MONTGOMERY – Wetumpka High School junior quarterback J.D. Martin and senior running back Kavosiey Smoke have quietly provided a powerful 1-2 punch for Coach Tim Perry’s Indians (12-1) all football season.
After last Friday night’s performances, however, the secret is now out. The mighty duo combined to rush for 445 yards and seven touchdowns in the Indians’ 69-41 Class 6A quarterfinal football playoff win over Spanish Fort last Friday to thrust Wetumpka into the AHSAA Football Spotlight for the third round of the state playoffs.
Martin rushed for 261 yards and three touchdowns in and Smoke ran for 184 yards and four touchdowns as Wetumpka moved into the semifinals of the Class 6A state playoffs for the first time in school history. The 69 points was the most for WHS in a playoff game and the combined 110 points is the most by both teams in school history.
That history began in 1902 when Wetumpka, then known as Fifth District Agricultural School, played Starke Academy and lost 12-6. The school changed its name to State Secondary Agriculture School in 1917 and was renamed Wetumpka High School in 1932. For 116 seasons (they did not field a team in 1918) football has been a fall passion for the residents of this Elmore County town.
The Indians had more than 600 yards total offense in the playoff win at Hohenburg Field. Wetumpka will be at home again Friday as Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (10-3) comes in after beating Opelika 26-24. Opelika has been the only team to beat Perry’s Indians this year, winning 20-19 on a last-play field goal during the regular season. Since then, Wetumpka has won four games in a row, including three playoff games.
Smoke and Martin have given WHS the ability to score from any yard line on the field. And they have done so often. Wetumpka is averaging 43.2 points per game and giving up only 18.4. The 559 points scored this season has already broken the school record (505), which was set in 1995 when the Indians finished 13-1 and reached the semifinals in Class 5A. Blount beat the Indians 20-14 that season. Wetumpka defeated the Leopards in the first round of the playoffs this season 41-7.
The duo’s efforts edged out tremendous performances by Jermaine Brown and Bo Nix.
Brown, a junior running back at St. Luke’s Episcopal, closed out a stellar junior season with 38 carries, 470 yards and six touchdowns as the Wildcats lost a heart-breaking 56-52 Class 2A quarterfinal playoff contest to Goshen. The 470 rushing yards tied second Jerry Stancil of Gaylesville for second highest single-game rushing total in AHSAA history. Stancil rank for 470 yards in a 48-28 win over Spring Garden in 2004. The state single-game record of 531 yards was set by Tony Dixon of Parrish in an 81-58 win over Hubbertville in 2003. Dixon, who went to Kentucky where he had a stellar college career, had 21 carries, all in the first three quarters.
Nix, a junior quarterback at Pinson Valley, completed 31-of-39 passes for 400 yards and seven touchdowns and also tacked on a pair of 2-point conversion passes as the unbeaten Indians (13-0) nipped Austin (12-1) in overtime 51-50 in the Class 6A quarterfinals. The seven touchdown passes tied for third-most in AHSAA history. He connected with seven different receivers. His final pass of the game came on a 2-point conversion that gave Pinson the win.
In other top playoff performances reported:
CADE BLACKMON, OPELIKA: Completed 26-of-37 passes for 367 yards, three touchdowns for the Bulldogs (9-4) in a 26-24 loss to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the Class 6A playoffs.
WILLIE MILLER, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Was 11-of-19 passing for 203 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-15 victory over previously unbeaten Oxford (21-1) in the Class 6A quarterfinals. Clay (11-2) advanced to the semifinals with the win.
CHANCE STEVENSON, FAYETTE COUNTY: Was 12-of-24 passing for 206 yards, rushed 22 times for 54 yards and accounted for all five Fayette County touchdowns in a 34-27 victory by the Tigers (11-2) over Hokes Bluff in the Class 4A quarterfinals.
ASA MARTIN, AUSTIN: The senior running back selected for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in December closed out his career at Austin (12-1) with 379 yards rushing and three touchdowns (70, 39 and 68 yards) on 29 carries in a wild 51-50 Class 6A quarterfinal overtime loss to Pinson Valley (13-0). He also threw a 41-yard pass to Collin Moses. Teammate Antonio Robinson also had 160 yards and two TDs (8 and 33 yards) in the game.
KELSTON FIKES, LEROY: Led the Bears (11-2) to a 38-20 Class 2A playoff win over Luverne with 264 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Fikes scored on runs of 42, 29 and 2 yards and now has 27 total touchdowns for the season. He surpassed 2,000 all-purpose yards in the quarterfinal victory.
DARRIAN MEADS, HOKES BLUFF: Ran 29 times for 251 yards and TDs of 13, 58 and 68 yards in a 34-27 loss to Fayette County in the Class 4A quarterfinals.
SYMON SMITH, UMS-WRIGHT: Rushed for 201 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown in the second quarter, to lead the Class 4A Bulldogs (11-2) to a 31-7 Class 4A playoff victory over Bibb County (11-2).
LARRY McCAMMON, HOOVER: Rushed for 196 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries in a 31-12 victory over Thompson in Class 7A semifinals. Defending state champion Hoover (10-3) clinched a spot in the Super 7 Class 7A finals for the 16th time since 2000.
CARDAVION MYERS, PIEDMONT: Piled up 129 yards rushing on 17 carries and threw a touchdown pass as defending 3A state champion Piedmont (12-1) beat Colbert Heights (11-2) in the quarterfinals of the playoffs 34-13. His 24-yard touchdown pass to Lee Stanley came on a 4th-and-18 play.
AUSTIN KINSEY, CLARKE COUNTY: Picked up 101 of his 132 rushing yards in the second half as the Bulldogs (11-2) beat Mobile Christian 21-16 to advance to the Class 3A semifinals. He had a 52-yard touchdown run and caught a 58-yard pass to set up another Clarke County score.
JORDAN INGRAM, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Rushes for 123 yards on 11 carries and scored on runs of 35, 3 and 42 yards as the Saints (12-1) beat defending 5A state champion Beauregard 52-20 to advance to the semifinals.
ANTONIO BESTEDER, DEMOPOLIS: Had 112 yards rushing on 28 carries with 87 yards coming in the second half as the Tigers downed Vigor 35-24 in the Class 5A quarterfinals.
JORDAN HEARD, OPELIKA: Caught six passes for 192 yards and a touchdown as the Bulldogs (9-4) lost 26-24 to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
ANTHONY HUDSON, WENONAH: Had nine receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown and intercepted three passes on defense in a 27-26 Class 5A quarterfinal overtime loss to St. Clair County.
AVION CHRISTON, ST. CLAIR COUNTY: Finished with nine receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns and added 80 yards rushing in a 27-26 overtime victory over Wenonah in the Class 5A quarterfinals.
LiALLEN DAILEY, PINSON VALLEY: Caught 10 passes for 113 yards and touchdowns of 17 and 10 yards in a 51-50 overtime victory over Austin in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
GEORGE PICKENS, HOOVER: Caught six passes for 112 yards and a 59-yard touchdown in a 31-12 victory over Thompson (12-1) in Class 7A semifinals.
CHARLES RUSSELL, BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN: Recovered a fumble and recorded a sack to lead a defense that shut out Etowah (11-2) as the Lions (13-0) beat the Blue Devils 31-0 in the Class 5A playoffs.
JACQUEZ JONES, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Caused a fumble and recovered it for a touchdown in a 26-24 victory over Opelika in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
WILL REICHARD, HOOVER: The punter ran 10 yards for a first down on a fake punt in the fourth quarter in a 31-12 victory over Thompson (12-1) in the Class 7A semifinals. He also averaged 44.5 yards on four punts, with a 61-yard punt downed at the Thompson 1 and a 44-yard punt downed at the 3.
CAGAN CAMPBELL, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Had two long punt returns for the Patriots (10-3), including a 45-yarder for a touchdown, in a 26-24 victory over Opelika in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
BRYCESON MASSEY, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Blocked a PAT in overtime as the Yellow Jackets (13-0) edged Central-Phenix City 27-26 to earn a berth in the Super 7 championship game for the third straight season.
KAEDON JENKINS, PIEDMONT: Returned the opening kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 34-13 victory at Colbert Heights.
SIDNEY PERRY, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Returned a blocked field goal attempt 73 yards in the fourth quarter and caught a TD pass in the first half in the Warriors’ 42-14 loss to Saks in the Class 4A playoffs.