Red Bay's Roberts Notches 800th Career Victory


                                                           By KEITH LETBETTER
                                              Red Bay News (Special to the AHSAA)

    Red Bay High School girls coach Donnie Roberts notched the 800th win of his long prep basketball coaching career Jan. 25 as the Lady Tigers beat Colbert Heights 64-37. The Lady Tigers improved to 22-2 this season with the win.
    Roberts, who has compiled an 800-346 overall record in his 41-year coaching career, is now the state’s career wins leader for girls basketball and the first in state history to win 800 games.  He will be inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame in March as a member of the Class of 2014.

   “It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about how fortunate my career has been at Red Bay and the 10 years Icoached at Tremont (Ms.). All I can do is thank the kids that played for me. They had a lot more to do with it than Idid.

   After earning a Master’s Degree from Mississippi State University, he returned to his alma mater, Tremont High School just across the state line from Red Bay and compiled a 142-127 record in the next 10 seasons. Roberts moved to Red Bay in 1983 and began working on the goal of making that first trip to Birmingham for the state playoffs.
    “I came here and took over a team that was 9-11 the year before. We had a real good year that first year and we went 19-5,” Roberts said.

    Roberts, who owns a 658-219 girls coaching record at Red Bay, led the Lady Tigers to state championships in 1987, 1993, 2001 and most recently directed Red Bay to the 2012 Class 2A state finals, a 54-49 loss to Section. Last year Roberts’ team won the Northwest Regional again and lost in the Final 48 semifinals.
     “It takes a combination of things to have a state championship program. It does take coaching, but it also takes pride in our program from our girls.”

      Roberts said that it also takes the involvement of the community.

“Everybody here is involved in it,”said Roberts. They back us and support us. The community likes to see us do well.

      Roberts said that over the years some of the best memories he has is that of having the opportunity to coach both of his daughters, Laura Beth and Leah.

“I think it’s rare to have coached two daughters and to have those two daughters on two different teams win state championships. I can tell you it’s a great experience.”


Hoover, Tanner, UMS-Wright Get Super 6 Wins

Join Spanish Fort, Brantley, Madison Academy As State Champs

     AUBURNHoover locked up its ninth Class 6A crown, Tanner pulled away in the final quarter to grab the Class 2A state title and UMS-Wright took control in the second half to wrap up the Class 4A prize here Friday on the final day of the 2012 AHSAA Super 6 football championships at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Class 6A game was scheduled at 7 p.m.
     On opening day Thursday, Spanish Fort took the Class 5A title, Brantley won the Class 1A crown and Madison Academy captured the Class 3A prize.  

Class 6A: Hoover 31, Opelika  0                 
Stats             Notes
     Calen Campbell scored two touchdowns in a span of 32 seconds late in the first quarter and added a 45-yard touchdown with two minutes left in the game as Hoover capped an undefeated season with a 31-0 win over Opelika in the Class 6A championship game. It marked the school's ninth state title.
     Coach Josh Niblett’s Bucs (15-0) became just the second team in Hoover history to finish 15-0 – joining the 2005 team that also won the Super 6 title in a finale played at Legion Field. Niblett’s team made their fifth Super 6 appearance in his tenure - winning twice (2009 and 2012) and losing the other three by a total of just 7 points.
     Hunter Schmith kicked a 22-yard field goal and Cooper Carden hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Connor Short to round out the scoring for Hoover.
     Campbell’s two quick TDs put the Bucs on top 14-0 – an important step in quieting the huge Opelika crowd. He sped 64 yards for the first score with 3:00 left in the first quarter. On Opelika’s next series, Marlon Humphrey intercepted a pass and returned it 42 yards to the Bulldogs’ 3 to set up Campbell’s second TD.
     Hoover then recovered an onside kick, but Opelika averted further damage when a pass sailed over the outstretched arms of an open Hoover receiver at the goal line.
     Campbell earned game MVP honors with 191 yards rushing on 30 carries. Short was 13-of-21 passing for 146 yards. Michael Powers was the leading receiver with six receptions for 79 yards.
     Landry Tullo led Hoover’s defense with 10 tackles. Chris Fort added six stops and an interception.
     Calvin Bryant led Opelika (10-5) with 85 yards rushing on 19 carries while Matthew Christian was 4-of-18 passing for 97 yards. Jakell Mitchell caught two passes for 46 yards.
     Roy Yancey had nine tackles for Coach Brian Blackmon’s Bulldog defense. Abram Williams had seven tackles, including one sack, and two other tackles for losses.

Class 2A: Tanner 28, Washington County 14
             Stats         Notes

     Tanner’s Rattlers climaxed a perfect season with a 28-14 victory over Washington County to capture the Class 2A title.
     The Rattlers (14-0) of Coach Laron White were making their second straight Super 6 appearance but the first at Auburn. Tanner lost in the 2A finals to Elba last season and has gone 28-1 over the last two years.
     Game MVP Fred Rich rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and had six tackles and an interception on defense. His 4-yard touchdown run with 5:13 remaining in the fourth quarter sealed the Rattlers’ win over Coach Chris Wilson’s Bulldogs (13-2). 
     Rich scored the game’s first TD on a 25-yard run in first period, but Washington County tied the game at 7-7 with T.J. Kidd’s 4-yard run three minutes later.
     The 7-7 stalemate continued until 5:13 left in the third period when Jonathon Fletcher gave the Rattlers the lead for good on a 5-yard TD run. Fletcher closed out Tanner’s scoring with a 44-yard interception return with 3:36 to play.
    Washington County’s last touchdown came with 2:03 remaining when DeMarcus Holcombe hauled in a 19-yard scoring pass from quarterback Dane Howard.
     Heyden Stephens led all rushers with 139 yards on 29 carries as Tanner totaled 290 yards rushing on 55 tries. Kidd led Washington County with 79 yards on 17 carries. Howard was 8-of-18 passing for 133 yards but was intercepted four times. Fletcher had two picks and Deshun Freeman the other one.
     Kerrigan Pennington and Garrett Thornton each had 10 tackles for Washington County. DeAndre Smith also had nine tackles on a defense that registered six sacks in the contest.

Class 4A: UMS-Wright 42, Oneonta 14           Stats           Notes
     UMS-Wright sophomore Troy Dixon scored three touchdowns on electrifying runs of 52 and 61 yards in the second quarter and 74 yards in the final period as the Bulldogs defeated Oneonta 42-14 to claim the 2012 Class 4A title.
     Dixon captured the game’s MVP honors for his performance. He totaled 232 yards on 23 carries.
     Oneonta (14-1) scored first on a 62-yard, eight-play drive capped by Tyler Smith's 14-yard touchdown run with 8:51 remaining in the first quarter. UMS quarterback Gunner Roach, who completed 9-of-13 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown, responded with a 1-yard sneak for a TD on the first play of the second quarter.
     Dixon gave the Bulldogs the lead with his first score, but Smith tied the game with a 5-yard run with 2:53 left in the half. Two plays later, Dixon got loose for his second TD.
     The Redskins then marched from their own 30 to the UMS 3-yard line in final seconds of the half. However, on second and goal, Oneonta fumbled and the Bulldogs’ Sam Pettway recovered with nine seconds left to prevent Coach Don Jacobs’ team from tying the score.
     Coach Terry Curtis’ Bulldogs faced a third-and-32 midway through the third quarter when Roach connected with T.J. Dixon in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.  K.J. Traywick followed with a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown and Dixon closed the scoring with his 74-yard run late in the game.
     The game produced 864 yards total offense – 422 by UMS-Wright and 442 by Oneonta. The Redskins also tied a Super 6 Class 4A record with 24 first downs.  Quarterback Cody O’Toole was 22-of-31 passing for 284 yards and senior receiver Alvin Scott snagged 11 passes for 123 yards. Scott’s receptions and O’Toole’s completions are also new Super 6 Class 4A records.
     UMS’s defense forced five turnovers – three fumbles and two interceptions. Pettway had 11 tackles to pace the Bulldogs’ defense and Tyler Beard had nine stops.  Thomas Boyd’s seven tackles led Oneonta.

Class 5A: Spanish Fort 45, McAdory 14         
 Stats           Notes
     Spanish Fort scored 31 straight points in the second half to break open a close game and rolled to a 45-14 win over previously unbeaten McAdory to claim the Class 5A state championship.
     The Toros (14-1) won their second state crown and their second straight at Auburn. It marked the first in Freeman’s tenure as head coacht.
     Both teams fought a tough defensive battle in the first half as Spanish Fort pulled into intermission with a slim 14-7 lead. Super 6 MVP Joel Poe connected with Devonte Patrick for an 18-yard touchdown pass to give Spanish Fort a quick 7-0 lead.
     Edward Autrey’s 20-yard run midway through the second period made it 14-0, but McAdory struck back with a 1-yard Kyran Moore scoring run.
     Coach Mark Freeman’s Toros scored 17 points in the third period – first on Alexander Theodore’s 20-yard field goal, then on Samuel Tolbert’s 29-yard run. Poe, who was 17-of-24 passing for 177 yards and three scores, fired a 25-yard TD strike to Jonathan Cook and later a 21-yard scoring pass to Patrick early in the fourth quarter. He finished Spanish Fort’s scoring with a 10-yard TD run with 8:30 remaining.
     Coach David Powell’s Yellow Jackets scored on a 47-yard pass from Kyran Moore to Jonathan Witherspoon to round out the scoring.
     Poe also rushed for 33 yards on eight carries and Tolbert added 100 yards on 12 runs. Patrick finished with six catches for 53 yards and Blain Crain nabbed five for 48 yards. The Toros finished with 377 total yards.
     McAdory, which had 91 yards rushing and 96 passing, all on Moore's 6-of-15 passing. He was sacked for 53 yards in losses on 11 runs and finished with minus-13 yards net. Witherspoon had three catches for 69 yards and a TD.
     Tyler Johnston had six tackles, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass for the Toros’ defense. Ronald Smith also had eight tackles. Brian Sledge and Taylor Reynolds each had seven stops for McAdory while Robert Cooks also had an interception.

Class 1A: Brantley 33, Marion County 0           Stats           Notes
     Brantley's defense registered nine shutouts on the way to Thursday’s Class 1A state finals, but shutout number 10 turned out to be the sweetest.
     The Bulldogs limited defending champion Marion County to just 173 total yards en route to a 33-0 victory and claimed Brantley’s first state championship since 2009. The Red Raiders (13-2) entered the contest averaging a state-leading 50.1 points per game with 700 points scored in 14 games. The Bulldogs (15-0) came in with 697 points scored and just 47 allowed all year (3.4 points per game).
     Coach David Lowery’s team took a 12-0 first-half lead on two TD passes from quarterback Andrew Lowery to game MVP O.J. Guice covering 15 and 13 yards. The defense stopped the Raiders time and time again, but heading into the fourth quarter, those two missed extra points still loomed big.
     Andrew Parker scored on a 5-yard run with 8:44 remaining to cap a 47-yard, eight-play drive and extended the lead to 19-0. Guice added his third TD on a 21-yard run four minutes later and Selleven Burnett scooped up a fumble and rambled 79 yards for the final touchdown with 28 seconds left.
     Brantley rushed for 255 yards and passed for another 61 for 316 total yards. Marion County had 136 yards rushing. Guice was the game’s leading rusher with 115 yards on nine carries and caught four passes for 31 yards. Parker added 111 on 27 tries and Lowery had 33 on 11 attempts. Justin Sanderson led the Raiders with 75 yards on 17 carries.
     Adrian Howard led all tacklers with 14 stops for Brantley. Taylor Driggers added eight tackles and Clay Haws had four, one a sack of Marion County quarterback Sean Wallace for a big 17-yard loss. Terrence Bogen also had an interception.
     Coach Rusty Funk’s Raider defense was anchored by Collin Roberts’ 10 tackles, Wallace’s nine and eight by Demetrek Stewart. Marion County's Ready Swanigan also had two tackles and an interception that he returned 31 yards.

Class 3A: Madison Academy 31, Fayette County 7         
 Stats           Notes
     The second time was the charm as Madison Academy beat Fayette County 31-7 for the Class 3A crown.
     The Mustangs (13-2) reached the Class 3A finals in 2011 – falling to Handley 20-14 in a game that went right down to the wire. This time Coach Eric Cohu’s team left little suspense as sophomore Kerryon Johnson scored two first-half touchdowns to lead Madison Academy to the school’s first-ever state football title.
     Charles Trach booted a Super 6 Class 3A record 43-yard field goal on the first series of the game to give the Mustangs a quick 3-0 lead. Johnson then scored two touchdowns – first on a 35 yard run with 8:15 left in the half and the other on a 68-yard interception return four minutes later.
     Fayette County got on the scoreboard 23 seconds before intermission when Marcellus Redmont scored from the 2 to climax a 13-play, 67-yard drive.
     The combination of Johnson, who finished as the 3A championship game’s leading rusher with 135 yards on 25 carries, and fullback Malik Miller wore the Tigers' defense down in the second half. Johnson added a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:45 to play to extend Madison Academy’s lead to 24-7. Miller, who had 121 yards on 14 carries, ran 6 yards with 2:36 left to close out the scoring.
     The Mustangs finished with 281 yards rushing and limited Fayette County (12-3) to just 60 yards on the ground and 140 yards total. Redmond, Coach Lance Tucker’s talented quarterback, was sacked five times for 33 yards in losses. He completed 7-of-21 passes but was picked off by Johnson twice and by Damiene Pam once.
     La’Markus Martin had two sacks for 18 yards in losses and Garrett Lindsey had 1.5 for another 12 negative yards. Miller led the Mustangs defense with eight tackles and Logan Hamlett had seven.
JaTevin Madison, the Fayette County MVP, had 10 tackles. Omar Smith also had 10 stops and Darnell Williams six with three resulting in losses.