Vick's speed too much for Hatton
Class 1A Speake runs
past Class 2A Hornets
By Ross Dellenger
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2462
HATTON — As Zach Vick cradled the interception into his chest, Speake High coach Heath Grimes didn't have to watch any more of the play.
Grimes knew nobody would slow his star cornerback. And Vick covered the distance, all 100 yards of it.
"He runs track for me. I know he's got speed," Grimes said. "When I saw him catch it, I knew he was gone."
Vick's interception at the goal line midway through the fourth quarter sealed Speake's season-opening 29-7 win over Hatton on Thursday night.
After partially blocking a Speake punt, Hatton, trailing 21-7, started its drive just 16 yards away from a touchdown. Five plays later, the Hornets faced a third-and-goal at the 1-yard line. Quarterback Tevin Terrell rolled right eluding pressure. He heaved a pass into the end zone.
That's when Vick, a Daily all-area selection, slid by the intended receiver, catching the ball at the goal line and going the length of the field.
"You could tell (the quarterback) was trying to find somebody to throw the ball to," the senior said. "I just broke in front of it."
When asked how it felt, Vick had one simple word: "Long."
Speake could have ended the game well before the final quarter. During the first 15 minutes, the Bobcats put together drives of 14 plays and nine plays, amassing more than 110 yards.
But a lost fumble at the Hatton 6-yard-line and then a failed quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 1 cost Speake an early two-touchdown lead.
"Well, it was ugly," Grimes said.
On their third series of the game, the Bobcats finally cashed in, but not after a little help. They recovered a fumble at the Hatton 28, leading to a 13-yard touchdown run by senior Chase Atkins.
Hatton quickly responded, marching 84 yards to tie the game at halftime.
But there was no answer following halftime for Speake junior running back Dez Polk, who transferred from Decatur this season. Polk had two carries the entire game. Both came in the third quarter, and both went for touchdowns: One was 24 yards, while the other was a 97-yard run that put Speake up 21-7 and revved the visiting crowd.
Polk walked off the field to chants from Speake's green-clad fans: "Deeeeez! Deeeeez! Deeeeez!" they yelled.
Vick's interception followed, ending Hatton's chance for an upset of last season's Class 1A, Region 8 champions.
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