By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
CENTER POINT —
It wasn't always pretty, but the Cullman football team used a run-stuffing defense and solid play from senior quarterback Zac Crocker to defeat Center Point by a final count of 28-6 Friday night on the road.
The Bearcats finish regular season play with an overall record of 8-2 and a 5-2 mark in the Class 5A, Region 8 standings.
Coach Mark Britton said he was pleased with the overall effort of his team.
"I thought the kids played really well tonight," he said. "We got a good night out of our offensive line, and I thought that Zac really controlled and managed our offensive game all night."
Crocker finished his night with three touchdowns in the air, while completing 16 of his 22 attempts for 79 yards.
In fact, Crocker started the Cats’ scoring with a 3-yard touchdown pass to wideout Houston Turner in the early moments of the game.
After a couple of sloppy possessions for each team, Cullman was able to capitalize on the first turnover of the night, recovering a fumble at the Eagle 39-yard line.
It was one of three fumbles the Bearcats recovered in the game.
From there, Crocker tossed his second touchdown pass of the night, this one a 7-yarder to running back Garrett Crider to extend the Bearcats' lead to 14-0 going into halftime.
In the second half, the Bearcat defense started hitting people, allowing just four total yards to the Eagles in their first four possessions of the half.
"Coming into the game, I thought that Center Point would have a tough time running on us," Britton said. "We did a really good job on defense tonight."
With the Center Point offense going nowhere, the Cullman O found the end zone on its first two possessions of the third quarter, scoring a 22-yard run from Crider and a 7-yard touchdown pass from Crocker to Troy Forrest to give the Bearcats a comfortable lead in the waning moments of the third quarter.
Crider finished the game with 72 yards on 13 carries. He also caught five passes for 44 yards.
Drew Johnson, Corey Parrish and Will Crenshaw added a collective 88 yards on the ground as well.
The Bearcats now turn their attention to next week's first-round playoff game against the Arab Knights.
"We haven't had much of a chance to look at them on film," Britton said. "All I know is they are well-coached and disciplined. They also have a good running back that is a concern for us."
Arab enters next week game in Cullman with an identical record of 8-2 and will be looking to end of the Bearcats’ recent run of success in the playoffs.
"We know that we have high expectations going into the playoffs," Britton added. "We want to be able represent the community and our school the best that we can."
The coach also said he hopes to use this coming week to get some players healthy going into the playoffs.
"We have to get a lot of guys healthy that are banged up," he said. "At the same time, we need to have a good week of practice and be ready to go next Friday."
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at email@example.com.