Although Shortt took the time to get younger players on the field, running back Trey Bolton still stood out, rushing for 120 yards on 14 carries and adding a touchdown.
While most of Bolton’s yards came in the first half, Cleburne County didn’t have its offense on the field much. Hokes Bluff’s offensive scheme only gave the Tigers four possessions in the first half, but the home team was able to do damage when it had opportunities.
Brandon Horn struck first for Cleburne County, scoring on a 13-yard run. The drive lasted just three plays and moved the ball 33 yards. Bolton scored a touchdown of his own shortly afterward from 12 yards out.
After Cleburne County came up empty handed on its ensuing drive, quarterback Brady Padgett led the Tigers 92 yards on seven plays before he hit Christian Henson with a 9-yard touchdown pass to give the home team a 21-0 lead going into the half.
“I want us to start well on offense and defense,” Shortt said. “We’re playing both well at times, but I’m looking for us to play a perfect game.”
Hokes Bluff received the kickoff to open the third quarter and held the ball for nearly nine minutes, scoring with 3:36 left. Although Cleburne County responded with a score on its ensuing drive, Padgett’s 1-yard keeper didn’t come until the fourth quarter.
Before the final whistle, Noah Ware had a 49-yard touchdown.
Padgett completed 8 of 12 passes for 145 yards and a score. Henson caught four passes for 60 yards.