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In week two of West Alabama high school football, we got a shootout at Tuscaloosa County. The Wildcats of Tuscaloosa County defeated the Purple Tigers of Bessemer City 55-33 to improve to 2-0 on the season. The two teams combined for 88 total points and over 400 yards rushing.

The rushing game was the key for both teams but in very different ways. Bessemer City loved using the wildcat while the Wildcats preferred the simple way of running. Both offensive lines played outstanding tonight and should all get recognition from their teammates tonight. The star of the show tonight was backup running back CJ Hutchins. Due to Miami commit Kevin Riley out, Hutchins came in and ran for three touchdowns and 317 total yards.

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The game did not start off right for the Wildcats after going three-and-out on their first drive, but it turned around really quickly. After holding Bessemer City to a three-and-out, the special teams of the Wildcats swarmed the punter and made the punter fall on the ball. Set up with really good positioning, running back Hutchins ran it in from four yards out.

Tuscaloosa County scored two more touchdowns in the first quarter and made the game look like a complete blowout. Hutchins scored the first one on a 31-yard run. The second was by third-string running back Andarius Mcclain.

Bessemer City needed something fast and they got it from going into the wildcat with receiver Jalen Williams. In total, Williams had three total touchdowns and over 200 yards rushing in the wildcat. His first was a 55-yard run to put the Purple Tigers on the board.

Tuscaloosa Country responded with a CJ Hutchins 85-yard touchdown run on the very next play. Bessemer City responded with a kickoff return by Cederian Moore. After that, the defense makes a stop, and Bessemer City scores yet again with a Williams touchdown. We have a ball game.

Just before the half, Tuscaloosa Country continued its rushing attack and ended the half with a QB sneak by Braeden Smith from two yards out. The difference between the first half and the second half was Bessemer City could never get off the field and was tired due to all the running.

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Another big issue in the game for Bessemer City was all the turnovers. The Purple Tigers had four turnovers (three interceptions all to Drew Keller), while Tuscaloosa Country had zero. To start the second half, Bessemer City got picked off and the Wildcats responded with a Smith pass to Kamorri Jackson.

Even though they were outmanned, Bessemer City never quit and kept fighting. The team's second to last touchdown of the night was from Williams, who gave the Wildcats fits all night with a 17-yard run. After this touchdown, it was all Wildcats from here on out.

Unlike Bessemer City, the run game was dominant all night. Whatever the Purple Tigers tried to do, the offensive line and running backs created holes and they ran through them. The next touchdown would be from Jackson as he ran it in from one-yard out. Three plays later, Keller picks off Bessemer City for the third time, but this time it would be a pick six from 31 yards out.

To put the final nail in the coffin, Bessemer City used the wildcat and ran it in one more time. Williams got his third touchdown of the night by scoring from one yard out.

"There were a lot of big plays in the game but also we were sloppy. But I am proud of this team," said Tuscaloosa County head coach Adam Winegarden. "This was a great win for our team and our community so we are excited about it."

Tuscaloosa County improves to 2-0 in the season and next week the team hosts the Chelsea Hornets. As for the Purple Tigers, the team suffered its first loss of the season as the team returns home next week to face the McAdory Yellow Jackets.


 

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Bessemer City vs Tuscaloosa County 9-1-2023

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