By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
TRUSSVILLE — Hewitt-Trussville was in command from the opening kickoff, as they scored the first five touchdowns of the game en route to a 33-14 win over Gardendale on Friday.
The Huskies’ Peyton Palmer scored twice, the first on a 24-yard run in the first quarter and then on a 15-yard pass from Blake Bailey in the second. It was one of three touchdown passes by Bailey, who is one of the two quarterbacks that Husky coach Hal Biddle swaps in and out.
Bailey connected with Riley Stokes twice — the first with 8:49 left in the first half on a 42-yard scoring pass, then again as time expired in the half on a 35-yard strike that put Hewitt ahead 26-0 at intermission.
The Huskies extended their lead not long into the second half when Cyle Moore scored from the 1-yard line. Moore had a big night as a receiver as well, catching seven passes for 107 yards.
Gardendale finally got on to the scoreboard later in the third quarter, when quarterback Hunter Crook found Gabe Hill for a 28-yard scoring toss. Crook later connected with Davin Cameron from 18 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter.
But that was as good as it got for the Rockets, who were only able to gain 205 yards for the night, compared to 502 for the Huskies. The passing tandem of Bailey and Zachary Thomas split the Hewitt air attack almost evenly, with Bailey throwing for 156 yards and Thomas 155.
Crook was 13-for-23 for the night with one interception and 129 yards. De’Qua Houston led the ground game with 61 yards on 13 carries for Gardendale.
It’s a loss the Rockets could ill afford, as it likely forces them into a tiebreaker situation in their Week 10 game at Buckhorn, assuming they prevail over heavy underdog Carver at home next week. If Hewitt wins over Huffman and Mountain Brook falls to fourth-ranked Vestavia Hills next week, three teams would be tied for third with 4-2 region records. If the Rockets then beat the Bucks on Nov. 1, that would give them an advantage in the tiebreaker using records against non-region teams of the same class; with their win over Minor, they would be 2-0 in that criterion.
If the Spartans should upset the Rebels, they would get the third playoff seed form the region and Hewitt would get the fourth, based on head-to-head over Gardendale.