Spring Gar­den hangs tough, falls at third-ranked Ad­di­son

Cherokee County Herald - - SPORTS -

By Rob Ketcham

Cull­man Times

AD­DI­SON — The Ad­di­son Bull­dogs are back in the Class 1A quar­ter­fi­nals.

Iffy on de­fense be­fore the break, Ad­di­son used a half­time ad­just­ment to top Spring Gar­den 42-26 Fri­day night and reach the third round for the first time since 2010.

There, the No. 3 Bull­dogs (12-0) will face their sec­ond ranked foe in a row. They’ll travel next week to No. 10 Hub­bertville, which squeaked by Hack­le­burg 27-22.

De­spite Fri­day’s fi­nal score, get­ting by Spring Gar­den (102) was no easy feat. The six­thranked Panthers led 18-14 and held a glar­ing 212-125 ad­van­tage in to­tal yards at half­time.

Zayne Guthrie set the tone for Ad­di­son’s fu­ri­ous fin­ish with a 44-yard touch­down run down the right side­line only three snaps into the third quar­ter. Then, with Spring Gar­den fac­ing fourth and a long 1 on its en­su­ing pos­ses­sion, the cousin con­nec­tion of Caleb Crider and Gage Gilliland en­sured the mo­men­tum stayed firmly in the Bull­dogs’ fa­vor.

Crider lodged the ball loose on a wrap­around tackle, al­low­ing Gilliland to get his gloves on it and scoot 30 yards for a scoop-and-score.

The tide- turn­ing TD put Ad­di­son up 28-18, a deficit Spring Gar­den ul­ti­mately wasn’t able to over­come.

The Panthers did pull to within 28-26 on an 11-yard touch­down throw from Ben Ivey to Hay­den Short and Ivey’s 2-point toss to Dakota Lambert, but the Bull­dogs wasted no time bal­loon­ing their cush­ion back out to two scores with a smooth 14yard TD on read op­tion by Noah Rice and suc­cess­ful ex­tra-point kick by Zeb Maze.

Maze’s own 14-yard touch­down run – which saw the se­nior truck a de­fender and then eas­ily mo­sey into the end zone — later in the fourth quar­ter sealed the post­sea­son vic­tory.

Ad­di­son was per­fect on all five fourth-down at­tempts, in­clud­ing three in the open­ing half. Maze cap­i­tal­ized on the first, where he dragged six de­fend­ers down­field for a 12-yard gain, with a 5-yard touch­down run. Rice had a hand in the sec­ond and third, fol­low­ing the lat­ter – a 13-yard throw to Gilliland – with a 10-yard scor­ing strike to Lo­gan Wilkins.

Maze fin­ished the evening with 101 rush­ing yards and the two TDs on 17 car­ries, as well as a cou­ple 2-point runs and a pair of ex­tra points. Rice rushed 14 times for 93 yards and split two touch­downs be­tween the ground and air.

Guthrie and Chan­dler Cooken­mas­ter com­bined for 88 yards.

The Dawgs limited Lambert to just 38 rush­ing yards in the sec­ond half af­ter he’d en­tered the locker room with 153, in­clud­ing a 64-yard touch­down.

Ivey was 7-of-12 pass­ing for 89 yards, two touch­downs and two in­ter­cep­tions. He also scored once on the ground. Gaines Petty had Spring Gar­den’s other touch­down catch, a 12-yarder to give the Panthers an early 6-0 edge.

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