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Speake liinebacker Joe Hyde, left, closes in on R.A.Hubbard's Javaris Gholston at R.A. Hubbard Stadium in Courtland on Friday night. Speake won 28-20.
Daily photo by Brennen Smith
Speake liinebacker Joe Hyde, left, closes in on R.A.Hubbard's Javaris Gholston at R.A. Hubbard Stadium in Courtland on Friday night. Speake won 28-20.

Interception return gives Speake 1st win over Hubbard

By Paul Stackhouse 340-2460

COURTLAND — As the final horn sounded, family, friends and fans clad in green stormed the field to greet the Speake High football team.

With less than 10 seconds remaining and the score tied, R.A. Hubbard quarterback LeBrandon Key launched one last long pass to try to win the game.

Instead, Speake defensive back Zach Vick intercepted the throw and ran 67 yards untouched for the game-winning touchdown. Vick capped the long run with another run into the end zone for a 2-point conversion, giving the Bobcats an emotional 28-20 Class 1A, Region 8 victory.

"This is the first time that Speake has ever beat R.A. Hubbard in the history of the school," Speake coach Heath Grimes said. "This win tonight is going to do so much for our football team. I mean, I've been trying to get this team to be as close as last year's team and haven't been able to do it. I think this game, this big win, will help our players to bond more.

"It's hard for me to explain just how proud I am of our team."

Vick, who was still out of breath after the game, explained how his interception won the game.

"I saw the ball coming — it looked bigger than a beach ball," Vick said. "There was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to score. I had one man to beat, and I had one blocker who took care of him. To tell you the truth, I don't even know who my blocker was, but I'll find out and thank him later.

"All I wanted was to get into that end zone."

R.A. Hubbard (2-2) led 7-6 at the end of the first quarter when Key threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Mykmyk Ingram.

The Bobcats' touchdown came on a 9-yard run by Zach Taylor.

In the second period, Speake (3-1) went up 12-7 on a 20-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Green to Dez Polk.

The Chiefs quickly retaliated to take a 14-12 lead at halftime. Javaris Gholston ran for a 29-yard touchdown with 5:34 left until intermission.

Both teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter to tie the score at 20 going into the final period.

Tecumseh Garth had a 52-yard touchdown run for the Chiefs, while Taylor ran 44 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the night.

With the final seconds ticking off the clock, R.A. Hubbard made it final attempt to win the game in regulation. From his own 44, Key turned loose the pass that Vick intercepted at the Speake 33, scoring the touchdown for the final margin of victory.

"I take responsibility for that last pass and interception," R.A. Hubbard coach Lymos McDonald said. "He intercepted it and won the game, but we could have just as easily caught the pass and ran for a touchdown.

"Our quarterback wasn't 100 percent when he threw the pass. His arm and wrist were hurt but he went out there and played with guts and determination. Speake played a great game just like we did and my hat's off to them."

R.A. Hubbard rolled up 277 yards of total offense, while Speake finished with 257.

Garth finished the game with 112 yards rushing on 23 carries for the Chiefs.

Taylor was the leading rusher for the Bobcats with 77 yards on 11 carries. Also, Green completed 7 of 11 passes for 120 yards with no interceptions.

In other Class 1A contests:

Hazlewood 28, Brilliant 9: First, the bad news for the fifth-ranked Golden Bears — they gave up points for the first time this season.

And the good news — Hazlewood scored plenty of its own as it rolled behind three long touchdown runs by senior tailback D.J. Jones.

Brilliant (3-1) scored a touchdown early in the first quarter to make it 6-0, but Hazlewood rebounded with Jones' 59-yard scoring run. Jones added a 35-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and Chris Ricks made it 14-6 when he caught a 2-point pass from senior quarterback Keginald Harris.

After a Brilliant field goal, Jones scored again on a 24-yard run. Shannon Nance's extra point made it 21-9 at intermission, and Hazlewood cruised from there.

Jeremy Green added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and Nance added the extra point to complete the scoring.

Waterloo 28, Mount Hope 20: Chase Hopkins rushed 22 times for 184 yards and a touchdown to pace Mount Hope (0-4), which couldn't overcome undefeated Waterloo (4-0).

Hopkins scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter. Justin Gann added a 3-yard touchdown run, and Spencer Arthur scored on a 1-yard run.

Cody Stephenson added two extra points.

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