Shelby County ties Hueytown in football scrimmage

It was a tale of two classifications at Papa McCombs Stadium in Columbiana Friday night when the Class 5A Shelby County Wildcats hosted the Class 6A Hueytown Golden Gophers in a fall jamboree.

Two quarters of varsity play came and went on the cozy night with the Wildcats and the Gophers ending in a 12-12 tie. Football season had arrived.

Despite the tie, Shelby County head coach Ryan Herring was pleased at what he saw from his squad.

“I am happy with what we were able to do tonight,” Herring said. “It’s always good to get a game like this under your belt before the real season begins. Hueytown is a good football team and they gave us a lot of good looks tonight that we can’t show ourselves in practice.”

It was the quick strike ability of the traditionally patient offense that allowed the Wildcats to pick up their two scores on the night. Four plays into the opening possession, Demonte Ford bolted to the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown run. Braten Dill added an 80-yard scoring run on a quarterback keeper around left end as the first quarter came to a close.

Both point-after attempts were unsuccessful.

Defensively, the Wildcats fell victim to the Gopher passing game with coverage breakdowns on occasion that eventually led to scores for the purple and gold. Gopher quarterback, Jameis Winston, connected with David Carrell on a 6-yard rollout late in the first quarter for Hueytown’s first score of the night.

Later, Winston capitalized on a 51-yard reception to a wide open Carrell that set up a 5-yard touchdown run by the athletic quarterback four plays later.

Friday night’s preseason game wasn’t perfect for the Wildcats, but it served its purpose of showing what needs to be worked on as the start of the regular season looms next week. Despite the score, it was a win-win for the ‘Cats.

“We saw some things tonight that we need to work on going into next week,” Herring said. “We’ll get those things fixed.”

“It was good for our guys to get a game under their belts to better prepare for the weeks to come. We still have to improve every week and continue to work hard to be successful.”

The Wildcats will travel to Pell City next week to open up the 2009 season.