By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
VESTAVIA HILLS —
There’s a reason that Buddy Anderson has won 300 games at Vestavia Hills — wait, make that 301.
It’s not fancy, just really big guys playing smash-mouth, ground-and-pound football that harkens back to the leather-helmet days.
And they stuck to what they do best Friday night, as the seventh-ranked Rebels handed first-year Gardendale coach Matt Plunkett his first loss with a 35-7 decision.
Vestavia struck quickly, as running back Jacob Bruington ran 80 yards on the first play from scrimmage for a touchdown. It was the first of two scores for him on the night; he also had the Rebels’ final touchdown on a four-yard run in the third quarter.
The hosts also had touchdown runs from Robert Estes in the first quarter for 10 yards, and Christian Palmer in the second from two yards out.
Rebel quarterback Landon Crowder only went to the air six times all night and completed just three, but one of them was a 22-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Sitzler just before halftime.
Meanwhile, the Rebs’ stout defense brought the Rockets rushing attack to a halt. Gardendale ran the ball just 20 times and gained a mere 38 yards., compared to 363 yards on 53 caries for Vestavia.
Rocket quarterback Hunter Crook enjoyed some success, though, going 14-of-19 for 169 yards and the team’s only touchdown, that coming on a 2-yard toss to Austin Hicks with 7:26 to play in the game.
Zack Cupps led all receivers with five catches for 35 yards.
Freshman Andrew Freeman paced the Gardendale defense with nine solo tackles and two assists. Gabe Hill added eight solos and two assists, and Damon Brown had seven and two.
The Rebels (4-0, 3-0 Region 6) go to top-ranked Hoover next week. Gardendale (3-1, 2-1) hosts Briarwood Christian.
De Allen contributed to this report.
|TEAM STATS||Gardendale||Vestavia Hills|