J.R. Tidwell/FCT Junior quarterback Kelby Hallmark dives into the end zone for a Tharptown Wildcats’ touchdown against the Vina Red Devils Friday night. Hallmark accounted for four touchdowns.

Archived Story

Tharptown beats Vina

Published 6:00am Sunday, September 9, 2012

THARPTOWN —Friday, Oct. 22, 2010. That is the last time that the Tharptown Wildcats won a football game by defeating Waterloo 51-14.

That is, until now.

Last night the Wildcats defeated the Vina Red Devils 33-14 at home, marking their first win in two seasons.

“It feels great,” Tharptown head coach Bill Smith said.

“This is a good group of kids. They worked hard all summer, and this week after the Phil Campbell loss they put things together.”

Things started out for the Wildcats much the same as last week against Phil Campbell.

They had a 27-0 lead at halftime, but on this night things would continue to go Tharptown’s way after intermission.

Kelby Hallmark put the first points of the game on the board with a 6-yard touchdown run just five minutes into the game.

A fumble recovery by Matthew Brasuell of Tharptown on Vina’s first offensive play from scrimmage led to a 45-yard scamper and score for Hallmark.

Hallmark scored yet again at the 8:42 mark of the second quarter, this time on a 4-yard run.

The next score for Tharptown, set up by a fumble recovery from Tristen Smith, came on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Hallmark to Brasuell.

Hallmark had 148 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown by halftime.

He only ran two plays after the break, and according to Hallmark, he stood on the sideline during a football game for the first time since his seventh grade year.

“I think we finally have people hitting people on defense,” Coach Smith said.

“We still have a ways to go, but they played more aggressively and they played a full ballgame. We’ve still got to get our offensive line on the right track.”

“Kelby can makes things look really good for us that we don’t want to. He’s always going to do great things, but we need somebody else that’s going to pick up the slack.”

“We’ve got to block a little better, but it’s a big region win and the first one in two years now.”

Tharptown scored only once more after halftime on a 31-yard touchdown run by Tristen Smith.

Vina’s offense saw some life after that, scoring two touchdowns before the end of the game.

Both scores came by way of running back Andrew Hester. His first touchdown run was from 6 yards out, the second from 8 yards out.

“I’m proud of them,” Vina head coach James Pharr said.

“They played hard and didn’t lay down. Our [lack of] numbers really got to us. We made some mistakes just like kids do, but we’ll work on it and try to get better at it.”

“Our secondary played a little better man coverage than I thought they would, and that was a help, but we didn’t tackle very well. We let people run around, especially No. 10, Kelby Hallmark. Coach Smith and them have a lot of class.”

The Wildcats (1-1) will travel to Waterloo next week, while the Red Devils (0-2) will host Shoals Christian.

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