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In Hueytown (2-3, 2-1), a young team entered tonight's game with a lot to prove.

Up against an undefeated Hillcrest (4-1, 1-1), it was a battle of the mind to see who would remain unphased in a high-stakes game that came down to the very last second...again.

Last week, Hillcrest found 15 minutes of fame with a wild 10-lateral "Bronco" play that secured their road win over Wetumpka. With no losses, a standout quarterback in sophomore Ethan Crawford and a 6A Region 4 title coming closer within reach, the Patriots had a massive reputation to uphold.

Hueytown was equipped with an inexperienced team that needed to overcome itself first if they wanted any chance of taking down the Goliath mentality that Hillcrest brought to the field. The Gophers' offense worked through mental gymnastics to outsmart the iron-clad Patriots defense, finding their own groove in the partnerships between junior quarterback Dave Young and his receivers.

Young threw three touchdowns, two of which were delivered by junior wide receiver De’andre Coleman. A controversial first down call allowed senior wide receiver Quindarrius Mayes to find the end zone for the final touchdown that secured the game for the Gophers.

Hueytown head coach Greg Patterson told his team going into tonight that defeating Hillcrest would be a tall order, but not an impossible one. With some young men on his roster who hadn't seen any playing time before tonight, Patterson relied heavily on his older defenders to pave the way for the younger side of the squad to shine.

"To hold that team to 24 points is remarkable," he said. "They're so young. We got two or three guys playing in the back who have never played football before that's out for the first time, so they're still learning on the fly and did an awesome job."

 

The Gophers were aware of Hillcrest's newfound fame before heading into tonight's game, but Patterson refused to let his team be intimidated by a team that, on the outside, looked unbreakable. In the end, David conquered Goliath in Hueytown with the Gophers securing a 28-24 win.

In preparation for next week's game on the road against Athens, Patterson plans to take a page out of Hillcrest's playbook to keep his team's winning momentum strong.

"You can't control anything that's already happened or going to happen except for that next play right in front of you,' Patterson said. "Just don't quit – never quit."