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Hillcrest stops Tigers in their tracks

Hillcrest’s Keith Holcombe sacks Bessemer City quarterback Patrick Johnson in Friday’s Class 6A, Region 5 game. (Photo by Kelly Lambert)


TUSCALOOSA | Riley Nix threw for a score and ran for another to lead Hillcrest to a 21-0 rout of Class 6A, Region 5 opponent Bessemer City and its first win of the year.

Nix scored on a run from inside the 1-yard line and on a 2-yard pass. The pass was caught by Austin Williams after being deflected in the end zone.

“It’s all our offensive line,” Nix said. “The line, they did a great job. Our coaches had a good game plan, and we executed. We try to get better every day and come out there and work hard.”

Nix and the rest of the Patriot offense benefitted from a strong defensive effort that not only held Bessemer City scoreless, but also had interceptions by Jordan Robertson and Jamie Hayes and allowed only 12 yards rushing. The defense and special teams allowed the offense to start from its own 45 or better on each scoring drive, including one drive starting on the Bessemer City 19 after Trae Robinson blocked a punt.

“I thought the kids executed at a pretty good level, especially on defense,” Patriot coach Scott Martin said. “Our defense kind of controlled the football game, which gave the offense plenty of opportunities to score and we finally got a few scores in. I was happy. To get a win when you’re 0-2, you’ll take them any way you can get them.”

Offensively, Hillcrest got another score from Charles Bester on a 3-yard score. He ran for 64 yards.

Hillcrest also benefitted from 11 Bessemer City penalties, many of which stalled out any progress the Tiger offense was making.

“Just too many mistakes, man,” Tigers coach Dennis Alexander said. “We can’t beat anybody if we keep beating ourselves. If we’re going to beat ourselves like this, we’re not going to be very good. We just had way too many turnovers, way too many penalties. We got rattled early when things weren’t going well, and we never did get going. We had guys that were looking for other guys to make plays, and we can’t have that. This is a tough league as it is, and we have to make plays when we have the chance to make them.”

Hillcrest (1-2, 1-1) will play at Hueytown next week. Bessemer City (2-1, 1-1) will host Tuscaloosa County.