SHEFFIELD — The two couldn’t have been more polar opposite, given Sheffield’s newfangled spread attack and Hatton’s old school power football. New school, at least this time, won out over old school Friday night.
Sheffield scored three touchdowns in the first half, all of which were either big plays or set up by big plays, and held on in the second half to win 20-8.
Hatton had its chances, driving into Sheffield territory on every drive but one, but failed to capitalize.
“We had opportunity after opportunity, but we just didn’t get it done,” said Hatton head coach Denton Bowling. “It goes back to me as a head coach. Ultimately everything falls on me, and now we’ll just try to grind it out next week and hopefully get better as a football team.”
Sheffield quarterback Corey Bowling threw for three touchdowns in the first half, including the first two, which gave Sheffield a 14-0 lead. Hatton responded with a touchdown on a 1-yard run by Kaiden Taylor, set up by a 19-yard run by Jaxon Mitchell.
The biggest play of the game came at the end of the first half, when Hatton quarterback Briley Kerby hit Carter Reed on a 23-yard pass to the Sheffield 1. The Hornets had two plays to score but couldn’t get in.
“That was frustrating, really frustrating,” Bowling said. “We had two chances from the 1 to get it in, and we couldn’t get it done. We have to be better at that because that’s our bread and butter.”
Hatton’s defense had a rough first half, allowing touchdowns on all three of Sheffield’s drives. However, they adjusted to shut out the Bulldogs in the second half.
“You can always take positives away from both sides,” Bowling said. “We had a big injury early, and the kids responded and we held them out of the end zone in the second half. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the end zone.”
Friday’s contest held playoff implications because Hatton’s region is so tough.
“We’re sitting at 1-2, but we’ve been here before,” said Bowling. “If we can find a way to win one of these tight games, we’re right in the middle of this thing. We can’t control tonight, but we can control what happens in the future, and now it’s time to buckle up.”
Hatton will host Colbert County next week.