Hewitt-Trussville defeats Oak Mountain behind Kelly’s 3 touchdowns

Published 1:08 am Saturday, October 23, 2021

By GRAHAM BROOKS | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY — Led by stand out wide receiver Omari Kelly’s three touchdown catches, the Hewitt-Trussville Huskies scored 28 unanswered points to lock up the No. 3 seed in the Class 7A Region 3 playoffs by defeating the Oak Mountain Eagles 28-7 on the road on Friday, Oct. 22.

Both Oak Mountain and Hewitt-Trussville were fighting for the No. 3 seed but unfortunately for the Eagles, they were without senior quarterback and playmaker Evan Smith and the loss was glaring as the offense was stagnant all night finishing with just 85 yards of total offense and two turnovers.

Replacing Smith was freshman quarterback Will O’Dell who gave the Eagles an early lead after Oak Mountain blocked a Hewitt-Trussville punt after the Huskies’ first offensive drive of the game.

Following a three and out, Oak Mountain blocked and recovered a punt at the 17-yard line and two plays later, O’Dell found tight end Jackson Blackwell up the seam for a 21-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 7-0. Despite scoring less than a minute into the game, the Eagles couldn’t put anymore points on the scoreboard as they struggled through the air and on the ground the rest of the way.

Nonetheless, head coach Tyler Crane was proud of his freshman quarterback for stepping into the situation he did.

“He did a great job being put in the position that he was in,” Crane said. “He stood in there and did everything he could. He has a really bright future in this program.”

Still leading 7-0, the Eagles’ troubles began in the second quarter as the Hewitt-Trussville offense finally woke up and struck with big plays.

The Huskies put up three touchdowns through the air in the second quarter with the first being a 19-yard touchdown reception by Jordan McCants on fourth and three to tie the game 7-7 with 8:33 left in the first half.

A few minutes later, the longest touchdown of the night came when quarterback Peyton Floyd found Kelly for an 83-yard score as Kelly got behind the Eagles defense to give Hewitt-Trussville its first lead of the night at 14-7 with 4:22 to play in the first half. Kelly would finish the game with 155 yards receiving.

After forcing another Oak Mountain punt, Kelly would haul in another touchdown catch with just 54 seconds left in the first half. During the game, the Huskies successfully rotated quarterbacks Cade Ott Carruth and Floyd into the game and this time, Carruth lofted a 36-yard touchdown pass to Kelly to give the Huskies a 21-7 halftime lead. Both Carruth and Floyd finished the game with two touchdown passes each in the balanced attack.

When asked about giving up 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, Crane said it came down to big plays.

“We gave up big plays and that’s pretty much it,” Crane said.

Trailing by two scores, Oak Mountain needed to sustain drives offensively but were unsuccessful in the second half committing a few turnovers and punting the ball away numerous times.

The final straw that erased any small chance of a comeback came in the final seconds of the third quarter when Kelly hauled in a 25-yard touchdown. Kelly’s third touchdown of the night extended Hewitt-Trussville’s lead to 28-7 and Oak Mountain was unable to recover in the final quarter.

After the loss, Oak Mountain dropped to 6-3 and will finish the regular season at home against undefeated Clay-Chalkville on Thursday, Oct. 28.