Guntersville used big plays and a late stand on defense to edge Arab’s eighth grade team in a see-saw battle that went down to the wire.
Arab’s surging seventh grade team shut out the Wildcats.
• 8TH GRADE
Guntersville 28, Arab 26
Arab put up impressive numbers offensively as quarterback Jackson Cook completed 10 of 17 passes for 254 yards and Luke Hudson picked up 113 yards rushing on 13 carries.
But, Guntersville scored quickly, picking up touchdowns on drives of one, two, two and five plays. The Wildcats were forced to punt once and another drive was halted by a Cason Stillwell interception.
Down 8-0, Arab covered 65 yards in 14 plays with Zac Hallman scoring from a yard out with 5:44 left in the first quarter. The big play of the drive was a Cook to Luke Martin pass for 16 yards on a fourth-and-14 play that gave Arab the ball at the Guntersville 5.
Arab’s next drive covered 80 yards in only three plays as Cook found Dylan Kirkland, who covered 62 yards to score, giving Arab a 12-8 lead with 1:23 to go in the half.
The momentum shifted just as quickly, though, as the Wildcat tailback eluded several tackles at the line and broke free on a 75-yard touchdown run, giving Guntersville a 14-12 halftime lead.
Hudson answered with 6:07 to go in the third, scoring on a 55-yard run followed by a Cook to Kirkland pass for the two point conversion.
The Wildcats wasted no time, scoring in only one play on a 65-yard touchdown pass to give Guntersville a 22-20 lead.
The Knights got as close as the Wildcat 35 on their next drive before stalling, but Stillwell’s interception led to a Cook to Kirkland 56-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left in the third to put Arab in the lead 26-22.
Two plays later, Guntersville scored again, this time on a 60-yard touchdown pass with 7:47 to go in the game. Arab then made an impressive march downfield, only to run out of downs at the Guntersville 5. The Wildcats then picked up three first downs before taking a knee.
“We had a great week of practice leading up to the game, but the season hasn’t gone as we’d like in the win-loss column,” said coach Jason Guger. “We’ve had a tough schedule and each week we seem to get a little bit better, but Guntersville outplayed us for four quarters tonight.”
Arab 14, Guntersville 0
The Knights scored on their first two drives to get the points needed for the win, while the defense held the Wildcats in check the entire game.
Guntersville had only one first down and 20 yards of total offense, while Arab’s Davis Kinney completed 7 of 10 passes for 135 yards.
The Knights’ first drive covered 65 yards in six plays as Kinney hit Hunter Stephens on a 24-yard touchdown pass play on fourth-and-7. Kinney had connected with Graham Grisham on a 30-yard pass play to the Wildcat 27 to put the Knights in scoring position.
Arab’s next drive covered 63 yards in only two plays, as Kinney completed a pass to Landon Pitt on a 41-yard play to the Wildcat 22. Preston Pritchett ran it in from there, and Landon Pitt hauled in the two point conversion pass with 16 seconds left in the first quarter for all the scoring in the game.
“Overall, we’ve gotten a lot better from our first game to now and we’ve had a lot of guys step up,” said Guger.
With Grant Cole out for the game, the Knights needed help, and they got it.
“It was exciting for us that our numbers are up,” Guger said. “When one guy went down, three running backs came in and played well. It was a good night for us on both sides of the ball.