Prepared Athletes & McClain Culture Change Creates Stunning Hanceville Win

The previous two football seasons for the remaining incumbent players on the Hanceville Bulldogs team has not been great.

The arrival of new Head Coach Cody McClain, however, created renewed optimism, focus, and competitive pride among players, staff, and fans.

With only one win in 2017, Coach McCain was aware of the Bulldogs past winning seasons and memorable playoff appearances. And so were the Bulldog players. No pressure?!

The question on everyone’s mind Friday night was simple:

Are the 2018 Hanceville Football Bulldogs a new breed of a team worthy of higher expectations, or just a re-packaged version of previous high loss rate administrations?

With just 8 seconds gone in Friday night’s season-opening contest at Ray Talley Stadium against the Sumiton Christian Eagles, senior ball carrier R. J. Evans ripped off a big 62-yard touchdown run behind wave after wave of determined blockers. The DAWGS converted the extra point attempt to take an 8-0 lead.

That first play from scrimmage answered the above question. The Hanceville squad tacked on answer after answer through the first three quarters.

The long-beleaguered Hanceville Bulldogs’ fan base took a minute to react to the blitzkrieg-like early score. It wasn’t until the second score – with only 5:18 minutes gone in the 1st quarter – on a 5-yard touchdown run now a star running back R.J. Evans, that the Hanceville fans in the stadium grasped that their team might just be FOR REAL in 2018.

Hanceville 16
Sumiton Christian 0

Perhaps not surprisingly, another 1st quarter TD seemed pre-destined. Fleet sophomore quarterback Bo Joles dropped a dime on Fred Ellis running free in the secondary. With 4:42 left, he took a short pass and rambled in for a third Bulldog touchdown in the first quarter.

The rout was on. At that point, many Hanceville fans were in joyous, if not stupefied, disbelief.

Hanceville 22
Sumiton Christian 0

The Bulldogs scored two more touchdowns in the 2nd quarter with Hanceville leading an invincible 36-0 lead by the halftime intermission.

The McClain led Bulldogs extended the score to an insurmountable lead of 48-0 by the start of the fourth quarter.

The overmatched Eagles of Sumiton Christian had no answers for the Bulldogs offense, defense, and special teams.

The Bulldogs were quite unstoppable throughout the first three quarters.

The Bulldog offense gained over 300 yards on the ground during the game to go with almost 90 yards of air game. QB Joles was a spotless 4-for-4 on the night.

R.J. Evans finished with 132 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Allen Huckaby ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns. This pair was a terrifying dual-threat hydra thanks to extreme skills coupled with outstanding line play and upfield blocking.

Impenetrable, the Bulldog defense allowed less than 60 total yards in the game (most coming in a mailed-in the 4th quarter). These purple and goal football thugs created three fumbles and got the Eagles to cough up the ball twice on downs. The Sumiton Christian offense could not handle the Bulldog first-team defense.

Hanceville Chief of Police Bob Long was on the sidelines Friday. He was as amazed and as happy as the large Bulldogs crowd:

“I can’t recall an offensive explosion like this from a Hanceville High football team in my memory. This first half is one for the ages and a testament to our new coach and the fundamentally upgraded attitude of these young players. GO DAWGS!”

Are the Bulldogs for real? I believe they are. This performance would convince anyone of that fact.

We’ll get to see ‘how real’ the 1-0 Bulldogs are against a larger foe in the Fairview Aggies (0-1) next Friday night at the Dafford Smith Stadium on the campus of Fairview High School.


Prepared Athletes & McClain Culture Change Creates Stunning Hanceville Win

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at

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