Lions fall to Hooper Academy in opener
By MARK WINDHAM / For the Reporter
ALABASTER — Kingwood Christian jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but a disastrous third quarter doomed the Lions as they fell to visiting Hooper Academy 45-16 in their season opener Aug. 24.
Both teams stalled out on their first two drives before Kingwood hit with the first of big-strike plays the teams combined for on the night. Quarterback Gavin Sumrall found Montez Haynes behind the Colt secondary for a 47-yard touchdown strike. Haynes added the extra point to give Kingwood a 7-0 lead.
Hooper Academy answered back quickly by hitting for a 52-yard touchdown pass play that would tie the game up at 7-7. Hooper took a 13-7 lead with just under three minutes remaining in the first half on a 91-yard touchdown run on a busted play.
The game then saw the first of several weather delays on the night with heat lightning in the area.
Kingwood came up big after the delay when they recovered a Hooper fumble on a punt return. On fourth-and-goal from the 11-yard line, Sumrall scrambled to his left once again to find Haynes, who outbattled the defender in the corner of the end zone, for a Lions’ touchdown. The extra point failed, leaving the score tied at 13-13 at the half.
Things went downhill quickly for Kingwood in the third quarter as the Colts ran off 32 unanswered points to put the game away. Hooper scored on every possession of the quarter and finished it off with an interception return for a touchdown.
The Lions put one last score on the board as Haynes added a 38-yard field goal.
Sumrall led the Lions offensively, passing for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Haynes led the way in receiving for Kingwood with 169 yards and two touchdowns.
Kingwood returns to action Aug. 30 as it hosts Bessemer Academy.