Black Bears notch rivalry win against cross town rival Tigers

Austin gets revenge in Week Zero after 2022 loss to Hartselle.
48 Blitz Game of the Week: Austin hosting Hartselle
Published: Aug. 26, 2023 at 8:56 AM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - The Austin Black Bears secured the Week Zero win (28-17) over the Hartselle Tigers Friday night at home.

Following a pair of fumbles, the Black Bears broke into the endzone first, when Judd Bailey connected with Nicholas Crayton for the first touchdown of the season.

Hartselle would tie the game the following drive courtesy of an Azariah Fletcher rushing touchdown, but the Tigers would go cold the rest of the first half.

Austin reclaimed the lead in the second quarter when Jaxon Potter ran in the Black Bears’ second touchdown of the evening.

The third came seconds before the end of the first half. Junior Jason Davis fired to Crayton for the touchdown. Austin would lead by two scores heading into halftime.

A quiet third quarter for both teams offensively. Hartselle threatened in the third quarter, but Austin’s Ethan Wynn robbed the Tigers of a touchdown, keeping his team in the lead 21-7.

Heading into the final quarter, the Tigers get their second set of points from a field goal. Hartselle would make things interesting with under four minutes to go, with a touchdown pass to Malachi Pawlitschek, to close the gap (21-17).

With one minute to go, the Black Bears defense forced a fumble, and senior defensive lineman, Nathan Taylor scooped the football and ran it in for the touchdown, sealing the win for the home team.

Next up, Austin will face another challenge taking on Decatur, on the road in Week One. Hartselle looks to bounce back when they head to Jackson-Olin next week.

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