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Berry makes quarterfinals for first time


 

BERRY | Maken Potter scored three rushing touchdowns to give Berry an early lead that it never relinquished, as the Wildcats defeated Hackleburg 44-14 Friday night to advance to the third round of the Class 1A playoffs for the first time in school history.

“The best thing about it is getting to work with these kids another week,” Berry (8-4) coach Danny Raines said. “Obviously, being the first time in school history is special, but the biggest thing is getting to work with this great group one more week.”

Potter scored on a 2-yard rush on the opening drive of the game to put Berry up 6-0. Early in the second quarter, Potter added a 6-yard touchdown rush for a 12-0 lead. Then with 6:52 to play in the first half, Potter snuck in a 1-yard score to give Berry an 18-0 lead.

Hackleburg tried to fight back as quarterback Dylan Gallaway connected on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tristan Quinn to cut the lead to 18-7. But the Wildcats marched right back down the field and Clancy Brown added a 3-yard touchdown run to give them a 24-7 halftime lead.

Berry successfully tried an onside kick to start the second half. Terrance “Tank” Hollingsworth scored on a 42-yard run three plays later to put the Wildcats up 30-7.

On the next drive, Austin Adair scored on a 4-yard rush for the Panthers to cut the lead to 30-14.

Hackleburg forced a Berry punt but was called for a 5-yard penalty. The Wildcats decided to go for it on fourth-and-3 from their own 33. Hollingsworth picked up the first down and Berry controlled from that point on.

The Wildcats scored on a 2-yard rush by Hollingsworth to go up 38-7. Hollingsworth finished with 27 carries for 251 yards. Two plays later, Potter intercepted a pass and Berry got the ball back. Potter made eight tackles. Brown, who had 16 tackles on defense, scored on a 1-yard rush with 1:56 to play to cap off the scoring.

“Our kids just did a great job,” Raines said. “They gave great effort as we have done all season. We ran the ball well. We really played well tonight.”

Hackleburg finishes the season with a 10-2 record. Berry will play in Reform against Pickens County in the quarterfinals next week.