After three years of close losses, Holly Pond finally turned its despair into joy. The Broncos finally broke through on Thursday night, edging Cold Springs 49-40 to snap the state’s current longest losing streak at 29 games. The Broncos finished the season 1-9.
The victory propelled Coach Mike Bates’ team into the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for the final week of the football regular season.
“I was just hoping that it wasn’t going to turn out like another Vinemont or Hanceville,” junior quarterback Michael Lambert told the Cullman Times. “I wouldn’t have been able to take that. Not again. I’ve held back a lot of emotions, but that would have been awful. This win is worth some of those emotions. We’ve worked so hard for this. It feels amazing.”
Lambert turned in an exceptional effort completing 13-of-19 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns. Teammate Caleb Jones had seven catches for 203 yards and both scores and also rushed for 82 yards and three more touchdowns.”
Bates, who has also coached a team to the state championship in his storied career, took the win in stride. “Coach (Bear) Bryant once said, ‘Every game sooner or later gets jaw to jaw and cheek to cheek.’ We made big plays where, in the past, we couldn’t do it. I was confident we could do some things coming in this game. I knew we’d get a win one day. We just didn’t know when it’d be.”
Christian Crandall led Cold Springs (6-4) with 195 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
Cold Springs Coach Rod Elliott praised Holly Pond’s effort. “Holly Pond played fantastic,” he said. “They came ready. Congrats out to them.”
TYRONE PIGROME, CLAY-CHALKVLLE: Completed 13-of-20 passes for 272 yards and five touchdowns and rushed 11 times for 127 yards and two scores in a 53-35 win over Hewitt-Trussville as Coach Jerry Hood’s Cougars closed out a second straight undefeated regular season at 10-0.
Receiver T.J. Simmons caught six passes for 133 yards and four TDs in the win.
HUNTER GRANT, WEST END: Completed 11-of-16 passes for 224 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 183 yards on 12 carries in the Patriots’ 48-15 victory over Appalachian. He had 407 total yards. He finished his season with 43 touchdowns accounted for (31 passing and 12 rushing) and had 3,428 total yards in 10 games. Grant was 151-of-259 passing for 2,611 yards and rushed 104 times for 817 yards. His season best was a 402-yard passing performance versus Gaston (27-of-44 for four TDs).
PIKE COUNTY DEFENSE: Beat Washington County 35-0 to register the school’s sixth shutout of the season in nine games by forcing a season-high eight turnovers. Coach Fred Holland’s Bulldogs had six interceptions in the final regular season game. Jahmir Lampley intercepted three passes for Pike County (8-1) and Jerrell Lawson, Michael Rumph and Cory Batie had one each with Batie returning his for a touchdown. Batie and Kamari Jackson also recovered fumbles. Five of the turnovers came in the fourth quarter.
In other top performances reported for Week 10:
CALVIN FIGUEROA, SAKS: Rushed for 325 yards on 23 attempts and scored five touchdowns in a 63-34 win over LaFayette. He went over 2,000 yards for the season with the effort. His scores came on runs of 1, 5, 58, 73 and 19 yards.
KOBE SMITH, WEST POINT: Helped West Point beat Priceville 49-21 with 309 yards rushing and four touchdowns. He now has over 2,000 yards on the year heading into the playoffs.
JERMAINE BROWN, ST. LUKE’S: Rushed for a season-high 306 yards and three touchdowns and also passed for two scores in a 53-50 win over Cottage Hill Christian.
KEENAN WOODRUFF, ALEXANDRIA: Rushed for 274 yards and three touchdowns and also scored on a 97-yard kickoff return in the Valley Cubs' 65-49 shootout victory over Cherokee County. Teammate Jamal Tucker added 128 yards and scored the Valley Cubs' first three touchdowns on his first four carries of the game.
JAHARI BROWN, NEW BROCKTON: Rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns (60, 46, 28 and 9 yards) on just 10 carries as the Gamecocks (9-1) beat Kinston 44-6 to finish its best regular season since 1986.
JACOB WASHBURN: J.B. PENNINGTON: The senior running back had 237 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries in the Tigers' 47-14 victory over Susan Moore. It was just his second game back after missing more than four games with a dislocated elbow.
ZACH ALFORD, GOSHEN: Rushed for 216 yards and three touchdowns (67, 5 and 53) and added a 90-yard kickoff for a touchdown in a 55-48 overtime loss to Brantley. Alford amassed 379 total yards, also earning 120 in kick returns and 43 yards off three receptions.
CARLOS STEPHENS, THOMPSONJ: Rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries as the Warriors beat Chelsea 56-21.
DERRICK UNDERWOOD, HOMEWOOD: Had 206 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns in the Patriots’ 34-14 win over Tuscaloosa County.
JONATHAN FELLS, CARROLL: Rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns and teammate C.J. Roberts had 95 yards and three scores in a 66-14 win over Booker T. Washington. Both backs surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the game.
DERRICK DUNIGAN, BILLIGNSLEY: Ran 29 times for 191 yards and four touchdowns and caught four passes for 33 yards and a score in a 44-34 win over Montevallo. He has 1,661 yards and 19 TDs rushing this season heading into this week’s 1A state playoffs.
DESHON COWLING, PIKE COUNTY: had 184 yards rushing, scored on runs of 15 and 80 yards and also caught a 57-yard TD pass as the Bulldogs (8-1) beat Washington County 35-0.
QUINTON DOWNEY, SPRING GARDEN: Rushed for 168 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns (13, 17, 51 yards) as the Panthers closed out the regular season with a 50-25 victory over Gaylesville.
BRANDON BARNES, GAYLESVILLE: Led the Trojans with 200 yards on 25 carries and a 3-yard touchdown in a 50-25 loss at Spring Garden.
PACE OZMINT, GLENCOE: Rushed 14 times for 151 yards, caught three passes for 129 yards and three touchdowns, recorded six tackles and had an interception in the Yellow Jackets’ 38-20 win over Cleburne County.
J.T. WISE, SAMSON: The Tigers quarterback accounted for 328 yards rushing and passing and four touchdowns in a 40-21 win over Pleasant Home. Wise completed 8-of-14 passes for 196 yards with three touchdowns (6, 59 and 44 yards) and had 132 yards rushing on 13 carries with a 69-yard TD scamper.
JOSEPH SCHAUER, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Completed 18-of-25 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns while adding 52 rushing yards in the Warriors’ 36-30 loss to Ranburne.
TYREN DUPREE, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Completed 20-of-31 pass attempts for 277 yards and a 19-yard touchdown in a 65-49 loss to Alexandria. He also rushed for 47 yards and a score on 13 carries.
BO NIX, SCOTTSBORO: The freshman QB completed 14-of-18 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-21 win over Madison County. He also ran five times for 57 yards and another score.
DERRICK McCARTY, THEODORE: Caught four passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-21 Class 7A playoff-clinching win over Fairhope.
ANDRE LITTLE, WEST END: Caught five passes for 109 yards with touchdown receptions of 30, 13, 10 and 44 yards in the Patriots’ 48-15 victory over Appalachian.
QUARTEZ HENDERSON, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Caught eight passes for 124 yards and a 19-yard touchdown in the Warriors' 65-49 loss at Alexandria. Teammate Justin McKnight also had nine receptions for 94 yards.
TYRIC RICHARDSON, DAPHNE: Returned an interception 103 yards as the Trojans clinched their 18th straight playoff berth with a 27-6 victory over LeFlore at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
TREY PRATER, FORT PAYNE: The Wildcats cornerback had an interception returned 70-yards for a touchdown and blocked the game-tying extra point to preserve a 27-26 win over Anniston.
TUFFY CASEY, ARITON: Had 16 tackles on defense and also caught a 2-yard TD pass in the Purple Cats' 35-17 win over Zion Chapel.
ETHAN McMINN, CULLMAN: Totaled 12 tackles, including one for a long loss, and forced and recovered a fumble in a 6-0 loss at Russellville.
TRAMEKQUEZ LANE, OPP: Had 10 tackles and recovered a fumble on Elba's last drive, sealing a 20-14 win over the previously-undefeated Tigers.
COBY NEENAN, NORTHVIEW: Converted a 40-yard field goal, his 10th field goal this season, hit all four extra-point kicks and punted for a 41.3 average on three punts, including a 58 yarder, in a 35-31 loss to Charles Henderson.
CALEB ROEBUCK, SYLVANIA: Returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and rushed for 146 yards and two TDs in a 36-0 win over Ider.
NATE MITCHELL, SAND ROCK: Blocked a punt which teammate Braden Carver scooped up and returned for a touchdown in the Wildcats' 16-13 victory at Cedar Bluff. Mitchell also had six tackles on defense in the win.