JASPER — Cullman dropped its season opener on Thursday, falling to Class 5A, No. 3 Jasper 21-19 at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field.
The Bearcats trailed the Vikings 21-6 early in the fourth quarter before applying some pressure to the home team down the stretch.
Max Dueland notched Cullman’s first touchdown of the frame on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to make it 21-12 after a failed 2-point conversion.
The score was set up by a 63-yard scamper from Jaylen Hughey just one play earlier.
Following a Jasper fumble, the Bearcats cut into the lead again when Jamar Kay found the end zone from 14 yards out with less than six minutes remaining.
Cullman then forced a three-and-out and received the ball at its own 34-yard line with a chance to win the game.
Unfortunately for the Bearcats, they could only pick up one first down before stalling out.
"This is a work in progress,” first-year head coach Oscar Glasscock said. "We’re learning new schemes. Defensively, we’re a little more familiar. Offensively, it’s going to take a while. We’re trying to establish the line of scrimmage. Once we get our run game going, it’s going to open up our passing game even more. Because we have some guys who can make people pay for stacking the box. But we’ve got to be able to run the football more effectively."
The Vikings crafted a 7-0 advantage in the second quarter following a 41-yard double-pass TD before Cullman responded with an 82-yard scoring toss from Dueland to Isaiah Jones to make it 7-6 entering halftime.
Dueland completed 10 of 20 through the air for 148 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Hughey added 108 yards on 11 carries, while Jones had five catches for 110 yards and a TD.
The Bearcats finished with 286 total yards.
Jasper, meanwhile, corralled 380 total yards.
"I’m really proud of how our guys fought,” Glasscock said. "The old Cullman came out tonight as far as the fight and the competitiveness. We’re going to build on it. Never satisfied with a loss, but I’m proud of our kids and how they conducted themselves."
Cullman will travel to 5A, No. 7 Mortimer Jordan next Friday.