McGill-Toolen, Central-Clay County Claim Wins
Join Spanish Fort In Champions Challenge Winners Circle
McGill-Toolen, Central of Clay County and Spanish Fort claimed victories in the 7th annual al.com Champions Challenge preseason football tripleheader at Montgomery's Cramton Bowl Friday and Saturday.
The regular season gets underway next week for all AHSAA high school teams.
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0 (Statistics) (Video)
McGill-Toolen piled up 339 total yards Saturday night and blanked Northridge 27-0 to claim game three.
Spencer Ruggs had 95 yards rushing on 15 carries and scored one touchdown for Coach Bart Sessions’ Jackets. Ito Smith added 85 yards on four carries and Jeffrey Stanley had 61 yards on 12 tries. Quarterback Jason Smith completed 3-of-4 passes for 60 yards and one score.
McGill-Toolen dominated the Class 6A battle in the first half to build a 21-0 lead. Smith’s 74-yard touchdown run with 2:37 left in the first period got the ball rolling for Coach Bart Sessions’ Yellow Jackets.
Six minutes later, Smith connected with Carl Lee for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Stanley added a 6-yard touchdown run with 3:07 remaining in the second quarter to close out the scoring. Place-kicker Thomas Hamlin kicked all three extra points.
Ruggs scored the last touchdown on an 8-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Northridge junior running back Bo Scarbrough turned in a stellar performance against McGill’s staunch defense with all 98 of his rushing yards on 10 carries in the first half. Both teams played reserves in the final two quarters.
Deondre Rogers had 57 yards on 12 carries for Coach Mike Smith’s Jaguars. Kyle Stewart was 7-of-16 passing for 48 yards and Tanner Cline 5-of-15 for 40 yards.
Northridge’s Bradon Prince had seven tackles including one sack while Austin Atkins and Montel Dent had six stops each. Andrew Allen made eight tackles to lead McGill-Toolen. Elbert Robinson and Philbert Martial each had an interception for the Jackets.
Central-Clay County 25, Beauregard 13 (Statistics) (Video)
Senior Tyrone Cosby rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and senior quarterback Jamario Lyles passed for 150 yards and another score as Central of Clay Coumty beat Beauregard 25-13 Saturday afternoon'
The game was the first in the new school’s short history. Central was opened this season after the Clay County School System merged arch-rivals Lineville and Clay County of Ashland. The rich football tradition was certainly evident at Cramton Bowl with a large contingent of fans driving the 90-mile distance to Montgomery for the 5 p.m. kickoff.
A muffed punt early in the first quarter led to the Volunteers’ first touchdown. A short 14-yard Central punt turned into a Hornets miscue when the ball bounced off a Beauregard player and was recovered by Hunter Nelson at the Hornets 37-yard line. A 15-yard penalty moved the ball to the 22. It still took eight plays before Cosby scored with 5:18 remaining in the first period. Lyles kicked the extra point and Coach Steve Giddens’ Vols were up 7-0.
Lyles connected with receiver DeAndre Willis later in the period on a 50-yard pass play that reached the Hornets 3-yard line. Once again Coach Smitty Grider’s defense was stingy, but Travis Smith finally bulled in on third down from the 1 to make it 13-0 with just over a minute left in the quarter.
The Hornets defense came up with a defensive gem late in the second period when Jamari Staples’ punt was blocked by Keevan Jackson and teammate Charles Motley scooped up the loose ball at the Central 33. He sped into the end zone for the touchdown and cut Central’s lead to 13-7. Ryan Hargett kicked the extra point.
The Volunteers got the points back quickly, again on the arm of Lyles. Andrew Robinson hauled in Lyles’ 43-yard pass for a touchdown to make it 19-7 at the half.
Cosby capped a 10-play, 49-yard drive in the fourth period with a 4-yard run for his second TD of the night. Quarterback David Winslet’s 32-yard pass to Trey Collins with 1:56 left gave Beauregard its final touchdown.
Central out-gained Beauregard 373 yards to 108 and had 68 offensive plays to just 43 for the Hornets, who managed just 26 yards rushing on 19 plays. Winslet was 9-of-22 passing for 85 yards for Beauregard. Collins, who rushed for 16 yards on two carries, also had 45 yards on three receptions.
Lyles was 7-of-12 with Staples hauling in four catches for 53 yards. Lyles also punted twice for a 43.5 average.
Josh White and Dake Rivers had 12 tackles each for the Hornets. Payton Reynolds had six tackles and Hunter Bickerstaff had five stops including one sack for an 11-yard loss.
Central will open its season at home in its new stadium Friday against Trinity of Montgomery while Beauregard takes on 2011 Class 3A state champion Handley at Roanoke.
Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22 (Statistics) (Video)
Spanish Fort High School rolled up 387 yards total offense – 214 in an explosive second half – and nipped Muscle Shoals 33-22 to win the opening contest Friday night.
Senior Sammy Tolbert rushed for 103 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns on runs of 2 and 29 yards. The second score came with 8:40 left to play and put Spanish Fort ahead for good 26-22.
Tyler Johnson tacked on an insurance score with a nifty 36-yard touchdown run with 4:32 left for Coach Mark Freeman’s Toros.
“What I was most proud of was our ability to find a way to answer every time Muscle Shoals did something good,” said Freeman. “We kept our heads and continued to do our jobs. That shows some real maturity.”
Senior quarterback Joel Poe completed 17-of-22 passes for 144 yards and one TD, a 20-yard strike to Samuel Harris with 26 seconds left in the half to cut a 15-6 Muscle Shoals lead to three points, 15-12.
Harris finished with seven catches for 89 yards and Deon Johnson had seven for 47. He also returned three kickoffs for 136 yards.
Javian Ramson ended almost 19 minutes of scoreless action in the first half with a little juggling act in the end zone when he caught a Ryan Ware pass he tipped to himself to give Muscle Shoals an early 6-0 lead. Ramson scored the two-point conversion to make 8-0 with 5:22 left in the first half.
Spanish Fort struck back quickly, thanks to Johnson’s 72-yard kickoff return to the Trojans 14-yard line.. Tolbert went in from the 2-yard line three plays later to pull the Toros within two at 8-6 with 4:09 left until halftime.
The Trojans needed only 2:09 to find the end zone again when Jamarcus Nance hauled in a pass from Ware and sped 82 yards for the TD. Blake Logan’s kick gave Muscle Shoals a 15-6 lead.
Spanish Fort kept its composure, however, and got back on the scoreboard with only 26 seconds left in the half when Harris caught Poe’s pass for the 20-yard TD.
Johnson scored on a 2-yard run late in the third quarter to give Spanish Fort its first lead 19-15. Weston Allen’s 2-yard run for a TD early in the fourth quarter put Coach Scott Basden’s Trojans ahead one last time 22-19.
Muscle Shoals rushed for 199 yards with 10 different backs having at least one carry. Jamarcus Nance had 55 yards on 11 carries and Tyler Jackson 53 yards on nine tries. Ryan Ware also completed 6-of-9 passes for 121 yards and two scores. Ramson finished with three catches for 54 yards.
Blake Logan had nine tackles and Alex Willis eight to lead the Trojans defense. Kylan Cotton’s 14 tackles led Spanish Fort. Jonathan Cook also had 11 stops.