R.B. Hudson defeats Tipton Tigers in season opener

Published 11:37 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012

R.B. Hudson’s Ta’Qwillis Chappelle, right, breaks a tackle during Wednesday’s game against Tipton Middle School at Memorial Stadium. -- Robert Hudson

A pair of local middle school teams got together on the gridiron Wednesday for their own little version of the Selma and Southside rivalry.

The R.B. Hudson Bulldogs defeated the Tipton Tigers 22-6 on Wednesday at Memorial Stadium.

Bulldogs head football coach, Ivery Williams, said he was glad for his team to finally get on the field after inclement weather disrupted practices and even forced this and an earlier game to be rescheduled, but there’s still work to be done.

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“We kind of got it together. Our passing game, it needs a lot of work. I think we’ve found our quarterback in Brandon Hatcher. We’re going to try to go with him the rest of the way,” Williams said. “We’ve got a tough game next week against Greenville. We’ve got to work out. We’re not in shape. We missed a lot of practice because of the rain and bad weather, but no excuses. Tipton played us hard as always. We’re going to take this win for tonight and get back to work tomorrow.”

Jovantae Billingslea, head football coach of the Tigers, said he was proud of his team’s effort.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys and first half we kind of just came out still learning the game. A lot of them hadn’t felt the game speed,” Billingslea said. “I’m going to grade us at a B. We did pretty good in just stepping up with the intensity and showing aggression and just showing that we know how to play hard-nose football.”

The Bulldogs struck first when an interception by Richard Rembert on the opening drive led to a 33-yard run by Jalon Witherspoon that put the Bulldogs in position to score with 3:38 left in the first quarter.

R.B. Hudson’s Ta’Qwillis Chappelle capped off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run, and Ladarious Woods ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead with 3:14 left in the opening period.

Rembert picked off another Tigers’ pass in the second quarter with 38 seconds left in the half to put the Bulldogs in scoring position, but Tipton’s Jamarques Johnson picked off an R.B. Hudson pass in the end zone as time expired and returned it 102 yards down the sideline to make it an 8-6 ball game at halftime.

The Bulldogs took back the momentum in the second half, as Hatcher scored from 3 yards out on a quarterback sneak and pushed the lead to 14-6 with 1:27 left in the third quarter.

The final score of the game came on a 10-yard bootleg by Hatcher with 3:19 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs will host Greenville on Tuesday at Memorial Stadium with a 7th grade game at 5 p.m. followed by an 8th grade game.