Cleburne County defeats Hokes Bluff 16-13
Fri. October 05, 2012 at 11:58 p.m. | By J.J. Hicks Staff Writer
Hokes Bluff’s Charlie Reed reaches for the football as Cleburne County’s Isaiah Wade defends on the pass play in Friday’s game. Cleburne County was penalized for pass interference. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)
HOKES BLUFF — For the second straight week, Hokes Bluff showed a flair for the dramatic. The result was a little less favorable this time, though.
Cleburne County’s Tito Roblero hit a 19-yard field goal with 59 seconds left, and Jonathan Pruett’s 42-yard field goal attempt came up short as time expired and the Tigers beat the Eagles on homecoming 16-13 in Class 4A, Region 5 high school football play Friday.
The game-winner by Roblero was set up by a bad punt snap by Hokes Bluff (1-5, 0-4). The snap rolled on the ground to Charlie Reed, who was unable to pick it up in time to get a kick off and was tackled at the Eagles’ 33-yard line with 6:37 left in the game. From there, the visitors drained the clock by running the ball on 11 straight plays until Roblero’s kick.
“I thought we played hard and did a lot of good things,” Hokes Bluff coach Mike Robertson said. “I’m proud of our guys. They (Cleburne County) have a good team. We just didn’t execute as well tonight.”
The game was tied 13-13 at halftime. Each team had opportunities throughout the second half, but could not capitalize until late.
Brad Robertson was intercepted by Cleburne’s Clayton Smith at the 50 with 6:43 left in the third quarter. The Tigers could do nothing with it, though, and were forced to punt.
Later in the quarter, a shanked punt gave Cleburne the ball at the Eagles’ 36, but it lost two yards in three plays and punted.
Hokes Bluff gained a turnover early in the fourth quarter when Alex Hawk covered a fumble at the Eagles’ 36. It was unable to get a first down, and the bad snap that gave the ball over to the Tigers for the game-clinching drive came on fourth down.
“We didn’t move the ball much in the second half and get our defense off the field,” Mike Robertson said. “They started stunting a little more in the second half, maybe did a few little things different, but nothing big overall. It just seemed like we couldn’t get in a rhythm, and when we did we backed ourselves up with penalties.”
The antithesis of the second half, the first half was an offensive-minded back-and-forth affair. Hokes Bluff had 164 yards in the first two quarters, while Cleburne (3-3, 2-2) totalled 160 yards. The Eagles finished with 276 yards in the game, while the Tigers had 231 yards. In the third quarter, the hosts held Cleburne to -1 yard.
The Tigers took the opening possession 65 yards in 11 plays for the first score. Trey Bolton ran it in from 4 yards out with 7:43 left in the first quarter to make it 6-0. The extra point was blocked. Bolton led all rushers with 130 yards on 21 carries.
The Eagles responded with a eight play, 69-yard drive to tie the game up. Braydon Hawk plunged in from 2 yards out to make it 6-6 with 4:15 left in the opening period. Pruett’s kick bounced off the left upright no good.
Following a punt return, Cleburne took over on the Hokes Bluff 40 late in the quarter. Seven plays later, John Butler scored on a 2-yard run with 9:17 left until halftime. Roblero’s kick made it 13-7.
The Eagles quickly responded. Starting at the 50, Brad Robertson found Reed on a deep pass to the Tigers’ 3. Two plays later, Braydon Hawk scored on another 2-yard run with 8:13 left in the second quarter. Pruett’s kick tied the game at 13. Brad Robertson finished 12 of 21 passing for 148 yards.
Each team had a scoring chance before the break but could not convert. Pruett had a 27-yard kick blocked with 3:01 left in the period. Cleburne then drove as far as the Eagles’ 10, but it had no more timeouts and could not get the field goal unit on the field before the half ran out.
Chase Beggs paced Hokes Bluff with 81 yards rushing on 15 attempts. Brady Padgett hit 5 of 12 passes for 63 yards for the Tigers.
Hokes Bluff continues Region 5 play next week on the road against Munford.