MONTGOMERY – Holtville High School closed its season with a bang last Friday with sophomore quarterback Drake Baker igniting the fireworks. Baker completed 21-of-26 passes for a school-record 374 yards and seven touchdowns in a 47-34 win over Beulah.
The performance propelled Baker and Coach Jason Franklin’s Bulldogs into the AHSAA Football Spotlight for Week 10 in the process.
Franklin left Horseshoe Bend last season and took over Holtville’s program, which had won just one of its previous 30 games in the three seasons prior to his arrival. The Bulldogs (2-8) showed marked improvement quickly but wins still were difficult in tough Class 4A, Region 3, which produce the state champions in 4A in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Holtville finished 2-8 with the win over Beulah but averaged 24.6 points per game and were in most games until the end. Franklin and his team are optimistic heading into the off-season.
Dajon Reeves had 171 yards receiving and three touchdowns. Baker threw a touchdown pass to four different receivers. The TD passes covered 3, 45, 50, 39, 42, 47 and 32 yards.
The seven TD passes in a single game rank as tied for third all-time. Only three quarterbacks in AHSAA history have thrown more – James Raines of Class 1A Berry and Brent Gulledge of Class 1A Victory Christian hold the record with nine each in 2015 and 2004, respectively. Jeremy Robinson of Highland Home had eight TD passes in a game in 2002. Baker is tied for third with 16 other quarterbacks, dating back to Opp’s Charles Nelson, who had seven in a game in 1953.
Baker’s performance edged out a super performance for Florence running back Armoni Goodwin. He rushed for a career-high 395 yards and four touchdowns (76, 6, 85 and 85 yards) in a 45-35 loss to unbeaten Class 7A Hewitt-Trussville. The Falcons are in the Class 6A state playoffs this week on the road unbeaten Pinson Valley (10-0).
Other top performances included:
ROGERS GOES 10-0 … AGAIN: Class 4A Rogers beat Hamilton 27-14 to finish unbeaten for the second season in a row for Coach Randall Martin’s direction. The back-to-back 10-0 regular seasons are the only two in the Pirates’ 59-year history dating back to 1959. Rogers is 38-26 in five seasons for Martin and open the state playoffs Friday against Haleyville in the first round of the state playoffs.
ARDMORE WINS ONE FOR THE ‘PREMIES’: Running back Chad Lay scored three touchdowns as Ardmore beat West Limestone 34-14 in the eighth annual Playing for Preemies football classic. This football game at Ardmore has raised more than $40,000 for the Melissa George Neonatal Fund since it started. Limestone County Transportation Director Rusty Bates and wife Kristin, a teacher at Cedar Hill Elementary in Limestone County, started this event in honor of their premature daughter, Lauren, who spent time in Huntsville Hospital's NICU and is now a healthy 7-year-old.
MAPLESVILLE NOTCHES 32ND IN A ROW: The three-time defending Class 1A state champs downed Class 3A American Christian 28-0 for the Red Devils’ 32nd win in a row. Maplesville faces tough Linden in round one of the state playoffs Friday.
ST. JOHN PAUL II CATHOLIC SNAPS STREAK: Beat Clements 16-13 to snap a 39-game losing streak dating back to 2013 as Gerry McCarron rushed for 199 yards in the win.
The Falcons were awarded a forfeit in 2015 but was later found to have an ineligible player and also had to forfeit the contest. The last previous victory was a 6-0 win over Clements in 2013.
GUNTERSVILLE WINS STATE’S OLDEST RILVARY: The Wildcats edged Albertville 7-0 to improve to 51-46-6 in what is considered the AHSAA’s oldest rivalry. The series began in 1914 and the two schools have played annually since 1926.
CLARKE COUNTY WINS 102rd ‘BACKYARD BRAWL: The Bulldogs downed Thomasville 30-15 in the county’s oldest rivalry as Austin Kinsey rushed for 183 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries. Thomasville holds a 63-32-7 edge in the series, which began in 1917 – three years after the Albertville-Guntersville series.
TAULIA TAGOVAILOA, THOMPSON: Led the Class 7A Warriors (10-0) of Coach Mark Freeman to their first unbeaten regular season since 1983 completing 26-of-48 passes for 398 yards and four touchdowns in a 33-27 win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. Thompson finished 10-1 in Class 3A (four classes) in 1983 with Coach Doug Wheeler at the helm. The previous year the school finished 14-0 and won the 3A state title under the direction of Coach Larry Simmons. The Warriors host Huntsville Friday night in the first round of the Class 7A state playoffs.
DAVION GILBERT, MONTEVALLO: Completed 19-of-24 passes for 345 yards and a touchdown in a 28-6 loss to Fultondale.
CORNELIUS BROWN, CALERA: Was 22-of-30 passing for 340 yards and three touchdowns, in a 45-35 loss to Sylacauga.
PAUL TYSON, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Completed 21-of-29 passes for 322 yards and three TDs in a 45-35 victory over Florence. He now has 31 TD passes this season, a new school single-season record.
BRAXTON BARKER, SPAIN PARK: Completed 15-of-18 passes for 294 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-14 victory over Minor.
SLADE BERRYMAN, HATTON: Fired five touchdown passes covering 28, 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards as Hatton beat East Lawrence 52-13.
TRENTIN DUPPER, DECATUR: The junior quarterback threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns to help the Red Raiders beat Sparkman 38-20.
BO NIX, PINSON VALLEY: Was 17-of-27 passing for 238 yards and threw touchdown passes of 11, 19, 6 and 29 yards in a 34-0 victory over Pleasant Grove as the Indians finished their first 10-0 season in school history.
KOURTLAN MARSH, MORTIMER JORDAN: Threw for 240 yards, including TD passes of 45, 68 and 35 yards, and did not play in the second half of a 30-8 victory over Fayette County.
ANDREW PARRIS, EAST LIMESTONE: Was 7-of-12 passing for 199 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 87 yards and another score in a 49-6 East Limestone win over Tanner.
MATT RYE, PELHAM: Finished 6-of-10 passing for 127 yards and two touchdowns and added 10 carries for 175 yards and two touchdowns in a 64-46 victory over John Carroll.
LANDON CORNETT, ASHVILLE: Ran 19 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns, completed 10-of-15 passes for 177 yards and two TDs and scored on a 2-point conversion in Friday's 40-28 victory over West End. On defense, he added four pass break-ups, three tackles and had an interception negated by a penalty.
JEREMIAH WHITE, GENEVA COUNTY: Rushed for 282 yards and five touchdowns on 25 carries in a 41-20 win over Slocomb. White scored on runs of 63, 5, 1, 75 and 69 yards with the 63 yarder coming on the game’s first play.
CALEB VINSON. FALKVILLE: Went over the 1,000-yard mark on the season with 263 rushing yards in a 47-7 win over Vinemont. He scored three TDs, two on runs of 62 and 22 yards, and a third on a 26-yard pass reception.
AUSTIN CALHOUN, KINSTON: Piled up 262 rushing yards on 29 carries and scored on runs of 91 and 9 yards and also threw for 72 yards, including a 50-yard TD pass, in the Bulldogs’ 28-25 loss to Samson.
TANNER TALLEY, SUMITON CHRISTIAN: Ran for 256 yards and six TDs and scored the game-winning 2-point conversion to lift the Eagles to a 56-55, double-overtime victory over Marion County.
JESSE CLOUT, NORTH SAND MOUTNAIN. Gained 243 yards rushing and scored three TDs in a 32-16 win over Lexington.
JERMAINE BROWN, ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL: Rushed for 235 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries and completed 5-of-8 passes for 96 yards and two more touchdowns in a 62-34 win over Cottage Hill Christian.
NOAH TURBYFILL, BROOKS: Rushed for 213 yards and scored on a 79-yard run to lead the Lions past Lauderdale County 47-20.
ROYDELL WILLIAMS, HUEYTOWN: Had nine rush attempts for 207 yards and four touchdowns as the Golden Gophers beat Oak Grove 68-12.
DARRIAN MEADS, HOKES BLUFF: Rushed 17 times for 207 yards and two touchdowns and ran a kickoff back 88 yards for a score in the Eagles’ 43-17 victory over Westbrook Christian.
KEVON HANKINS, MUSCLE SHOALS: Rushed for over 200 yards and a touchdown as Muscle Shoals beat Deshler 27-14. His TD run covered 57 yards.
JUNIOR SUMMERHILL, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Had 16 carries for 187 yards and two TDs – covering 97 and 67 yards – as Central edged Haleyville 20-18.
LOGAN GASKIN, SARDIS: Rushed 23 times for 175 yards and two touchdowns and completed 6-of-16 passes for 122 yards and two scores as Sardis beat Boaz 34-7.
TUCKER BROWN, WILSON: Rushed for 195 yards and one score and passed for 100 yards and a touchdown in Wilson’s 17-6 win over Randolph. Brown’s TD pass covered 57 yards and his TD run was 83 yards.
HUNTER OSWALD, ZION CHAPEL: Rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 86 yards with one TD for 233 total yards in a 27-22 Rebel win over Pleasant Home.
ELLIOTT McELWAIN, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Had nine pass receptions for 133 yards and a TD and rushed for 135 yards and two scores on 13 carries as the Huskies beat Florence 46-35 to close out a second straight 10-0 regular season.
JACOB MANNING, SCOTTSBORO: Scottsboro freshman rushed 21 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 139 yards and another score to total 250 yards in Scottsboro’s 21-9 victory over Madison County.
DERRICK WALKER, ASHVILLE: Snagged seven receptions for 153 yards and two TDs and blocked a punt that a teammate scooped up and ran in for a TD in a 40-28 victory over West End.
AUSTON WELCH, EUFAULA: Caught five passes for 130 yards and a TD and quarterback Taylor Gover finished with 250 yards passing in a 52-17 win over Valley.
DELONTE EVANS, MINOR: Caught four passes for 126 yards, including an 80-yard TD, in a 49-14 loss to Spain Park.
ISAIHA JONES, CEDAR BLUFF: Caught five passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns (68 and 54 yards). He also ran for 54 yards on 10 carries with a 2-yard touchdown in a 35-34 overtime loss to Sand Rock.
JUSTIN McDANIEL, MARS HILL BIBLE: Blocked a punt that teammate Drake Smith scored for a touchdown and the Panthers added two more TDs on defense in a 55-6 win over Shoals Christian. Peyton Higgins and Braxton Adcock also returned interceptions for touchdowns.
SPURLIN KELLEY, OPP: Was in on 19 tackles in the Bobcats’ 30-18 loss to Elba.
ETHAN EDMONDSON, SCOTTSBORO: The senior defensive lineman, who was selected for the 2017 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, had four tackles, including three sacks, in a 21-9 win over Madison County to give him 10 sacks on the season and 23 for his prep career, a school record.
ERIC JAMES, DOTHAN: Intercepted two passes, returning one 36 yards for a touchdown with 2:32 left, helping the Tigers to a 29-20 win over Early County (Ga.).
JACKSON BRATTON, MUSCLE SHOALS: Blocked a punt and intercepted a pass as the Trojans held off upset-minded Deshler 27-14.
TERRY PERRY, SHADES VALLEY: Was credited with 15 tackles in Friday's 41-27 victory over Vestavia Hills.
NATHAN HALL, ABBEVILLE: Had eight tackles, including four sacks, and intercepted a pass as the Jackets beat arch-rival Headland 28-18.
AUSTIN BLACKSTOCK, SAND ROCK: Broke up the potential game-winning 2-point conversion pass in overtime and had an interception in the Wildcats’ 35-34 victory at Cedar Bluff.
WESLEY ROGERS, SPRING GARDEN: Led the Panthers’ defense with 12 tackles in a 40-20 loss at Pleasant Valley.
CALEB JORDAN, SAMSON: Had 14 tackles with one quarterback sack in the Tigers’ 28-25 win over Kinston.
ROGER McCREARY, WILLIAMSON: Scored both touchdowns on offense and intercepted two passes on defense as the Lions beat Mobile Christian 12-7.
TERRELL GARDNER, RAMSAY: Returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and added an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a 28-7 victory over Mountain Brook.
ERIC GARROR, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Returned a punt 58 yards for a score, ran a muffed field goal attempt back 85 yards for another TD and caught a touchdown pass in the Jackets’ 31-14 win at Fairhope.
CHASE BROWN, HOOVER: Blocked a punt and intercepted a pass in the Bucs’ 32-21 loss to IMG Academy (FL).
GARY QUARLES, PAUL BRYANT: Returned a kickoff 80 yards for a TD in the final minute, lifting the Stampede to a 13-7 victory over previously undefeated Homewood.
CONNER HEGAN, SPANISH FORT: Returned a kickoff 97 yards for one of his four touchdowns as the Toros beat LeFlore 56-20. He had two pass receptions for touchdowns and ran for another score.