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Tuscaloosa County wins defensive duel over Gophers

Tuscaloosa County’s Stephen Webb (47) runs for a gain against Hueytown on Friday night. (Photo by Stewart Gwin)


NORTHPORT | Early opportunities marked the game for Tuscaloosa County High School on Friday night, as it slid past Hueytown 3-0 for its second straight shutout victory.

Emiliano Ramirez kicked a 23-yard field goal five and a half minutes into the first quarter of the Class 6A, Region 5 game, recording the only points of the game.

“We had chances in the first half. We should have been up 14-0,” Wildcats coach Lee Gibson said.

After the first quarter, the game became a showdown between opposing defenses.

“They’re just solid,” Gibson said of his defensive line. “That’s what they do every week and I don’t want to take anything away from what (Hueytown’s) offense did. I thought those guys came out and played their hearts out.”

TCHS made a strong effort from start to finish, even into the closing minutes of the game. With 2:22 on the clock, junior running back Jonathon Fonbah, who led the Wildcats with 42 rushing yards on 16 carries, gained 12 yards for TCHS, trying to connect on offense.

“I was going through, and I saw all the defensive players go right, so I cut a left where the green grass was and that’s where I ran it,” he said. “The line was looking good and I just saw the cutback, and I took it.”

Hueytown coach Matt Scott said the Golden Gophers improved their defensive game this week after falling to Hoover, 45-6, last week.

“We flipped the script tonight,” he said. “The defense played great. At the end of the day, we’ve got to be able to execute our passing game.”

Hueytown was led by Denarrius Miller, who recorded 95 rushing yards on 22 carries.

“(Miller)’s a phenomenal player, great kid, and just been a great player for us for a long time, so at the end of the day we’re excited about him,” Scott said.

Junior wide receiver Allen Cooks led TCHS receivers with five catches for 33 yards, while senior Tylan Perry had two catches for 44 yards.

For Hueytown, running back Arnold Benedict had one catch for 8 yards, while senior wide receiver Keith Johnson II had two catches for 7 yards.

“We’re going to play good defense, run the football, play good special teams, and that’s kind of what we’re going to hang our hat on,” Scott said.

Tuscaloosa County (2-1, 2-0) will play at Bessemer City next week, while Hueytown (1-2, 0-2) will host Hillcrest.