HOKES BLUFF — The Hokes Bluff Eagles christened Mike Robertson Stadium in memorable fashion Friday, pounding Class 4A, Region 6 rival Cleburne County 49-10 behind 401 rushing yards from Darrian Meads.
The Eagles, ranked No. 2 in 4A, moved to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the region. The Tigers fell to 1-7 and 0-5.
Meads raced 89 yards for a touchdown on Hokes Bluff’s second offensive play with 9:09 left in the first quarter. He tacked on a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:14 left in the period, hauled in a 42-yard scoring pass from Ashton Gulledge with 9:44 left in the half and sprinted 60 yards to the end zone with 11:09 left in the third period.
Gulledge threw just seven passes, but completed four of them for 97 yards and three touchdowns. The other two went to Braydon Hill in the second quarter — a 25-yarder with 5:15 left and a 28-yarder with 17 seconds left — as Hokes Bluff built a 42-0 halftime lead.
Gulledge also kept 10 yards for a score with 5:51 left in the first period.
A pregame ceremony was held officially renaming the stadium in Robertson’s honor. He’s in his 23rd season as football coach at his alma mater, where he’s also the baseball coach and was the longtime girls’ basketball coach.
“We played pretty well in the first half,” Robertson said. “I was worried it (his honor) might be a distraction for them. They were really hyped up before the game, bouncing off the walls.
“But I’m really proud of them. Darrian had some big runs and our offensive line and defense may have had their best games,” he said. “But we’ve got to keep improving.”
Arcavius Brown had 135 yards on 22 carries and ran 15 yards with 4:25 left in the game for Cleburne County’s only touchdown. Joseph Stephens’ kicked a 27-yard field goal with 2:47 left in the third quarter.
Quarterback Reese Morrison completed 16-of-24 passes for the Tigers’ aerial yardage.
Star of the Night
Meads, of course — he carried the ball just 17 times before going to the bench midway through the third quarter. He had 336 yards in the first half.
They Said It
“I felt like I was in a groove. The line just kept pushing. I give all the credit to our line. They’re the reason I had the momentum.” — Meads
Play of the Game
Meads’ first touchdown started the scoring parade, but the Eagles stopped Cleburne County on three fourth-down plays in the first half to keep the Tigers from getting back into the game.
“I appreciate the people who contributed to doing this (stadium renaming ceremony) for me and my family. Thanks to everyone who had a part in it.” — Robertson
Cleburne County had 405 yards of offense (253 rushing, 152 passing) to Hokes Bluff’s 547 (450 rushing, 97 passing), but most of the Tigers' yards came against the Eagle reserves after the issue was settled. “Our first guys didn’t give up anything,” Robertson said.
By the Numbers
40 — Hokes Bluff has scored 40 or more points in five of its seven games this year. ... 6 — Conversely, this was the sixth time in eight games that Cleburne County has allowed 49 or more points. ... 7 — Cleburne County still holds a 7-3 lead in its series with Hokes Bluff; Friday’s win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Eagles against the Tigers, although the teams hadn’t met since 2015.
Hokes Bluff travels to Cherokee County for a region game. “It’s never easy up there,” Robertson said. Cleburne County hosts Ashville in a region game.