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franklin county times

Hubbard takes win over Tharptown

J.R. Tidwell/FCT Russellville wide reciever/running back Alan Bohannon evades a R.A. Hubbard player on a run around the right end Friday night.

THARPTOWN — The Tharptown Wildcats and the R.A. Hubbard Chief looked evenly matched in the early minutes of their game Friday night in Tharptown, but things went downhill quickly for the Wildcats.

Two early interceptions and the speed of Hubbard running back Brandan Hampton put Tharptown in a hole it was unable to climb out of, and the Chiefs won 42-14 on the Wildcats’ Homecoming night.

“We ran into the same thing we have all season; we’re not playing defense,” Tharptown head coach Bill Smith said. “Their speed killed us, and if you don’t play defense you can’t win.”

The Wildcats held Hubbard to a three and out on the first drive of the game. The Chiefs did the same to Tharptown, but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Wildcats another set of downs deep in their own territory.

The Wildcats drive ended when Hubbard’s Austin Beasley picked off Tharptown quarterback Kelby Hallmark at the Wildcat 35.

It took only one more play for the Chiefs to take a 6-0 lead on a 31-yard touchdown run by Hampton around the right end. Hampton hit the PAT to make it 7-0, and the Wildcats would trail the rest of the game.

Another Hubbard interception, this one by Darrain Almon, led to another touchdown run by Hampton, this one from 17 yards out.

A long pass from Hallmark to wide receiver Edgar Bahena late in the first quarter set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Hallmark, finally putting Tharptown on the board with 8:49 remaining in the second quarter.

One offensive play later Hampton was off again, this time on a 55-yard touchdown run around the left side. He missed the PAT, and the Chiefs enjoyed a 20-7 lead.

An 8-yard touchdown run by Hampton and a 44-yard run and score by Almon put the Chiefs on top 34-7 at halftime after one failed and one converted two-point play.

Hubbard needed just over four minutes of the third quarter to score its final points of the game on a 30-yard run by Almon. Hampton ran in the conversion, and the Chiefs went up 42-7.

The final score of the night came on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Hallmark to freshman wide receiver Chris Rickard of the Wildcats, and the Bahena PAT set the final at 42-14.

“This is the worst defeat we’ve had this year,” Smith said. “We didn’t play as hard in this game as we have in others. We have to regroup and play one game at a time the rest of this season.”

The Tharptown Wildcats (2-4, 2-2) will travel to Shoals Christian next Friday night. The R.A. Hubbard Chiefs (3-3, 2-2) will travel to Vina to take on the Red Devils next week.