The official score of this spring game that doesn’t count on your record was Hoover 28, Dothan 16. But it counted big to the new Dothan High School Wolves.
Maybe Dothan head coach Smitty Grider said it best. “The question I wanted answered was would we compete with the best, and I think we answered that,” Grider said. “The first half we stood in there toe-to-toe with the best program in the state, which is where we’re trying to get. I was really proud with that.”
Pretty good for a team that has been doing off season workouts at two different schools, still doesn’t have most of its coaching staff in place and was on the field for only nine practices. Actually, it was more than pretty good. It was amazing!
“We played them off their feet for a half,” Grider told his team afterwards. “I’m proud of you. I wanted to see you compete, and we competed.”
“The defense, other than a couple of plays, played well. We got some three-and-outs. Offensively, we moved the ball well in the first half. Extremely proud of where we are.”
Jabre Barber caught a 51 yard pass from Jamal Lane just before halftime to give the home crowd from Dothan a cheer and the Wolves a 16-14 half time lead. A Hoover touchdown pass on the first series of the game had given the Bucs a 7-0 lead. The Wolves responded with a drive of their own. After a nice run by running back Ta’bryious Webb set Dothan up on the one yard line, Barber took the direct snap at quarterback and powered it in to knot the score at 7-7.
A Hoover interception return for a touchdown gave the Bucs the lead 14-7 in the second quarter. But a Dothan 28 yard field goal and the Lane to Barber TD pass gave the Wolves the lead at intermission. Two Hoover 3rd quarter touchdown passes gave the Bucs the final 28-16 victory.
In the fourth quarter, each team alternated running 20 plays without using a clock to finish out the scrimmage as more reserves saw playing time.
But the question of whether or not the two schools-Northview and Dothan High- could come together and play as one, was answered on Saturday. It is possible.
And it gives the Wolves momentum for those summer workouts and practices. And for Hoover, the fact that the game was a little more competitive through three quarters than many thought just gives them a little more summer fuel as well.
The Dothan Wolves open the season August 23rd against Clay Chalkville while Hoover plays defending 7A champion Central Phenix City on Saturday, August 24th.