Thompson rebounds with statement win over Hewitt-Trussville

Published 10:53 pm Friday, October 6, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

TRUSSVILLE – Thompson recovered well from its first loss of the season against Clay-Chalkville and got back to work toward its mission—winning both the region and state championships.

The Warriors took a big step toward that with a 40-14 win over the Hewitt-Trussville Huskies on Friday, Oct. 6 that saw Thompson take a commanding early lead and control the majority of the contest.

“I thought we played good,” Thompson head coach Mark Freeman said. “We came out with energy. I don’t know where we’re at, but we’re better this week than we were last week. We need to be better the next week than this one. We’re blessed and I’m happy, and I thank God for the victory.”

Trent Seaborn had another phenomenal night with 358 passing yards and three touchdowns off 23-for-30 passing. All three touchdowns went to Kolby Hearn, who continued his strong run of form with 182 receiving yards and three of his five catches ending in a score.

Thompson’s defense opened strongly with a three-and-out, and that let the Warriors’ offense take the field and get yards at will on the ground from AJ Green and Michael Dujon. Hewitt nearly stopped the Warriors at the 1, but Green scored on fourth down to put the Warriors up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

The Huskies punted for a second straight drive, and Seaborn quickly capitalized, finding his breakout receiver Colben Landrew for a 46-yard catch. A couple of plays later, Dujon pushed the pile and willed his way to a 6-yard score, and 10 minutes into the game, the Warriors went up 14-0.

Hewitt responded with a lengthy and solid drive as Peyton Floyd and the Huskies offense got moving. A fourth down offside call on Thompson as the first quarter expired negated a near stop by the Warriors.

The Thompson defense nearly came up with a goal line stop later in the drive, but Floyd barely broke the plain for a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the gap to 14-7.

Seaborn and the Warriors immediately responded with an 80-yard touchdown to Hearn along the right sideline on the first play, and Thompson regained its 14-point lead with a 21-7 advantage with eight minutes left in the half.

Thompson looked to be en route to another quick score after a Hewitt punt led to a 25-yard gain from Hearn. However, a third down pass by the Warriors was nearly intercepted, and John Allen McGuire delivered three points on a 47-yard field goal to increase Thompson’s lead to 24-7.

The Huskies embarked on another long drive similar to their touchdown drive after a 22-yard gain on 3rd down gave Hewitt momentum.

However, the big difference was that instead of Hewitt finding the end zone from the 1, Kaleb Harris came up with a forced fumble in the backfield to prevent a touchdown and let Seaborn run out the clock on the half.

The Warriors got the ball to start the second half, and they were moving to begin the third quarter while chewing up the clock. They had to try for three again, and McGuire came up big with a 49-yard field goal to increase Thompson’s lead to 27-7 with 6:47 left in the quarter.

On Hewitt’s ensuing drive, the Huskies got a 22-yard gain to kickstart the drive, but it was defensive penalties that proved costly for Thompson. A facemask call moved the ball inside the red zone, and a defensive pass interference penalty negated a fourth down goal line stop.

That pass interference call gave Floyd the chance to score Hewitt’s second touchdown of the night, this one in the air to cut Thompson’s lead to 27-14 with 4:19 remaining in the third.

Thompson’s offense drove past midfield as the third quarter ended, and Seaborn hit Hearn for a 33-yard touchdown to open the fourth quarter, increasing Thompson’s lead to 33-14.

Hewitt then got another big gain to open the drive and tried to extend the game on fourth down, but Chance Strown moved off of his blocker and earned the stop to give the ball back to the Warriors.

Thompson followed that up with a 26-yard touchdown to Hearn for his third score of the game to cap off the scoring at 40-14 as the fourth quarter winded down.

Green led the rushing attack for Thompson with 14 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown, with Dujon scoring a touchdown on the ground as well. Deuce Oliver had nine catches for 70 yards.

On defense, Harris led the team in tackles with five along with his fumble recovery, while Peyton Lewis had three tackles and Pritchett earned a sack.

Freeman was complimentary of his defense for recovering from last week’s performance against Clay-Chalkville.

“I think our defense played better,” Freeman said. “They were challenged this week. We played a good team last week, but at the end of the day, we have to play better on defense and this was a great week of play.”

Overall, Freeman looked to build on this injury-free win in the future as Thompson continues their quest for the state playoffs.

“I’m thankful we got out of it with no injuries, and that’s big this time of year,” Freeman said. “We’ll take it and go and take the momentum and the energy and keep getting better every week. We’ve got to get better. When the playoffs get here, that’s when you’ve got to be rolling, and we’re getting better every week.”

Thompson will hit the road again next week against Oak Mountain on Friday, Oct. 13.