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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2007
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Hartselle rips Muscle Shoals

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

MUSCLE SHOALS — After struggling for the first three weeks of the season, Hartselle broke out in a big way Friday night.

The Tigers suffered a trio of tough losses to open the season to Austin, Decatur and Russellville, but they pounded Muscle Shoals 54-14 on Friday.

"It's been tough stretch," Hartselle coach Bob Godsey said. "It hasn't been easy. We've played some really good teams. I'm really really proud of these guys — they just keep working.

"It's just good to get a win."

Hartselle's Montrell Murphy helped paced the Tigers with 91 rushing yards on 10 carries with a pair of touchdowns. Quarterback Luke Bole completed 13 of 18 passes for 116 yards.

Hartselle's Tony Weaver put the Tigers on top early in the first quarter after a 29-yard touchdown run. Tyler Bennich's extra point was good, making it 7-0 with 9:38 remaining.

Hartselle struck again on 65-yard run pass play from Bole to Marquez Jones with 7:11 left. The extra point was no good.

Muscle Shoals answered shortly after on a 9-yard pass from Evan Mansell to Matt Creel. Jordan McClanahan's extra point was good, leaving it 13-7 with a little more than a minute remaining to play.

The Tigers opened the second quarter on a 3-yard scoring run from Murphy. The 2-point conversion was no good, when Muscle Shoals' Jordan Green broke up a pass play by intercepting the throw.

Hartselle forced Muscle Shoals to punt after holding them to three plays and a punt. However, the Tigers recovered a fumbled snap, and turned the turnover into an 8-yard run by Jones with 7:46 left to play. Bennich's extra point was good to make it 26-7.

Peyton Speegle quickly found the end zone for Hartselle again on a 3-yard pass from Bole. The extra point was good with 20 seconds remaining before halftime for a 33-7 lead.

Muscle Shoals came out scoring after halftime, resulting in a 6-yard quarterback keeper by Collin Bradford. The extra point made it 33-14.

The Tigers got it going again late in the third quarter on a 7-yard run by Murphy, making it 40-14, with just over four minutes remaining.

Hartselle scored twice more in the fourth quarter, once on a 35-yard interception return by Josh Slaten. The other touchdown came on a 1-yard run by Malcom Fosset.

The Tigers finished the night with 445 yards of total offense. Bole was 13 of 18 on the night.

Hartselle will host Cullman next week.

"I'm proud of the guys for the way they have kept working," Godsey said. "A lot of the kids would have turned the other way, found other things to do, blamed other people and all those different things, but they became more focused. We're growing and we're getting better and we want to keep doing that."

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