In a year dominated by high-scoring offenses, Walker High School’s Vikings went “old school” last Friday in its 24-0 shutout win over Jackson-Olin.
The Vikings (7-1) clinched one of the top two playoff berths from Class 6A, Region 5 by forcing nine Mustangs’ turnovers to improve to 5-1 in region play. A win over Hueytown this week gives Coach Heath Brunner’s team the region title.
Senior defensive back Ethan Walker made three interceptions, had three more pass deflections and 10 tackles to pace the defensive effort as the Vikings grabbed The AHSAA Prep Spotlight for Week 8. Teammate Lane Davenport also had eight tackles and an interception, his seventh pick of the season, and Alex Medina added 15 tackles to boost his total to 104 in 2015. The shutout was Walker’s first since blanking Hayden 42-0 in week 6 of the 2013 season.
Lyndon Harris had two fumble recoveries, Garrett Davenport had an interception and Everett Green recovered a fumble for Brunner’s defense. Receiver Myron Mitchell caught eight passes for 143 yards and a 43-yard touchdown on offense.
Walker and Homewood are now tied at 5-1 atop Region 5, but the Vikings hold the edge with a close 17-14 win over the Patriots. Both will be at home in the first round of the state playoffs.
The Walker defensive effort edged out one of the most versatile efforts of the season by Leeds High School quarterback Tydarryl Marshall and an emotional effort turned in by Cold Springs’s offensive line.
Marshall scored on a 9-yard run, a 45-yard punt return, a 45-yard TD reception and also fired a touchdown pass from his quarterback position as the Green Wave beat Childersburg 54-0 to move to the top of Class 4A, Region 3. The Green Wave (7-2) are tied at 4-1 with Handley (7-1) but holds the tiebreaker after beating the Tigers 20-7 earlier in the season.
Cold Springs’ Panthers rallied around Jon Campbell, a mainstay on the offensive line, to the tune of almost 400 yards rushing in a 42-14 win over Sumiton Christian. Campbell’s dad passed away earlier in the week following a long battle with leukemia. Running back Christian Crandall ran behind the offensive line for 182 yards and four touchdowns on just seven carries.
CHEROKEE COUNTY WINS 100TH IN CURRY TENURE: Tripp Curry, head football coach at Cherokee County, registered the 100th coaching win of his coaching tenure when the Warriors beat Sardis 39-6. Curry is 100-69 in his 15th season at Cherokee County, including the school’s only football state title in 2009. His overall record (149-83) includes five seasons at Springville.
In other top performances reported last week:
CAIN HEATH, ALEXANDRIA: Returned two interceptions for touchdowns as Alexandria clinched its first region title since 2012 with a 56-14 win over Moody. Heath's returned the two picks 33 and 53 yards in the first half. The Valley Cubs also returned another interception for a score in the second half.
ETHAN WALKER, WALKER: Had three interceptions for 36 return yards, 10 tackles and three pass deflections in Walker's 24-0 win over Jackson-Olin. The Vikings forced nine turnovers in the win. Teammate Lane Davenport also had eight tackles an interception, his seventh pick of the season, and Alex Medina added 15 tackles to boost his total to 104 this season.
RYAN RODRIGUEZ, EAST LIMESTONE: Recorded 20 tackles in a 28-25 win over West Point. Teammate Sylvaughn Turner sealed the win with a 65-yard pass reception for the winning touchdown with 14 seconds left in the game.
JOE ROGERS, SPRING GARDEN: Had a pair of interceptions, a pass deflection and a tackle on defense and also caught an 11-yard touchdown pass in the Panthers' 52-6 victory over Woodville.
RYAN GRIDER, SCOTTSBORO: Recorded 19 tackles as the Wildcats beat Southside-Gadsden 41-39. Teammate Stephen Jackson also had 13 stops.
ISAAC HOLT, HORSESHOE BEMD: Had 18 tackles and forced a fumble in a 49-42 loss to Woodland.
CHANDLER DAVIS, NORTHVIEW: Registered 14 tackles in the Cougars' 30-28 win over Wetumpka that clinched Northview's first playoff berth in 15 years.
HUNTER GREEN, CEROKEE COUNTY: The junior linebacker had 14 tackles, including four for losses, and a sack in the Panthers’ 49-12 win over Ider.
JERVONTAY CAMERON, B.C. RAIN: Had 13 tackles in a 38-28 B.C. Rain win over Faith Academy.
ETHAN McMINN, CULLMAN: Had an interception near his own goal line, recorded 10 tackles and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 3-yard run as the Bearcats nipped Decatur 13-10.
LOGAN HURLEY, GAYLESVILLE: Posted 10 tackles, including a sack and a tackle for loss, in the Trojans' 31-7 win over Coosa Christian.
NELSON WHYTE, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Piled up 263 yards rushing on 13 carries and scored five touchdowns as the Eagles beat Central-Coosa 65-24. His scoring runs covered 59, 5, 67, 1 and 85 yards.
DREW HILL, HORSESHOE BEND: Ran for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries in a 49-42 loss to Woodland. Hill also caught a 20-yard TD pass and returned a kickoff for a fifth touchdown in the game.
TYSON WILLIAMS, DOTHAN: Rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns, had two receptions for 50 yards, a long kick return and a game-sealing interception inside the 5-yard line to preserve the Tigers' 38-36 win over Carver-Montgomery. The win notched the second seed in Class 6A, Region 2 in the process.
B.J. SMALLS, HANCEVILLE: Rushed for 253 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries in a 60-50 comeback win over Holly Pond. He had scoring runs of 8, 45 and 33 yards as Hanceville posted 30 straight points against the Broncos to seal the win. Branen Hurst also had 163 yards passing with one TD and rushed for three others in the win.
RECO HANNAH, RANDOLPH COUNTY: The senior running back rushed 15 times for 192 yards and two touchdowns and caught four passes for 41 yards and another score in his team's 35-14 win over Reeltown. The victory clinched Randolph County's first region championship since 1998.Hannah scored on runs of 41 and 42 yards and caught a 21-yard touchdown pass.
WALKER LOTT, THOMPSON: Rushed for 232 yards and threw for 106 yards to lead the Warriors past Tuscaloosa County 27-0. He scored on runs covering 58 and 89 yards and threw a 40-yard TD pass.
KOBE SMITH, WEST POINT: The workhorse had 40 rush attempts for 179 rushing yards and a touchdown in a 28-25 loss to East Limestone.
TREY HARRIS, NORTH JACKSON: Rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns, racing 90 yards for one score and 59 yards for another, in a 45-21 win over Oneonta. Harris had 13 carries and also tossed a 65-yard TD pass.
JAELYN FLEMING, GADSDEN CITY: Rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries in the Titans’ 38-33 loss to Hazel Green.
GABE OZIO, MADISON COUNTY: Returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, and ran for 171 yards and two scores (14, 17 yards) on 20 carries in a 49-28 win over Randolph.
IVORY STARR, CEDAR BLUFF: Rushed for 164 yards on 12 carries and scored four touchdowns (5, 27, 70, 5 yards) to lead the Class 1A Tigers to a 35-10 football victory over Section.
AUSTIN HARRIS, FAIRVIEW: Rushed for 160 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries in a 48-15 homecoming victory over Douglas.
KOBE justice, SUSAN MOORE: The senior quarterback rushed for 176 yards and four touchdowns (4, 43, 46, 18 yards) on just 14 carries in the Bulldogs’ 40-7 win over Vinemont.
PEYTON GILLILAND, CLEVELAND: The senior quarterback had 173 yards rushing and five touchdowns (64, 5, 51, 9, 16 yards) on just 11 attempts in the Panthers’ 49-12 win over Ider. He also completed 4-of –8 passes for 69 yards.
JASHUN CAMMERON, Gaston: Rushed 16 times for 161 and two touchdowns in a 35-28 victory over Collinsville.
PACE OZMINT, GLENCOE: Scored a pair of second-half touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets rallied to beat Weaver 15-14. Ozmint finished with 123 yards rushing on 23 carries and also had seven tackles on defense.
BRANDON BARNES, GAYLESVILLE: Rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns and teammate Derek Hill had 128 yards and one TD on 14 attempts as Gaylesville beat Coosa Christian 31-7.
CHRIS ARMSTRONG, FOLEY: Ran for 157 yards on 32 carries and scored five touchdowns to lead a 48-33 win over Theodore in a Class 7A, Region 1 game.
J.T. WISE, SAMSON: Accounted for 400 yards and six touchdowns in the Tigers' 40-20 win over Cottonwood. Wise completed 12-of-17 passes for 268 yards with three touchdowns and added 132 yards rushing and three TDs on 20 carries.
CHRISTOPHER ROBERTSON, LINDEN: Was a near perfect 10-of-11 passing for 219 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots beat Billingsley 25-6. Robertson also rushed for one score.
MICHAEL LAMBERT, HOLLY POND: Was 19-of-33 passing for 332 yards and three touchdowns in a 60-50 loss to Hanceville.
BO NIX, SCOTTSBORO: Completed 14-of-24 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats beat Southside-Gadsden 41-39.
ZACH CUPPS, GARDENDALE: Was 16-of-26 passing for 269 yards and three TDs and scored another on a 332-yard run as the Rockets beat Fort Payne 38-28.
BLAKE JOHNSON, MONTGOMERY-CATHOLIC: Completed 18-of-32 passes for 284 yards and two TDs in a 47-23 loss to Andalusia.
RAGAN ASHLEY, FAIRVIEW: Was 11-of-19 passing for 229 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-15 win over Douglas. He also had 10 carries for 98 rushing yards and another score, and had an interception on defense.
RHETT FETNER, HANDLEY: The junior quarterback completed 10-of-15 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns as Handley (7-1) beat Abbeville 48-14. Fetner's touchdown throws covered of 70, 25 and 27 yards.
TYREN DUPREE, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Completed 16-of-23 pass attempts for 207 yards and two touchdowns (11 and 53 yards) and also had a 15-yard touchdown run in the Warriors' 39-6 victory over Sardis.
DALEN MORRIS, BUCKHORN: Completed 10-of-17 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in a 44-7 win over Grissom.
BEN IVEY, SPRING GARDEN: Completed 5-of-6 passes for 203 yards and five touchdowns (54, 21, 11, 80 and 37 yards) in leading Spring Garden to a 52-6 victory over Woodville.
BRADY POLSON, BOB JONES: Completed 14-of-18 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Patriots past Huntsville 45-14.
VICTOR GARTH, AUSTIN: Had 207 yards passing – just on his four first-half touchdowns –
as the Black Bears beat Athens 55-27.
MALIK TALLEY, SCOTTSBORO: Caught 10 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns as Scottsboro beat Southside-Gadsden 41-39. His 10 catches moved him to No. 1 for career receptions at Scottsboro, and his 290 yards is also an SHS single-game best.
DARNELL MOONEY, GADSDEN CITY: Caught nine catches for 170 yards in the Titans’ 38-33 loss to Hazel Green.
DYLAN MORTON, HOLLY POND: Caught five passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns (38, 9 and 71 yards) as the Broncos fell to Hanceville 60-50.
SAMBO WOODS, FAIRVIEW: Snared eight passes for 150 yards and two TDs in a 48-15 win over Douglas.
KYLE HAYNES, PRICEVILLE: Caught four passes for 134 yards and a touchdowns as the Bulldogs (8-0) beat Locust Fork 26-22 to clinch the Class 4A, Region 7 title for the first time in school history. Quarterback Kaleb Barker completed 9-of-10 passes for 196 yards and his 23rd TD pass on the year. Barker is now 137-of-218 for 2,177 yards and has accounted for 40 touchdowns (including 17 rushing).
MYRON MITCHELL, WALKER: Grabbed eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdowns in a 24-0 win over Jackson-Olin in Class 6A, Region 5.
LANDON PRITCHETT, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Caught seven passes for 170 yards and two scores in a 46-23 loss to Andalusia.
LARRY REMBERT, McGILL-TOOLEN: Caught five passes for 159 yards and a touchdown as McGill-Toolen beat Murphy 35-28 in the 84th “Battle for the Cannon” at Mobile.
GRANT SIMMONS, SAMSON: Caught four passes for 112 yards and one touchdown in the Tigers' 40-20 win over Cottonwood.
HAYDEN TERRAL, FAIRHOPE: Kicked three field goals, 39, 32 and 19 yards, to lead the Pirates to a 23-20 win over Davidson.
NIKO RICHMOND, JACKSONVILLE: Returned a kickoff 93 yards for one score and rushed for 96 yards and four more TDs in a 47-20 win over Hokes Bluff.
JACOB GRAVES, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Returned a punt for a 59-yard touchdown and scored on a 35-yard touchdown run in the Warriors' 39-6 victory over Sardis.
CALEB JONES, HOLLY POND: Returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and added two rushing TDs in a 60-50 Holly Pond loss to Hanceville.
PAUL RUIZ, ETOWAH: Returned a punt 60 for a touchdown and caught touchdowns passes for 56 and 24 yards in the Blue Devils’ 42-0 win over Boaz.
TRENTON NASH, COLLINSVILLE: Returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown in the Panthers' 35-28 loss at Gaston.