Sportspage Game of the Week:
At Ray Talley Stadium - Hanceville:
Sumiton Christian 0 0 0 14 - 14
Hanceville 22 14 12 0 - 48
HV - RJ Evans 59 run (Romeal Simmons run) 11:42 in 1st
HV - Evans 3 run (Simmons run) 7:48 in 1st
HV - Bo Joles 45 pass to Fred Ellis (pass failed) 4:36 in 1st
HV - Allen Huckaby 13 run (Evans run) 9:44 in 2nd
HV - Ellis 11 run (kick failed) 4:48 in 2nd
HV - Huckaby 27 run (pass failed) 6:32 in 3rd
HV - Tristan Herrera recovers fumble in end zone (kick failed) 0:00 in 3rd
SC - Jackson Gable 55 pass to Jeremy Brown (run failed) 6:07 in 4th
SC - Gable 60 pass to Brown (Gable pass to Brown) 1:56 in 4th
FLASH NOTES: Working hard during the summer paid off for Hanceville in total domination of Sumiton Christian to begin the Cody McCain era.
A good kickoff return set the Bulldogs to score on the first play from scrimmage with Evans racing around left end for a 59-yard TD. The Bulldogs would strike two more times in the Sumiton end zone by the end of the first quarter and led 22-0, with 166 yards of total offense accumulated through 12 minutes of play.
Hanceville recovered a Sumiton punt at the Eagles' 13 early in the second stanza and needed one snap to continue the scoring assault.
Huckaby carried it to the end zone and the run from Evans sent the lead to 30-0.
The Bulldogs forced a Sumiton punt and took over at their 30, needing 43 seconds to complete their first half scoring.
Ellis ran it around the right side from the 11 and Hanceville had netted 293 yards of offense by intermission with 13 first downs and 200 on a powerful running game.
Evans went to the locker room with 139 yards on five carries in the first half. Joles completed four of four passes in the half for 93 yards and a TD to Ellis.
With the second half clock shortened to 8:00 in the third quarter and a running clock in the final quarter, the Bulldogs would gain 125 yards offense in the third as Huckaby romped 27 yards for the touchdown and a 42-0 lead.
On the last play of the third, freshman Tristan Herrera pounced on a loose ball in the Sumiton end zone and the Bulldogs carried a comfortable 48-0 cushion to the final stanza.
Sumiton Christian got two touchdowns in the fourth on pass plays from Gable to Brown, covering 55 and 60 yards.
Hanceville would net 413 yards offense in the McCain debut, racking up 16 first downs.
The defense was stout all night with nine tackles behind the line, recovering a fumble in the end zone and allowing Sumiton Christian minus 10 yards for the contest.
Sumiton passed for 177 yards, 128 in the final quarter on three completions and compiled only five first downs.
The Bulldogs celebrated in snapping a 9-game losing streak and defeated the Eagles for the first time ever. This was only the third time the two have played, the first since the 2007 season.
Up next for Hanceville: At Fairview August 31 7:00 p.m.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton
Coach: Cody McCain
Record at Hanceville: 0-0 (1st year)
2017 record: 1-9 (0-6 in 3A, R 6)
2018: Hanceville is in 3A, R 5 with J.B. Pennington, Midfield, Vinemont, Holly Pond, Fultondale and Locust Fork.
Key personnel returning: QB/RB Fred Ellis, RB/LB RJ Evans, RB/S Romeal Simmons, QB Bo Joles, C Logan McKey, G Tristan Herrera, G Will Akin, T Tristin Cornelius.
2018 schedule: Aug. 24 - Sumiton Christian, Aug. 31 - @ Fairview, Sept. 7 - J.B. Pennington, Sept. 14 - Holly Pond, Sept. 21 - @ Vinemont, Sept. 28 - Curry, Oct. 5 - @ Midfield, Oct. 19 - Fultondale, Oct. 26 - @ Locust Fork, Nov. 2 - @ Good Hope.
Outlook: Seeking a winning program for the first time since 2013, Cody McCain has Hanceville working hard.
The Bulldogs were in helmets and shoulder pads for the first time Wednesday, battling 90 degree weather in the late afternoon.
An experienced ball club for a new coach is a promise. Hanceville has personnel that can show good ability in running the ball like Evans, Ellis and Simmons.
Ellis and Simmons were slowed down late in the 2017 season by injuries. That's a key for Hanceville in which key players must avoid bumps and bruises in order for this team to create a path to success.
Hanceville went through its worst campaign since 2008. A 9-game losing streak is hubbering above them as they await the opener at Ray Talley Stadium with Sumiton Christian.
Playing in Region 5 of 3A will be a challenge for the Bulldogs to get from a last place finish in regional play the year before.
No game in the region will be easy. The Bulldogs are aware of that. What adds to the challenges already is a solid Midfield team that was inserted into the region with Fultondale, plus competitive squads out of Locust Fork, J.B. Pennington and Holly Pond.
By regional setup, Hanceville will have to go to Vinemont for the second consecutive year. The Eagles pulled out a victory over the Bulldogs in the closing seconds by the score of 21-20. Nothing more needs to be said to the guys that were on the turf of that battle in 2017.
Fairview is back on the Hanceville schedule, along with Curry. Sumiton Christian meets the Bulldogs for the first time since 2007.
The regular season is now a traditional game as Hanceville will journey to Good Hope on the first Friday in November.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton