Montevallo storms back for road win in region opener

Published 11:07 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

MOUNDVILLE – The Montevallo Bulldogs trailed by two scores on two separate occasions in the first half of their region opener on Friday, Sept. 8, but a big third quarter on the road ultimately saw them improve to 2-0 at the end of the night.

Following their exciting 13-10 win with a goal-line stand against rival Shelby County last week, the Bulldogs picked up right where they left off, overcoming a 21-14 halftime deficit with 19 unanswered points in the third quarter to storm in front for what became a 33-21 victory.

The comeback win was largely due to the combination of Braxton King’s strong effort offensively and a big second-half showing from the defense.

King finished the game 11-16 for 111 yards and a touchdown through the air, while he added 76 yards and two touchdowns rushing.

Two of those three touchdowns came in the second half, capitalizing on the defense setting the team up with opportunities.

Early, however, it was going the opposite direction.

Hale County started fast with a flea flicker right out of the gate to score on a 62-yard pass for a quick 6-0 lead.

The game settled down after that, but Hale County added a second touchdown in the opening quarter on a 5-yard rushing touchdown followed by a two-point conversion to make it 14-0 with 4:08 left in the period.

Montevallo, however, got the spark it needed late in the quarter when Javon Rogers returned a punt 55 yards to the house for the team’s first score of the night to make it 14-7 going to the second quarter.

It took time for the action to pick back up in the second quarter, but Hale County regained a two-touchdown lead on a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:11 left in the half to make it 21-7.

But Montevallo got a huge boost just before the half with a strong drive that was capped off by a 6-yard run from King to make it 21-14.

That became part of 26 unanswered points for the Bulldogs as they stormed from behind.

Trailing 21-14 entering the second half, Montevallo quickly built off of the confidence from the first half when King hit Rogers for a 13-yard touchdown pass to even the score with 8:33 to play in the quarter.

Six minutes later, they found the end zone again on a short plunge from Charlie Adams to make it 27-21.

Then, after a quick stop to get the ball back, King was able to run in one final touchdown of the quarter with a 25-yard breakaway touchdown run with four seconds left to make it 33-21.

With a strong defensive showing in the second half for the Bulldogs, they capitalized on that the rest of the way to finish off the 12-point win.

Rogers finished with 85 yards receiving with a touchdown on seven receptions, while adding the punt return for a touchdown. Razareo Conwell led the team on the ground with 92 yards on 19 carries.

Defensively, Hunter Lutz led the team with 10 tackles, while Elfreeman Morton added eight with a sack. Adams finished with eight tackles as well, while Nylan Hill-Goode finished with three tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.