Hammon brothers

Section head coach Chris Hammon (right) shakes hands with his brother Charles Hammon, the head coach at Valley Head, after Section's 34-14 victory Friday night at Valley Head High School.

It was a bittersweet win for Section head coach Chris Hammon. 

His Lions had to overcome a strong rally from Valley Head to defeat the Tigers 34-14 behind a stellar 269-yard rushing performance from Drake McCutchen. He also got a win against his older brother Charles Hammon who is the head coach for Valley Head. 

Chris Hammon said it meant a lot to get a win against someone who has meant so much to him in his life and his coaching career. 

“It’s bittersweet,” Chris Hammon said. “I’m his biggest fan and a lot of the success we are having right now is because of him. He’s taught me a lot and has always been there for me. I’m proud of our guys for the way they battled tonight and I’m proud for the win. I hope Valley Head goes 8-2 and wins out.” 

Section (2-0) got off to a hot start by jumping out to a 20-0 lead in the first half. Jr. Walker scored the first touchdown of the night on an 8-yard run. Dominik Blair added the two-point conversion to give Section an 8-0 lead. 

Valley Head answered with a promising drive but it ended with a Noah Hulgan punt that pinned Section inside its own five-yard line. 

The victory was short lived as McCutchen scored on the next play on a 93-yard touchdown run. The two-point attempt failed and Section lead 14-0 with 1:43 left in the first quarter. 

McCutchen scored on a 20-yard run with 9:01 remaining in the first half. The extra-point attempt failed and Section led 20-0. 

Valley Head was determined to get back into the game. 

Hernan Moreno got Valley Head on the board with a nine-yard run with 6:41 left in the first half. Hulgan added the extra point to cut the lead to 20-7. 

Valley Head then got a big defensive stand with under five minutes to go in the half. With 20.8 seconds remaining in the half, Valley Head quarterback Eian Bain connected with Ashton Brown for an 8-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-3. Hulgan added the extra point to cut the lead to 20-14. 

Valley Head continued its strong effort in the second half but didn’t find the end zone. 

McCutchen sealed the win for Section with a 36-yard touchdown run with 11:10 remaining. Blair added the two-point conversion to make it 28-14. 

Walker scored the final touchdown of the night for Section on a 3-yard run to make the final score 34-14. 

“We had a chance at halftime but we couldn’t stop their quarterback,” Charles Hammon said. “They are a third-year team and they are very talented. My brother has done a great job and they are a great team.” 

For Valley Head, Bain finished with 141 yards rushing. Brown added another 64 yards rushing. 

For Section, McCutchen had three rushing touchdowns and a 25-yard pass completion. Walker had 62 yards rushing and Blair finished with 52 yards. 

The win pushes Section to its first 2-0 start since the 2013 season.

› Will Gaines is a sports correspondent for The Times-Journal in Fort Payne.

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