MONTGOMERY – Thompson High School junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa directed a 14-play, 99-yard drive in the fourth quarter Friday night to seal the Warriors’ 32-25 Class 7A, Region 3 victory over defending state champion Hoover to secure the school’s first-ever 7A region championship. Hoover came into the contest holding a 20-0 edge in the series dating back to 1988.
Tagovailoa, who moved to Thompson from Hawaii over the summer, completed 16-of-31 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown to lead his team into the AHSAA Football Spotlight for Week 9. The younger brother of the University of Alabama’s back-up quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed third-down passes of 13 and 18 yards on the game-winning drive that culminated with his 12-yard TD pass before a capacity crowd at the Hoover Met.
Coach Mark Freeman’s Warriors improved to 9-0 for the first time since Thompson’s 1982 Class 3A state championship season which culminated in a 14-0 slate. Larry Simmons was head coach of that team. The Thompson stadium now bears his name.
Freeman, in his third year at Thompson, owns a 183-47 career record over 19 seasons. He led Thompson to two straight 5-5 seasons after coming to the Alabaster school following the 2014 season. The Warriors were 2-40 in region play in the six years prior to Freeman’s arrival.
He was 50-7 at Spanish Fort with two state titles in four seasons (2011-14) and 13-9 at Gulf Shores from 2009-10. He coached 10 years at non-member school Bessemer Academy compiling a 101-21 record en route to four AISA state titles.
Hoover (7-2), which owns 12 state titles, has gone 39-3 in its last six seasons in region play. Coach Josh Niblett, who has a 190-47 career slate, is 125-15 with five state crowns since becoming the Bucs’ head coach in 2008. Larry McCammon finished with 148 yards on 13 carries and scored twice for the Bucs in Friday’s setback. Hoover will be Region 3 second seed heading into next week’s state playoffs.
CEDAR BLUFF HANDS COACH McWHORTER HIS 100TH WIN: Cedar Bluff beat Spring Garden 34-7 Friday to claim the Tigers’ third straight Class 1A, Region 6 title and also notch the 100th career win for Coach Jonathan McWhorter. He is now 100-43 in 12 seasons as head coach. McWhorter has guided Cedar Bluff to five region championships and two Class 1A state runner-up finishes. Isaiha Jones was a catalyst in the Tigers’ victory over the Panthers rushing for 208 yards on 19 carries with four touchdowns. He also scored a 2-point conversion and had two interceptions on defense.
JAMIE PATTERSON, ISABELLA: Kicked 10-of-10 extra points to etch his name in the AHSAA record book as the Mustangs beat Ellwood Christian 70-0. His total ranked tied for third behind leader Grant Gillis of Clarke County, who set the record 96 years ago in 1921 with 14 extra points in a 111-0 win over Washington County. Three players have kicked 11 PATs in a game and Patterson tied Nathan Geis of Madison Academy, who set a Super 7 record with 10 extra-point kicks in a 70-34 win over Dale County in the 2014 Class 3A finals. Isabella’s defense also limited Ellwood to 2 yards rushing and minus-9 yards passing for minus-7 yards total offense, which ranks first all-time.
PAUL TYSON, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth TD in a 44-13 victory over James Clemens as the Huskies closed out their second straight unbeaten season in region play and extended Hewitt’s region-game winning streak to 14.
BRANTLEY DEFENSE SCORES THREE TDs: The Bulldogs returned three interceptions for touchdowns in a 55-0 win over McKenzie with Tyler Booker (80 yards), Mack Wise (55 yards) and D’Andre Sinclair (52 yards) coming up with the picks.
ELBA NOTCHES FIFTH SAFETY: For the third straight game, Elba’s defense posted a safety, beating Zion Chapel 62-0, and now has registered five safeties for the year.
A.R. MARTIN, CARROLL: Recovered a punt blocked by teammate Markel Lewis in the end zone with 3:06 left, helping Eagles overcame an 8-6 deficit for a 14-8 victory over Greenville. The play extended Carroll’s regular-season winning streak to 22. Greenville had taken an 8-6 lead on a blocked punt of its own that Jeremiah Owens returned 40 yards for a touchdown and a two-point conversion early in the third quarter.
JACKSON BRUNO, HUNTSVILLE: Kicked a 42-yard field goal in the final seconds for a 38-35 win at Gadsden City to clinch the fourth playoff spot in Class 7A, Region 8.
LANDON CORNUTT, ASHVILLE: The quarterback rushed 19 times for 170 yards and two TDs, finished 8-of-16 passing for 133 yards and two TDs, including a game-winning TD pass on the final play in a 26-20 victory over White Plains. He also has five tackles, a pass break-up, and returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown.
ETHAN JEFF, MOODY: Caught a 6-yard TD in the final minute to rally the Blue Devils from a 12-0 deficit to beat Fairfield 13-12.
ARMONI GOODWIN, FLORENCE: Rushed for 313 yards and five TDs as Florence beat Hazel Green 49-27 to qualify for the Class 6A playoffs. Goodwin scored on runs of 80, 77, 4, 9 and 59 yards.
CHANNING MARMANN, DESHLER: Ran for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns in Deshler’s 20-14 win over West Limestone. Marmann scored on runs of 7, 55 and 48 yards.
HARRY CRUMP, MAE JEMISON: Piled up 245 rushing yards and on 20 carries and scored all five touchdowns in a 32-27 win over Lawrence County.
ISAAC HUGULEY, WEST MORGAN: Gained 232 yards rushing on 23 carries and scored twice as the Rebels beat Lexington 31-21.
KALEB JONES, COLLINSVILLE: Totaled 211 yards with 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 15 carries and 88 yards passing with another score as the Panthers beat Section 35-14 to snap a four-game losing streak.
KELSTON FIKES, LEROY: Picked up 201 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns on 11 carries to lead the Bears to a 48-8 win over J.U. Blacksher.
BERNARD PHINIZEE, RUSSELLVILLE: Totaled 205 rushing yards and four touchdowns and also caught an 83-yard TD pass for a fifth score as the Golden Tigers beat Ardmore 44-6. Phinizee scored on runs of 2, 45, 55 and 25 yards.
JOE GREEN, EUFAULA: Rushed for 160 yards and four touchdowns in less than two and a half quarters of the Tigers’ 47-0 rout of Rehobeth.
CADE PRICE, SLOCOMB: Rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns and also passed for 79 yards and one TD on 4-of-6 passes, helping the Red Tops clinch a state playoff spot with a 32-10 win over Straughn.
CRIMSON BIVENS, CLEMENTS: Ran for 160 yards and a touchdown on 32 attempts in a 7-0 win over Elkmont.
ANTONIO ROBINSON, AUSTIN: Scored five touchdowns, including rushing for TDs covering 22, 15, 5, and 7 yards and a 47-yard screen pass TD as the Black Beats beat Athens 69-28.
JACOB MANNING, SCOTTSBORO: Scottsboro freshman Jacob Manning was called on to fill several roles in the Wildcats’ 47-27 loss to Etowah. He stepped in at quarterback in the second half when starter Hatton Metz was injured and responded with 133 yards rushing on 12 attempts and scored three touchdowns over the rest of the game. He also caught an 8-yard pass in the first half, returned three punts for 50 yards and two kickoffs for 37 yards, made 7 tackles on defense and broke up two passes. Manning’s touchdown runs were of 5, 6 and 74 yards.
MILES FRANKLIN, DAPHNE: Had nine rush attempts for 154 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half, to lead the Trojans to a 35-7 win over Robertsdale. The victory clinched a playoff spot for Daphne for the 20th season in a row.
CADEN ROSE, BOB JONES: Completed 10-of-18 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns, and scored on a 1-yard run in a Class 7A, Region 8 win over Buckhorn 48-20.
AUSTIN CALHOUN, KINSTON: The Bulldogs quarterback rushed for 309 yards and six touchdowns on 25 carries and threw for 115 yards and another TD to finish with 424 total yards in Kinston’s 58-50 win over Florala. He scored on runs 53, 13, 12, 5, 69 and 52 yards and his TD pass was good for 36 yards.
DESMOND TROTTER, SHADES VALLEY: Completed 18-of-24 passes for 290 yards and one TD as the Mounties beat John Carroll Catholic 49-36. He also rushed for 127 yards and two scores on 17 carries to finish with 417 total yards. Teammate Braelon Shields also logged 20 rush attempts for 150 yards and four touchdowns.
BAILEY MARA, JOHN CARROLL CATHOLIC: Completed 17-of-26 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown and an interception in a 49-36 loss to Shades Valley.
LANE ROTCH, JACKSON: Passed for 278 yards and four touchdowns as the Aggies snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-0 victory at Citronelle.
EASTON HARDIN, BOAZ: Completed 9-of-13 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns and scored on a 31-yard run in a 58-0 win over Douglas.
PAYNE STANCIL, WEST END: The senior quarterback was 9-of-18 passing for 185 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 39 yards and two TDs and kicked two extra points in the Patriots' 26-19 win over Winston County. He also had an interception on defense that ended the final Yellow Jackets drive of the game.
JACK SAMSEL, SPANISH FORT: Passed for four touchdowns and ran for another as the Toros beat B.C. Rain 42-6 and clinched the Class 6A, Region 1 championship.
JUSTIN HENDRIX, WOODLAWN: An eighth-grader, the Colonels’ quarterback, threw three TD passes and ran for a fourth in a 34-32 victory over Shelby County as the Colonels snapped a 12-game losing skid.
CHANCE WARREN, ENTERPRISE: Caught 14 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns (23, 15 yards) in a 49-27 loss to R.E. Lee.
MALCOLM RUSSELL, JOHN CARROLL CATHOLIC: Caught 10 passes for 201 yards and two TDs in a 49-36 loss to Shades Valley. He also scored a 2-point conversion, made five tackles on defense and broke up a pass.
CAMERON McKINLEY, CARVER-BIRMINGHAM: Caught nine passes for 201 yards, including a 54-yard TD, in the Rams’ 39-15 loss to Pinson Valley.
LOGAN PITTS, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Finished with 163 yards receiving, including a 78-yard touchdown catch on the first play, in a 44-13 victory over James Clemens.
CHRISTIAN BLACKWELL, FOLEY: Caught eight passes for 141 yards and a touchdown in the Lions' 10-7 win over Baker.
C.J. WILLIAMSON, GUNTERSVILLE: Caught three passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns and returned an interception 98 yards or a touchdown as the Wildcats downed Arab 42-0.
BROOKS REINHARDT, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Caught five passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-21 win at Madison County.
ZACHORY ANDERSON, DAVIDSON: Had three interceptions in the second half to set up three Warriors’ touchdowns as Davidson clinched a playoff berth in Class 7A, Region 1 with its 31-14 win over Murphy.
ZACH NELSON, OAK MOUNTAIN: Intercepted three Spain Park passes to lead the Eagles to a 29-3 win over the Jaguars.
ROSS JOHNSON, CEDAR BLUFF: Recovered two fumbles, one of which he returned 72 yards, in the Tigers’ 34-7 victory at Spring Garden.
KELAND LANGHAM, McADORY: Returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown on the game's first offensive snap in a 22-9 victory over Northridge.
NICK LUNDBERG, KINSTON: Was credited with 17 tackles and recovered three fumbles in the Bulldogs’ 58-50 win over Florala.
SPURLIN KELLEY, OPP: Totaled 16 tackles in the Bobcats’ 30-25 loss to Daleville.
JEREMIAH HAMMOND, JASPER: Had 12 tackles on defense and rushed 16 times for 73 yards and a TD on offense as the Vikings fell to Minor 28-7.
DARRYL GILLILAND, CLEVELAND: Recorded 11 tackles in a 33-0 victory over Cold Springs.
NOAH JACKSON, LYNN: Returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown and rushed for two more as the Bears captured the Class 1A, Region 7 championship with a 27-13 win over Decatur Heritage.
ALEX HOWARD, ETOWAH: The junior defensive end had a tackle for a safety, recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and also had a key sack in the Blue Devils’ 47-27 win over Scottsboro.
ADAM HERNANDEZ: CLEVELAND: The senior linebacker tied a state record with three fumble recoveries in a 33-0 victory over Cold Springs. He also had seven tackles.
BRIAN KELLEY, SPRING GARDEN: Blocked two extra point attempts in the Panthers’ 34-7 loss to Cedar Bluff.
COHEN TUBBS, SCOTTSBORO: Blocked two extra points in a 47-27 loss to Etowah.