PC homecoming spoiled by Hatton 32-14
PHIL CAMPBELL – An early two-touchdown lead propelled Hatton past Phil Campbell 32-14 in a Class 2A, Region 8 showdown and spoiled the Bobcats' homecoming at Parrish Stadium Friday night.
Phil Campbell (1-7, 0-6) restricted Hornets senior tailback Tevin Terrell to only 50 yards rushing and a touchdown but freshman quarterback Devin Parker, the nephew of first-year Phil Campbell coach Michael Parker, rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns and finished 13-of-12 with 125 yards passing.
"Devin did what I expected him to because he's a football player, and I've been telling our team all week that No. 10 is a good player," said Parker. "But the good thing about our team is its heart. The character of our players is outstanding, and I wouldn't trade them for any other team, whether we finish 1-9 or 3-7."
Hatton (5-3, 3-3) jumped ahead on a 10-yard run by Parker five minutes into the game and a 3-yard score by Terrell with 1:40 left in the first quarter.
"It's been like that all year because we give up 14 points and then we start playing," Parker said. "We gave up 14 points in our losses to East Lawrence, Tanner and Clements, and it's not that we're playing young guys – we're just inexperienced. They play hard but they're still learning how to start and win football games."
Phil Campbell cut the margin to 14-6 with 7:43 left in the third quarter when sophomore quarterback Jordan Benford zipped a 9-yard pass to Matt Waid on a slant route in the end zone.
Hatton put together two scoring drives and went ahead 26-6 with 8:29 left in the fourth quarter. Phil Campbell cut it to 26-14 with 6:38 remaining when senior Daniel Bryant took a handoff up the middle at the Hatton 14-yard line and dragged several tacklers into the end zone and Benford ran in the two-point conversion.
But the Hornets put the game away on its ensuing drive as Parker scored his third touchdown of the night with a 16-yard run.
"Matt Waid caught the ball well, including his touchdown catch, which was a momentum builder for us," Parker said. "I thought our offensive line pass-blocked well, but we just had some miscues."
Benford finished 8-of-18 for 132 yards passing and a touchdown, while Waid caught five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Bryant, who had two 26-yard runs, had 15 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Justin Thompson intercepted his first pass this season when he picked off Parker midway through the second quarter in front of his own end zone and returned the ball to the Phil Campbell 34-yard line.
Senior Adam Mitchell and junior Dillan Hamby each had 12 tackles to lead Phil Campbell. Dakota Demastus and Dalton Hamby both had two tackles for a loss, while Mitchell and Zack Patrick each tallied 1.5 tackles for a loss.
Phil Campbell had three turnovers, including a fumble and two interceptions, while Hatton had only one turnover. The Hornets were penalized six times for 50 yards, and the Bobcats were flagged just three times for 31 yards.
"I told them after the game that we have to (fix) our miscues and keep making adjustments," Parker said. "But we're improving and we are a much better football team now than at the beginning of this season."
The victory keeps Hatton's playoff hopes alive, while Phil Campbell plays at Westminster Christian in Huntsville next Friday. The Bobcats were eliminated from playoff contention after falling to Cherokee 44-14 last Friday.
Westminster Christian (2-6, 0-6) features a pass-first offense with senior signal caller Brian Park, who broke the state record for completions with a 38-of-62, 447-yard performance in a 51-26 loss to Red Bay Sept. 5.
"We're going to have get ready for the passing game because we're going to face one of the top quarterbacks in the state," Parker said.