chance to take three kneel-downs to capture the team’s third win on the season.
The Panther offense finished with 238 total yards--160 on the ground and 78 through the air.
Moore led the way by completing 4-of-8 pass attempts for 78 yards and a score. He added 40 runs for 155 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Lynch had two runs for five yards and pulled in three passes for 58 yards while Randolph added an 18-yard touchdown reception.
Defensively, Moore led the team in tackles with nine while also forcing two fumbles. Noah McCarley had seven stops. Randolph, Joe Carter and Lynch had six tackles apiece and Randolph added a fumble recovery and Carter had an interception.
Ethan Heggy and Kylean Dulaney each had three tackles. Josh Cooper had two stops, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass. Gavin Pyburn added two tackles while Jacob Rector and Daniel Cooper each had a tackle. Daniel Cooper and Evan Holmes each also forced a fumble.
“Overall, it was good to get a win against one of our rivals and we will start workouts in a few weeks,” Hudson said.
“Our coaches did a good job with adjustments during the game and made some good calls.”
See complete story in the Journal Record.