NORTHPORT — Hokes Bluff’s season — and the careers of some decorated seniors including Darrian Meads and Ashton Gulledge — came to an end in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs on the road at No. 4 Northside.
The Rams defeated the Eagles 35-21 to advance to the second round. Northside (10-1) will host Priceville next week. The Eagles end the season with a 7-4 record.
Hokes Bluff, which saw its streak of winning at least two playoffs games a season end at three, led 14-7 early in the second quarter after a 42-yard touchdown pass from Gulledge to Jalen Robinson.
The Rams scored two times — one passing and one rushing — before the end of the half to take a 21-14 lead into the locker room.
After a 45-yard rushing score for the Rams midway through the third quarter, Gulledge ran in a 1-yard run with 8:11 left in the game to trim Hokes Bluff’s deficit to 28-21, but that was as close as the Eagles got.
By The Numbers
4 — Hokes Bluff had won its four previous first round games prior to Friday night. Two of those were on the road. … 338 — Total yards for Northside (202 rush; 136 pass). … 275 — Total yards for Hokes Bluff (167 rush; 108 pass). … 3 — Northside totaled three turnovers. … 7.7 — Average yards per play for the Rams. Hokes Bluff averaged 4.2 yards a play.
Hokes Bluff Stat Sheet
Gulledge was 7-of-26 passing for 108 yards and two touchdowns. The senior quarterback added 59 rushing yards on 12 carries with one touchdown. Meads had 108 yards on 27 carries. Robinson had four catches for 86 yards with two touchdowns.