In the Shoals community of Colbert Heights, the color purple has taken an all-important meaning for those who know the Denton family.
Danielle Denton, the courageous and inspiring 13-year-old daughter of Colbert Heights High School head football coach Ivan Denton and his wife Carol, died Sept. 10 from respiratory complications after a long battle with cystic fibrosis. Her funeral was Monday, Sept. 14.
Last Friday night, her older brother Will Denton, a senior quarterback for the Wildcats, turned in one of the top performances of his prep career completing 18-of-29 passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns in a 51-36 win over Clements. The performance and how the home and visiting communities have responded grabs the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for Week 4.
It was homecoming night at Clements High School, but more importantly, it was a night the school and community expressed its love and admiration for Danielle and her family by filling the stadium with the color purple – the official color of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and a color closely associated with Danielle’s valiant effort.
It was a night, said Coach Ivan Denton, “that will be with us a long, long time.”
Denton said the team and assistant coaches worked hard to prepare for the game, and provided incredible support for the head coach and his son. “The players really rallied around him, lifted him up,” said Denton. “Will missed the Lauderdale County game, and I think it was good for both of us to get out there and get caught up in the game. Will played well, but so did the entire team. He was only sacked one time and that was because he scrambled out of the pocket and was caught from behind. It wasn’t about winning but about picking yourself up when you get knocked down and moving forward.”
The spirit of his daughter was alive and well in the hearts of all the Wildcats’ players, he said. “She had so much courage and strength,” said Denton. “Unless you lived in our house, no one could know just how much pain she had to deal with. If you didn’t know her, you wouldn’t even know she was sick.”
Danielle was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 5. A very bright student and talented artist, Denton’s daughter would spend her spare time painting pictures, he said. When she would sell a painting she would then give the money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Though she had several extended stays in the hospital, Denton said the family tried to keep things as normal as they could. “My wife Carol would stay with Danielle at the hospital and I would stay back home with Will – which allowed me to do my job. My wife has just been incredible.”
In recent weeks, which Danielle’s condition began to take a turn for the worse, Denton said they have been “blessed by so many others. While we were in Birmingham (at Children’s Hospital), Brooks High School sent the team some purple spats, so the players were decked out in purple. Colbert County, West Morgan, Sheffield, Cherokee … all the surrounding communities went out of their way to pray for Danielle, to show their love and support.”
Danielle started a prayer revival or sorts on Facebook, he said. “This has been difficult for us, but the prayers and the response have really been important. We prayed for her to be healed, and I think those prayers have been answered. This has really put what we do in perspective.”
Other highlights from week 4 included:
RYAN SULLIVAN, FALKVILLE: Kicked the game-winning 20-yard field goal with 4 seconds left in a 40-37 win over Class 2A Cold Springs. The quarterback was also 19-of-28 passing for 199 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 94 yards and a TD on 20 carries. He was 14-of-16 passing in the second half.
FISHER WILLOUGHBY, COLD SPRINGS: Returned a kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown and tacked on an interception, a fumble recovery, 35 rushing yards, 32 receiving yards and a 2-point conversion a 40-37 Class 2A loss at Falkville.
ANTONIO HILL, ELBA: For the third time in four games this season, Hill blocked a punt and scored off it – leading the Tigers to a 44-0 win over New Brockton. The blocked kick in the third quarter helped Elba pull away from a 14-0 halftime lead.
KENDRICK WILLIAMS, GENEVA COUNTY: Returned the opening kickoff 80 yards to set the tone in Geneva County's 41-13 win over Houston County. He also had two receptions for touchdowns (37 and 28 yards) and eight tackles on defense.
AUSTIN HALLMARK, SARDIS: The senior wide receiver had seven receptions for 220 yards with TD catches of 26 and 13 yards in the Lions’ 28-7 Class 4A win over Hokes Bluff. He made a diving grab for the 26-harder and tipped the ball to himself on the 13-harder. Hallmark also rushed seven times for 38 yards, including a 14-yard TD run.
MYRON MITCHELL, WALKER: Had his third straight 100-yard receiving effort with six catches for 143 yards and three TDs in a 41-14 win over Pelham. Teammate Marquell Oliver also had three receptions for 107 yards and one TD.
BRET CLARK, NEW HOPE: Grabbed six receptions for 135 yards and two scores and threw a touchdown to quarterback Adam Browner in a 33-20 win over Pisgah.
QUARTER HENDERSON, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Caught seven passes for 123 yards and a 7-yard touchdown in the Warriors' 35-20 victory over Jacksonville.
RILEY COLE, ONEONTA: Hauled in six receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown as the Redskins beat Locust Fork 62-0. Cole also had 17 tackles, four for loss, and broke up two passes on defense.
HUNTER TARVIN, WEST END: Caught six passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ 34-0 win over Section.
BAYLEY BLANCHARD, PIEDMONT: Caught six passes for 109 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown, in the Bulldogs' 44-26 win over Glencoe.
DREW GUY, FAYETTE COUNTY: Completed 24-of-32 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-16 victory over Danville.
JACKSON HOLLADAY, WALKER: Went over 300 yards passing for the third straight week completing 16-of-22 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns as the Vikings beat Pelham 41-14.
HUNTER GRANT, WEST END: Was 13-of-16 passing for 302 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores in the Patriots’ 34-0 Class 2A win over Section.
TYREN DUPREE, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Piled up 352 total yards in a 35-20 Class 4A win over Jacksonville. He was 9-for-15 passing for 176 yards and a 7-yard touchdown and rushed for 176 yards on 17 carries with a 3-yard score.
AHMAD ISAAC, MIDFIELD: Was 10-of-13 passing for 268 yards and five touchdowns as Midfield beat Prattville Christian 60-20. He also rushed for one TD and returned an interception for a seventh TD in the win.
TYLER JOHNSTON, SPANISH FORT: Threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns – all in the second quarter – and also ran for 82 yards and another score the Toros beat Saraland 41-18.
BLAKE STIDHAM, HAMILTON:
CAMERON THOMAS, LEE-HUNTSVILLE: Completed 8-of-12 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns and scored another on a 10-yard run as the Generals snapped an eight-game losing streak with a two-overtime 43-42 win over Scottsboro.
CHRIS HUFF, CORNER: Was 16-of-25 passing for 254 yards and a TD as Corner beat Dora 37-17.
JACOB FREE, BRANTLEY: The Brantley quarterback passed to freshman receiver Parker Driggers for a 22-yard touchdown with 2.3 seconds remaining to lift the Bulldogs to a 19-14 win over Red Level. Free finished 13-of-23 with 145 yards and three touchdowns.
HUNTER GWIN, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Completed 9-of-19 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, most coming in a second-half of the Eagles 20-16 comeback win over Samson. The Eagles, now 4-0 for the first time in school history, trailed 16-0 at halftime, but rallied behind Gwin’s TD passes of 52 yards to Brandon Barnes and of 25 yards to Jackson Reeves, the later a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.
BRADEN PYRON, MARION COUNTY: was 19-of-19 passing for 230 yards and five touchdowns (13, 17, 34, 39 and 74 yards) in a 54-6 Class 1A win over Lynn.
HEATH BURCHFIELD, JAMES CLEMENS: Was 16-of-29 passing for 215 yards and two touchdowns as the Jets (3-1) beat Buckhorn 23-7.
KO POWELL, ONEONTA: The senior quarterback completed 13-of-18 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown on carries in the Redskins' 62-0 Class 4A win over Locust Fork.
ROSS CROCKER, CULLMAN: The quarterback scored a touchdown three different ways while engineering a 29-26 win over Austin. He caught a touchdown on a trick play, ran 20 yards for another TD, threw a 28-yard touchdown and also had a successful 2-point conversion pass after the final TD.
DYLAN McQUEEN, SCOTTSBORO: According to WWIC announcer and school historian Greg Bell, McQueen became the first Wildcats player in school history to score a rushing TD, a receiving TD and throw a TD pass in the same game as Scottsboro lost a double-overtime 43-42 decision to Lee-Huntsville. Scottsboro’s[RI1] Dylan McQueen rushed 17 times for 121 yards and a TD in a 43-42 double-overtime loss to Lee Huntsville.
KRITIAN JONES, HACKLEBURG: Went over 4,000 yards rushing for his career with 102 yards as Hackleburg beat Shoals Christian 49-14. The senior running back scored on runs of 8 and 51 yards.
CAMERON LONGMIRE, GEORGIANA: The Georgiana sophomore ran for 228 yards and two touchdowns last Friday to spark the Panthers to a 38-12 win over Class 1A, Region 2 rival McKenzie in a battle of Class 1A unbeaten teams. Longmire also had 11 tackles on defense for Coach Ezell Powell’s Panthers (5-0).
XAVIER THORNTON, MILLRY: Had 28 rush attempts for 326 yards and five touchdowns as Millry beat Marengo 49-34 on Friday night.
DEVONTIA JOHNSON, CHEROKEE: Rushed 310 yards and five touchdowns as the Indians beat Phillips, 55-20.
KALEB BARKER, PRICEVILLE: Rolled up 450 total yards with 275 yards rushing on 14 carries and 175 yards passing on an 11-for-21 performance as Bulldogs (4-0) beat Westminster Christian 40-28. He also accounted for six touchdowns – four rushing and two passing.
GARRETT SANDERS, G.W. LONG: Rushed for 298 yards on 18 carries with four touchdowns (55, 33, 20 and 68 yards) and also had a 10-yard touchdown reception in the Rebels' 48-0 win over Ariton. He kick six extra points and had four tackles and a fumble recovery on defense.
DERRICK DUNIGAN, BILLINGSLEY: Turned in a workhorse effort with 39 carries times and 253 rushing yards to lead the Class 1A Bears to a 28-9 win over Verbena.
DARNELLE JACKSON, PIEDMONT: Rushed for 255 yards and three touchdowns (96, 15, 1 yards) in the Bulldogs' 44-26 win over Glencoe in a battle of Class 3A unbeaten teams.
Teammate Tyler Hayes also accounted for 281 total yards and TD runs covering 67 and 3 yards. He completed 8-of-14 pass attempts for 141 yards and a 4-yard touchdown.
GRAYSON WAKEFIELD, DECATUR HERITAGE: Grayson Wakefield accounted for 249 yards of total offense and four touchdowns as Decatur Heritage beat Vina 36-8. Wakefield connected on 3-of-4 pass attempts for 101 yards and one TD and rushed for 148 yards and three scores on nine carries.
CHASE WILSON, GLENCOE: Rushed for 134 yards and passed for 122 for 256 total yards in Glencoe’s 44-26 loss at Piedmont. He scored on runs of 54 and 2 yards.
ALEX McNEAL, DALEVILLE: Rushed for 212 yards on 24 carries with three touchdowns (10, 51 and 25 yards) and had a 55-yard punt return to set up a score in a 28-14 win over Slocomb.
HUNTER DUNCAN, SUSAN MOORE: Rushed 16 times for 225 yards and two touchdowns (5 and 90 yards) in the Bulldogs' 49-14 win over Holly Pond.
JORDAN BENTLEY, GUNTERSVILLE: The senior rushed for 213 and scored four touchdowns, one coming on a 42-yard interception return, as the Wildcats beat Randolph 27-0. His now has 84 career touchdowns with three coming on interception returns. He also has 4,618 career rushing yards.
RAHEEM BOHAM, OPP: Had 207 yards rushing on 21 carries with two in the Bobcats' 60-42 win over Geneva.
KYLE REDMOND, SOUTH LAMAR: Gained 207 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns in a 46-36 victory over Meek.
DESMON TURNER, FORT PAYNE: Had 24 carries for 200 yards and one touchdown in Fort Payne’s 24-7 win at Albertville.
NICHIOLAS SIMS, MURPHY: Returning to action after missing three games with a toe injury, Sims rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns as Murphy rallied to beat Theodore 32-31. The winning score came in the final seconds of the game.
JARED SMITH, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Ran for 222 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, and threw a 2-yard TD pass in a 40-28 loss to Priceville.
GARY FEARN, HUNTSVILLE: Had 31 carries for 210 yards and four touchdowns in a 48-34 win over Sparkman.
R.J. STEVENS, BALDWIN COUNTY: Dashed 70 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play and finished with 205 yards rushing and three scores as the Tigers beat LeFlore 30-0. The 4-0 start is the best for Baldwin County since 2003.
MARKISE LEVERETTE, BIBB COUNTY: Rushed for 197 yards and scored on an 81-yard TD pass as the Choctaws beat Class 4A West Blocton 40-22. He finished with the 96 yards receiving.
ALEX MALUDA, NORTHSIDE: Had 195 yards rushing on 16 carries and scored three touchdowns in a 40-6 victory over Holt.
JUWAN RICHARDSON, ASHFORD: Rushed for 150 yards with two touchdowns (65 and 45 yards), was 4-of-5 passing for 68 yards and had a 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Yellow Jackets' 62-40 win over Catholic of Montgomery. Richardson also had a 41-yard punt and two tackles on defense.
JACOB WASHBURN, J.P. PENNINGTON: The senior running back pounded out 198 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries in a 21-20 overtime loss to Good Hope 21-20.
DOMONIQUE JONES, KEITH: Rushed for 185 yards with four touchdowns on runs of 12, 75, 5 and 5 yards as the Bears knocked off previously unbeaten Ellwood Christian 58-6.
ERIC GEORGE, NORTH SAND MOUNTAIN: Picked up 152 yards rushing and three touchdowns (3, 4, 81 yards) on 13 carries, returned an interception 84 yards for a score and kicked four extra points in a 34-21 win over Sylvania.
TYLER ROSE, LEEDS: Rushed 17 times for 185 yards and three TDs as the Green Wave shut out Elmore County 49-0.
JACKSON GRIFFIN, GENEVA: The Panthers running back rushed for 197 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns (3, 15 and 26 yards) in a 60-42 loss to Opp.
DILAN KILPATRICK, FYFFE: Rushed for 169 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns in the Red Devils’ 41-0 Class 2A win against Ider.
JACOB GRAVES, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Rushed for 168 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns (2, 1, 1 yards) in the Warriors' 35-20 win over Jacksonville.
NIC ROLLO, COLD SPRINGS: Totaled 166 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in a 40-37 loss at Falkville. Among his runs was an 86-yard carry.
JOSEPH SCHAUER, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Gained 159 yards and scored three touchdowns on 18 rushes as the Warriors beat Pleasant Valley 48-25.
WILL KIRK, PLAINVIEW: The senior safety had two interceptions returned for touchdowns against Sand Rock in the Bears’ 24-7 win. He also had a forced fumble and three solo tackles. On offense he had two catches for 34 yards.
VICTOR CULLEN, MINOR: Had 12 tackles and recovered two fumbles, returning both for touchdowns, as the Class 6A Tigers beat Jackson-Olin 47-30.
LEE WHISENANT, GOOD HOPE: Returned a fumble 86 yards for a touchdown and had a clutch interception in the fourth quarter of a 21-20 double-overtime victory at J.B. Pennington. The win was the Raiders’ first of the year and first in head coach Alan Scott’s return to his alma mater.
TRENT HATCHER, WICKSBURG: Totaled 19 tackles in a 39-28 win over Abbeville.
BEN DAVIS, GORDO: Had 15 tackles in a 24-16 victory over Greensboro. He also had four receptions for 48 yards at tight end.
MICHAEL SHARPLY, JAMES CLEMENS: The junior linebacker had six tackles, two sacks, forced a fumble and intercepted a pass in a 23-7 Class 7A win over Buckhorn.
RICKY HALL, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Had 17 tackles to lead Providence Christian to a 20-16 win over Samson. Teammates Andrew Peterson and William Ernst added 12 tackles each and three sacks.
TYLER BERRY, FORT PAYNE: Registered 14 tackles with a sack and two tackles for a loss in the Wildcats’ 17-14 win at Albertville. Teammate Daurice Andrews added 12 tackles, including three touchdown-saving stops.
LEVI HAMMACK, ADDISON: Had two of the Bulldogs' seven sacks for a defense that forced five turnovers in a 37-18 win over Hanceville. Addison limited Hanceville to minus-8 yards total offense through three quarters. Hammack added 43 rushing yards and a touchdown and recovered an errant snap on a punt attempt for another score.
TREYVON DUNLAP, ENTERPRISE: Recorded 15 tackles in Enterprise's 34-14 loss to Auburn.
ETHAN McMINN, CULLMAN: Had an interception and 14 tackles in the Bears’ 29-26 come-from-behind win over Class 6A Austin. The defensive back also converted a fourth down with a 31-yard run on offense and had a short run for a TD. Teammates Justin Patterson and Logan Shugarts each added 10 tackles.
RYAN GRIDER, SCOTTSBORO: Had 11 tackles in Scottsboro’s 43-42 loss to Lee-Huntsville.
ALEX McMAHAN, SAND ROCK: Posted 11 tackles, including 2 for lost yardage, in the Wildcats' 24-7 loss to Plainview.
LOGAN HURLEY, GAYLESVILLE: Managed 11 tackles, including four for lost yardage, in the Trojans' 26-19 loss to Valley Head.
HUNTER GREEN, CLEVELAND: The junior had 11 tackles, four for loss, two sacks, and returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown in the Panthers' 58-28 win over Collinsville.
RYAN SULLIVAN, FALKVILLE: Kicked the game-winning 20-yard field goal with 4 seconds left in a 40-37 win over Class 2A Cold Springs. The quarterback was also 19-of-28 passing for 199 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 94 yards and a TD on 20 carries. He was 14-of-16 passing in the second half.
FISHER WILLOUGHBY, COLD SPRINGS: Returned a kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown and tacked on an interception, a fumble recovery, 35 rushing yards, 32 receiving yards and a 2-point conversion a 40-37 Class 2A loss at Falkville.
ANTONIO HILL, ELBA: For the third time in four games this season, Hill blocked a punt and scored off it – leading the Tigers to a 44-0 win over New Brockton. The blocked kick, which came in the third quarter, helped Elba pull away from a 14-0 halftime lead.
KENDRICK WILLIAMS, GENEVA COUNTY: Returned the opening kickoff 80 yards to set the tone in Geneva County's 41-13 win over Houston County. He also had two receptions for touchdowns (37 and 28 yards) and eight tackles on defense.
Northview High School head coach LaBrian Stewart knows the importance of a strong kicking game. After last Friday’s performance by place-kicker Coby Neenan, the rest of Class 6A, Region 3 will likely agree.
Neenan kicked three field goals – 28, 50 and 47 yards – and opened the third period with an onside kick that set up a 44-yard TD pass as the Cougars beat Carver-Montgomery 23-19 to grab the AHSAA Spotlight for Week 3 of the prep football season.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior also kicked two extra points to finish with 11 points in the contest. It was the second straight week his kicks provided the winning points. Northview beat Stanhope Elmore 21-20 in the first Class 6A, Region 3 win of the season.
For good measure, Coach LaBrian Stewart’s kicker punted four times for a 39.5-yard average as Northview improved to 2-1 and 2-0 in Region 3. Junior teammate Terrell Harris also returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown in another Cougars’ special team highlight.
Neenan’s performance edged out two spectacular offensive performances turned in by Beauregard running back La’Damian Webb and Priceville quarterback Kaleb Barker.
LA’DAMIAN WEBB, BEAUREGARD: The sophomore piled up 376 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries — averaging 16.3 yards per carry — in the Class 5A Hornets’ 42-27 victory over Sylacauga. He scored three of his four TDs in the second half with an 80-yarder in the final quarter. Beauregard finished with 509 yards rushing as a team.
KALEB BARKER, PRICEVILLE: Engineered Priceville’s first 3-0 start in school history with a 43-40 win over North Jackson. He was 14-of-28 passing for 206 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 260 yards and two scores on 22 carries – giving him 466 total yards on the night.
Coach Dirk Strunk’s senior quarterback has averaged 545.7 total yards this season and has accounted for 22 touchdowns – 11 passing and 11 rushing. He is 64-of-96 passing on the year for 1,010 yards and has 637 yards rushing on 58 carries.
The victory over the Chiefs was the first in six tries for Priceville, now in its 10th season competing in championship play in the AHSAA. In the five previous meetings, North Jackson averaged 56.2 ppg and had a winning margin of 49 points over the Bulldogs.
In other highlights reported from last weekend:
AHMAUD TAYLOR, T.R. MILLER: Caught four passes for 138 yards and a touchdown to help lead T.R. Miller beat Cottage Hill Christian 48-0. The win was the 298th of head coach Jamie Riggs’ career.
JACKSON HOLLADAY, WALKER: Passed for more than 300 yards for the second straight week as the Vikings beat Minor 3013. Holladay, a junior, was 18-of-30 for 303 yards and four touchdowns – giving him 608 yards and six TDs (36-0f-55) over the last two games.
CHASE WILSON, GLENCOE: Completed 11-of 20-passes for 192 yards and three scores, including the game-winning 28-yard touchdown pass to Pace Ozmint with 28 seconds left in the game, and rushed 11 times for 77 yards and a touchdown as the Yellow Jackets rallied past Westbrook Christian 50-43.
MALIK CUNNINGHAM, PARK CROSSING: The junior was 19-of-28 passing for 292 yards and three touchdowns as the Thunderbirds (4-0) remained unbeaten with a 37-10 win over Wetumpka. Cunningham also rushed for two TDs.
SHAWN JENNINGS, DADEVILLE: The senior quarterback was a perfect 10-of-10 passing for 266 yards and four touchdowns in just over a half of play as Class 4A Dadeville beat Childersburg 60-13. Jennings has completed 23-of-24 pass attempts for 446 yards and six touchdowns over his last two games – playing a total of just 4½ quarters during that span.
PARIS CHAMBERS, McGILL-TOOLEN: The Yellow Jackets quarterback was 20-of-30 passing for 242 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-0 Class 7A win over Baker.
CLAY CULBERT, BOAZ: The senior quarterback accounted for 363 total yards and six touchdowns in the Pirates’ 41-14 Class 5A win over Fairview. Culbert completed 13-of-21 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns covering 71, 17, 5 and 56 yards. He also rushed for 107 yards on 11 carries and scored twice (34 and 21 yards).
ZAC ODEN, MONTEVALLO: Completed 8-of-14 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns in Montevallo’s 50-18 Class 4A win over Holt. His TD scores covered 59, 13 and 20 yards.
JORDAN AUBREY, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Was 12-of-17 passing for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the Leopards’ 50-34 win over Sweet Water.
PEYTON GILLILAND, CLEVELAND: The senior quarterback completed 8-of-13 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns and rushed seven times for 90 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown, in the Panthers' 51-22 victory over West End.
TAYLOR HAYES, PIEDMONT: Had touchdown runs of 9 and 11 yards, and a 57-yard scoring pass to Bayley Blanchard – all in the first half – as the Bulldogs won a 3A victory over Ohatchee 40-13. He finished with 66 yards rushing on seven carries and completed 5-of-10 passes for 111 yards in the Bulldogs' 40-13 win at Ohatchee.
AHMAD DERAMUS, GADSDEN CITY: Was 9-of-11 passing for 163 yards and three TDs and rushed for 51 yards and a fourth TD as the Class 7A Titans beat Grissom 51-7.
RAMSEY RIGBY, ELBA: Completed 7-of-12 passes for 157 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Class 2A Tigers to a 56-0 win over Central Hayneville.
KOBE SMITH, WEST POINT: Had 262 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries in a 42-7 Class 5A win over Ardmore. The senior’s longest scores went for 74 and 61 yards.
BLAKE UNDERWOOD, SAINT JAMES: The junior gained 264 yards on 35 rushes and scored four touchdowns in the Trojans’ 38-17 win over Montgomery Catholic.
LA’MICAL PERINE, THEODORE: Rushed for 252 yards and two touchdowns to lead Theodore to a 26-10 victory over Davidson. His scoring runs covered 69 and 29 yards.
TEDDY BROOKS, TALLASSEE: Ran for 235 yards and six touchdowns on 14 carries as the Class 5A Tigers beat Shelby County 44-28.
CALVIN FIGUEROA, SAKS: Posted 244 yards rushing on 30 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Class 4A Wildcats to a 32-14 victory over Cherokee County.
GARRETT SANDERS, G.W. LONG: Totaled 280 total yards with 173 yards rushing and 107 receiving in the Rebels’ 44-22 win over Samson. Sanders had nine carries with three touchdowns and four catches for a fourth TD. Teammate Kennon Casey added 158 yards and a TD rushing and was 5-of-8 passing for 118 yards and one TD for 276 total yards.
OMAR BROWN, NORTH JACKSON: Ran for 264 yards and three touchdowns on 31 attempts in a 43-40 loss to Priceville.
KYLE HARRELL, CALERA: Had 250 yards rushing and three touchdowns on runs of 85, 54 and 5 yards as the Class 5A Eagles beat Central-Tuscaloosa 39-29.
JARED SMITH, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Ran for 245 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries and tossed a pair of scoring passes in a 46-38, triple-overtime loss to Locust Fork.
MILES STRICKLAND, BOB JONES: Accounted for 243 yards total offense, rushed for three touchdowns (42, 4 and 22 yards) and caught a 64-yard score in a 47-28 win over Sparkman.
JAHARI BROWN, NEW BROCKTON: Rushed for 247 yards and two touchdowns (61 and 49 yards) on 18 carries in the Gamecocks' 42-15 win over Calhoun.
JACOB WASHBURN, J.B. PENNINGTON: The senior running back had 24 carries for 225 yards and five touchdowns (68, 7, 37, 16, 21 yards) and caught two passes for 29 yards in the Class 4A Tigers' 43-35 loss to DAR. He added 115 yards on four kick returns.
C.J. COOK, NOTASULGA: Turned in an impressive performance on offense and defense as Class 1A Notasulga beat Pleasant Home 61-28. Cook finished with 220 yards on 13 carries and four touchdowns and added seven tackles, one sack and a forced fumble at linebacker.
TYLER COLLINS, ALBERTVILLE: Rushed for 200 yards and a 49-yard touchdown on 18 carries, and caught a 26-yard TD pass in a 35-10 win over Scottsboro.
JONATE COTTON, NEW HOPE: Ran for 252 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries in a 21-16 win over Plainview.
BLAKE ADAMS, HAYDEN: Rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns (3 and 30 yards) on 28 carries in the Class 5A Wildcats' 28-12 win over Anniston.
DAVION FIFE, CEDAR BLUFF: Ran for 187 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in the Tigers' 54-0 victory at Valley Head.
QUINTON DOWNEY, SPRING GARDEN: Had 184 yards rushing on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns in the Class 1A Panthers’ 39-13 win over Gaylesville. He also caught a 16-yard TD pass for a third score.
KRISTIN JONES, HACKLEBURG: Gained 186 rushing yards on 24 attempts and scored a touchdown as Hackleburg beat 1A rival Phillips 29-6.
B.J. SMALLS, HANCEVILLE: Ran for 159 yards and two TDs on 27 carries in a 26-20 Class 3A win over Vinemont. Teammate Branen Hurst added 100 yards and two more scores on 13 carries.
ROBERT HOUSTON, LAFAYETTE: The sophomore had 18 rush attempts for 158 yards and five touchdowns as the Class 2A Bulldogs beat Horseshoe Bend 52-31. The sophomore carried the ball 18 times for 158 yards and had five touchdowns, leading the Bulldogs to the win over Horseshoe Bend.
JOHN MICHAEL DYE, VINEMONT: The senior had 30 carries into 173 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a 26-20 loss at Hanceville.
SEAN LONG, SARALAND: Ran for 187 yards and two touchdowns to lead Saraland past Gulf Shores 17-9. His TDs came on runs of 32 and 3 yards.
MICHAEL PHILLIPS, JACKSON: Helped the Aggies end defending 5A state champion St. Paul’s Episcopal’s 18-game winning streak by rushing for 142 yards on 13 carries in a 28-7 win. He scored on an 80-yard run.
IVORY STARR, CEDAR BLUFF: The freshman accumulated 164 yards on 12 rush attempts with four touchdowns in Cedar Bluff's 54-0 victory over Valley Head.
STACY WILLIAMS, ETOWAH: Rushed 22 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning score in overtime, as the Class 5A Blue Devils nipped Randolph 21-20.
BEN ROBINSON, ADDISON: Ran for 131 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown, and recovered a fumble in a 15-12 loss to Falkville.
DESHON COWLING, PIKE COUNTY: Scored six touchdowns as the Class 3A Bulldogs (3-0) beat Dale County 59-0 for their third straight shutout of the season. Cowling had a 65-yard TD pass reception, scored on a 95-yard fumble return and added four rushing touchdowns on runs of 1, 40, 13 and 3 yards. Pike County has now outscored its first three opponents 159-0 this season.
RILEY EAGAN, MARY MONTGOMERY: Rushed for 159 yards on 28 carries as the Vikings edged Foley 31-30.
LANDON SMOTHERS, MUSCLE SHOALS: Scored five rushing touchdowns while gaining 92 yards as Muscle Shoals beat Austin 42-17. The Class 6A Trojans also got 156 yards rushing and one TD from Carlos Davis.
ASA MARTIN, AUSTIN: Scored one touchdown on a 97-yard run and finished with 105 yards on seven total carries as Austin lost 42-15 to Muscle Shoals.
MYRON MITCHELL, WALKER: The Vikings’ senior receiver had nine catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns in Walker’s 30-13 Class 6A win over Minor.
DONTAVIUS WILLIAMS, ELBA: Caught five passes for 115 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-0 win over Central-Hayneville.
KADE SEAY, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Registered 12 tackles, three assists, one for a loss and one quarterback sack on defense n a 13-12 win over 2A region foe Cottonwood. The linebacker was forced into offensive action in the fourth period when injuries depleted the PCA running back corps and responded with nine carries for 54 yards in a go-ahead drive. His 6-yard touchdown run and extra point kick with 4:42 gave his team the win. Teammate Ricky Hall also had 13 tackles.
TANNER SWINNEY, HACKLEBURG: Had 14 tackles on defense and had 15 pancake blocks on offense in the Panthers’ 29-6 Class 1A win over Phillips. Teammate Court Stidham added eight tackles and two interceptions.
JERMARIOUS JORDAN, BESSEMER CITY: Had a key interception in the Tigers’ 14-0 win over previously unbeaten Paul Bryant. Bessemer City finished with five picks on the night.
ALEX McMAHAN, SAND ROCK: Led the Class 3A Wildcats defense with 10 ½ tackles, including eight solo efforts and 1 ½ tackles for lost yardage, in Sand Rock's 21-14 loss at North Sand Mountain.
CLAY KELLEY & GRANT GRIFFIN, NEW BROCKTON: Each returned interceptions 61 yards for touchdowns as the Class 2A Gamecocks beat Goshen 42-15. Kelley also had 11 tackles.
JANSEN ALEXANDER, SAND ROCK: Picked off a pair of passes in the Wildcats' 21-14 loss at Class 3A North Sand Mountain.
KAMERON SMITH, NORTHVIEW: Had 10 tackles, including a quarterback sack, in the 6A Cougars' 23-19 over Carver.
CHARLES CRAWFORD, VIGOR: Scored on a 90-yard kickoff return to open the game and Vigor went on to post a 20-14 overtime win over Murphy.
ALEX McNEAL, DALEVILLE: Returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown and rushed for a pair of TDs in a 40-19 win over Wicksburg.
CHRISTIAN CRANDALL, COLD SPRINGS: Returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and ran for 60 yards in a 52-21 loss to Tanner.
DAKOTA LAMBERT, SPRING GARDEN: Returned a kickoff 61 yards for a touchdown in the 1A Panthers' 39-13 win at Gaylesville.
GRANT BARBER, UMS-WRIGHT: Scored on a 54-yard punt return and an 84-yard reception as UMS-Wright beat Clark County 28-6.
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa High School junior running back Brian Robinson ran for 447 yards on 29 rush attempts and scored five touchdowns as the Patriots’ lost a nail—biting 41-40 decision to defending Class 6A state football champion Clay-Chalkville.
Robinson had scoring runs of 55, 81, 64 and 4 yards and tacked on a 23-yard TD pass reception for Coach Sam Adams’ Patriots to finish with 470 total yards. His performance earned the running back the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for Week 2 of the young 2015 football season.
The 447 rushing yards was the fifth best individual game on record and just the 12th 400—yard rushing effort in AHSAA prep history, according to the AHSAA Record Book found at www.ahsaa.com. Tony Dixon of Parrish set the single-game with 531 yards on 21 carries in a 2003 Class 1A victory over Hubbertville. Jerry Stancil of Gaylesville rushed for 470 yards in a win over Spring Garden in 2004, Cherokee County’s Michael Perry had 457 yards in a 1991 win over Hokes Bluff, and Charles Johnson of Keith had 454 yards in the Bears’ 2011 win over Shades Mountain.
Robinson’s effort is the best ever by a Class 6A running back and the only 400-yard plus rushing total accomplished in a loss.
Clay-Chalkville (3-0), coached by Jerry Hood, extended its current winning streak to 18 games with the one-point win.
Finishing a close second in this week’s AHSAA Spotlight was a 405-yard passing performance by Kadarius Toney of Blount in the Leopards’ 56-21 win over Daphne, and a team defensive effort by New Brockton that accounted for four scores in the Gamecocks’ 56-0 win over Calhoun.
Toney was 16-of-26 passes for 405 yards and five touchdowns for Coach Lev Holly. His total was the first 400-yard passing game registered in the AHSAA in 2015 and the 39th in history. Eight of those performances were over 500 yards including American Christian QB Chris Smelley’s 565 yards in 43-31 loss to Brantley in the 2005 Class 1A state playoffs. Reginald Todd, a New Mexico State basketball commitment, caught six of Toney’s passes for 222 yards and two scores as the Leopards rolled up 620 yards total offense the night.
DEFENSE IS BEST OFFENSE: New Brockton's defense accounted for four scores -- three touchdowns and a safety -- and the Gamecocks of Coach Justin Jones also got a punt return for a touchdown during a 56-0 win over Calhoun.
Already up 7-0, New Brockton got a 26-yard interception return for A TD by Grant Griffin, a safety by Michael Morris and a recovered fumble in the end zone for a touchdown by Wyatt Moore for a 23-0 lead. The Gamecocks' last score of the game also came on defense as Tyler McIntosh returned a fumble 8 yards to the end zone. In between, Clay Kelley had a 34-yard punt return for a score.
In other highlights from last weekend’s action:
SCHILLING REGISTERS 1,300TH VOLLEYBALL VICTORY: Bayside Academy coach Ann Schilling, who has guided Bayside Academy to 20 state volleyball titles including a current streak of 13 in a row, registered her 1,300th career win with the Lady Admirals’ victory over host McGill-Toolen in the finals of the Dirty Dozen Invitational tourney last weekend hosted by McGill. Schilling started the 2015 season with a 1,288-359 head-coaching record. Glenda Wright, who stepped down after leading Walker to the 6A state tournament last season, is the AHSAA’s all-time leader with a 1,457-590 record. Tammy Richardson, who also stepped down at St. Luke’s after last season, owns a 1,358-546 career record.
FORMER HOOVER COACH REGISTERS 250TH WIN: Former Hoover High School football coach Rush Propst, who guided the Bucs to five Class 6A state titles and a 110-16 overall record from 1999-2007, notched the 250th win of his high school coaching career Friday night as Colquitt County (GA) beat Crisp County 37-7. Propst, an Ohatchee native who is 250-86 overall, served as head coach at Ashville, Eufaula, Alba and Alma Bryant in Alabama before moving to Hoover. He is 74-25 at Colquitt County including directing his current team to the GHSA state title last season for the sixth state championship overall captured by teams he has coached. Propst’s team will take on an Alabama opponent Friday night when Colquitt County hosts Enterprise.
Josh Niblett, who followed Propst at Hoover in 2008 as the school’s seventh head coach in school history, has kept the winning tradition alive going 99-8 since then with a 50-2 region record, 31-3 playoff record and four state championships (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014) and two runner-up finishes (2010, 2011). He will be going for his 100th win at the school Friday night at Oak Mountain.
Bob Finley, who guided the Bucs from 1968-1993 until his untimely death just prior to the 1994 season, is Hoover’s wins leader with a 198-87-5 record. He guided the Bucs to the state crown in 1977 and tied Enterprise in 1982 10-10 to earn a co-championship. The three coaches have combined for 407 of the school’s 454 all-time wins and own a combined 407-111-5 record and winning percentage of 78.3 percent.
JORDAN BENTLEY, GUNTERSVILLE: Broke two Guntersville single-game records in the Wildcats’ 49-39 win over Madison County. Bentley rushed 34 times for 336 yards and scored seven touchdowns, six rushing and one on a 41-yard pass reception. The previous record was 312 yards rushing and five TDs scored. The senior, who also had four tackles and an interception on defense, now has 4,347 career rushing yards and 77 touchdowns. Ironically, the Wildcats running back found himself in a Guntersville police car at halftime. The reason – coaches felt they needed to cool their workhorse down and the visitors’ dressing room was too crowded. The Guntersville Police Department provides an escort to all away games and proved to be an excellent way to cool Bentley down.
ANDREW BROWN, WINSTON COUNTY: The senior needed just 10 carries to rush for 350 yards and five touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets downed Hanceville 48-20. His scoring runs covered 26, 57, 80, 48 and 98 yards.
JAY CRAIG, DEMOPOLIS: Had 212 yards rushing on 30 carries and five touchdowns — 29, 25, 19, 15 and 2 yards — in a 42-23 victory over Calera.
TADARRYL MARSHALL, LEEDS: Had 24 carries for 183 yards and five touchdowns and passed for 100 yards and two more scores in the Green Wave’s 49-48 overtime loss at Munford. Marshall had rushing TDs of 33, 2, 1, 54 and 5 yards and passed for two TDs (10 and 43 yards). He also converted two 2-point conversions.
DESMON TURNER, FORT PAYNE: Had 274 yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns, including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, to lead the Wildcats to a 21-14 win over Arab. He also had a 32-yard punt return and a 29-yard kickoff return.
MICHAEL MATTHEWS, UMS-WRIGHT: Had 19 carries for 220 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-23 win over Faith Academy.
CHRISTIAN CRANDALL & NIC ROLLO, COLD SPRINGS: Combined for 358 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 16 first-half carries in a 55-0 win over Southeastern. Crandall ran for 216 yards and Rollo, 142. Each scored two touchdowns.
DILAN KILPATRICK, FYFFE: Gained 215 yards rushing on 25 carries and scored a touchdown in the Red Devils’ 21-14 setback to Cleveland. The loss snapped a 16-game winning streak for defending 2A state champion Fyffe.
JAY JONES, McADORY: Ran for 207 yards with scoring runs of 57 and 82 yards as the Jackets beat Northridge 35-10. Jones also passed for a 68-yard TD.
SEAN LONG, SARALAND: Rushed eight times for 191 yards and four touchdowns to lead Saraland to a 45-7 win over Robertsdale. All four scores came in the first half.
GABE OZIO, MADISON COUNTY: Totaled 186 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns in a 49-39 loss to Guntersville.
DEVIN LEPS, VALLEY HEAD: Rushed for 180 yards and scored five touchdowns in the Tigers' 57-22 win against Coosa Christian. He scored on runs of 65, 15, 9, 10 and 2 yards.
KALEB SHADWICK, WEST BLOCTON: Rushed for 166 yards and three TDs on 21 carries in a 32-14 victory over Sipsey Valley.
COLTON KNIGHT, REHOBETH: The Rebels’ running back rushed for 163 yards and four touchdowns (5, 21,5 and 40 yards) in a 46-0 win over Alabama Christian.
GARRETT APPLING, HOLY SPIRIT: Gained 150 yards rushing on 30 carries, scored two rushing TDs and another on a 34-yard pass reception as the Titans beat Vincent 21-6.
GARY FEARN, HUNTSVILLE: Ran for 144 yards on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns (1 yard, 12 and 3 yards) in the first half of a 26-0 win over Grissom.
STONE FINCHER, HACKLEBURG: The freshman running back ran eight times for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers’ 45-6 win over Tharptown.
TYLER BLAKELY, COLLINSVILLE: Rushed 10 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns (1, 27 and 57 yards) and made an interception on defense to lead the Panthers past West End 54-35.
AUSTIN HARRIS, FAIRVIEW: Recorded his third straight 100-yard plus rushing performance with 27 carries for 109 yards and three TDs as the Aggies fell to Randolph 38-27. Harris also caught three passes for 25 yards and played well on defense.
TAYLOR HAYES, PIEDMONT: Had 203 total yards, 96 rushing and 107 passing, and accounted for three touchdowns in a 62-21 win over Ashville. Teammate Darnell Jackson added 136 yards rushing on 13 carries with one TD – all in the first half.
AVERY HARRIS, MUNFORD: The quarterback was 20-of-33 passing for 300 yards and five touchdowns in the Lions’ 49-48 overtime win over defending Class 4A state champion Leeds. The junior led Munford from two-touchdown deficits twice in the fourth quarter to force the extra period. His 22-yard TD pass to Austin Campbell and 10-yard toss to Kyle Ross in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter drew the Lions to within two at 42-40. His two-point completion to Chase Gaither tied the score. Harris then passed to Quantavius Elston for a 10-yard score in overtime for the winning score. He also scored the other two TDs himself on keepers.
RAMSEY RIGBY, ELBA: The Tigers’ quarterback was nearly perfect, completing 11-of-12 passes for 397 yards and six touchdowns in a 68-13 win over Elba.
NOAH LOWERY, CHARLES HENDERSON: completed 17-of-22 passes for 313 yards with five touchdowns in a 63-20 win over Dale County.
JORDAN AUBREY, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Led the Leopards to a 51-7 win over Southern Choctaw with a 9-of-13 passing performance for 310 yards and four touchdowns.
SHAWN JENNINGS, DADEVILLE: The University of Alabama commitment was 13-of-14 passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another score before leaving the game in the second quarter with an injury in Dadeville’s 68-33 loss to Beauregard.
AHMAD DERAMUS, GADSDEN CITY: Was 8-of-10 passing for 206 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another score as the Titans beat Sparkman 66-34. All DeRamus’ yards and TDs came in the first half.
ADAM BROWNER, NEW HOPE: Completed 12-of-15 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown, and ran for two scores in a 50-21 win over Good Hope.
KOY CHAPMAN, GORDO: Was 15-of-25 for 183 passing yards and two touchdowns in a 55-16 victory over Greene County.
JOSEPH SCHAUER, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Completed 13-of-18 passes for 163 yards with two touchdowns and rushed we times for 109 yards and two more scores as the Warriors came from behind to edge Ohatchee 35-34.
FORREST WEBBER, RANDOLPH: Was 12-of-18 passing for 86 yards and two scores and rushed for 139 yards on 13 carries with a 96-yard TD scamper as the Eagles beat Fairview 28-27.
KADE YOUNG, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Led ACA to a 60-6 win over Lamar County completing 9-of-14 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a fourth TD.
JOHN MARK PRESTRIDGE, RANDOLPH COUNTY: Completed 10-of-18 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 win over arch-rival Ranburne.
JOSH DECKER, CEDAR BLUFF: Was 13-of-21 passing for 149 yards and three touchdowns (6, 9 and 5 yards) and rushed for a 2-yard TD as the Tigers downed Spring Garden 35-18. Teammate Ivory Star added 142 yards rushing on 20 carries with one TD.
MYRON MITCHELL, WALKER: Caught nine passes for 215 yards and two scores in Walker’s 48-17 win over John Carroll Catholic.
MILES STRICKLAND, BOB JONES: Caught a 98-yard pass and added two rushing touchdowns in a 27-24 win over James Clemens.
BAYLOR BARNES, CHARLES HENDERSON: Caught six passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns in a 63-20 Trojan win over Dale County.
AUSTIN CAMPBELL, MUNFORD: Made seven catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns in Munford’s 49-48 overtime win over Leeds.
MALIK TALLEY, SCOTTSBORO: Had 5 catches for 105 yards and 10 rushes for 113 yards and 1 TD in a 24-22 win over Brewer. Talley started at QB for the injured Bo Nix and split time with freshman Tanner Woodall, who was 14-of-24 passing for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
DARNELL MOONEY, GADSDEN CITY: Caught touchdown passes of 27, 12 and 12 yards and returned a punt 55 yards for a score in the Titans’ 66-34 over Sparkman.
KOI FREEMAN, LEEDS: Had five receptions for 100 yards and another 80 yards in kick returns in the Green Wave’s 49-48 overtime loss at Munford.
DFYLAN RICE, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Caught six passes for 99 yards with one touchdown (26 yards) and added a rushing touchdown to account for two of the three Raiders’ scores in a 20-8 win over Geneva County.
PACE OZMINT, GLENCOE: Had 22 tackles in the Yellow Jackets’ 28-27 overtime win over Walter Wellborn.
CARLTON MARTIAL, McGILL-TOOLEN: Recorded 15 tackles with a sack in McGill-Toolen’s 14-3 win over Fairhope.
SEAN DUNN, COLD SPRINGS: Totaled 11 tackles, including two sacks and two others resulting in losses, as the Panthers shut out Tharptown 55-0. Teammate Fisher Willoughby added a pair of interceptions.
JARVIS SMITH, SLOCOMB: Was credited with 13 tackles, including three for losses, as the Red Tops shut out Wicksburg 7-0.
K.J. WALKER, DALEVILLE: Playing in just the first half, Walker forced three fumbles and had eight tackles during the Warhawks' 32-6 win over Barbour County.
ALEX HERNANDES, WEST POINT: Accounted for 12 tackles on defense and contributed 50 yards rushing and three TDs on eight carries in a 31-20 win over Columbia.
TROY LOCKE, BERRY: Finished with 10 tackles, two sacks and a pass deflection in a 22-16 victory over Meek.
GRANT SIMMONS, SAMSON: Scored three different ways to account for all the scoring in the Tigers' 21-13 win over Ariton. Simmons scored on a 55-yard touchdown pass from J.T. Wise, a 55-yard fumble recovery and a 4-yard carry as Samson overcame an early 7-0 deficit to take the come-from-behind win.
KAEDON JENKINS, PIEDMONT: The freshman defensive back returned an interception 55 yards for a score to give Piedmont a 42-14 halftime lead en route to a 62-21 victory over Ashville.
ANTHONY JONES, CHELSEA: Scored four touchdowns, including an 82-yard punt return, as the Hornets beat Southside-Gadsden 43-10. Jones also had a 21-yard pass reception and rushes of 20 and 4 yards for his three other scores.
COBY NEENAN, NORTHVIEW: The Cougars’ place-kicker drilled a 44-yard field goal with 2:59 left to give Northview a 21-20 win over Stanhope Elmore. Neenan also kicked a 29-yard field goal earlier in the game, converted his only extra point kick and punted twice for a 39.5 average.
DAWSON HAMLIN, ZION CHAPEL: Booted two field goals of more than 40 yards during the Rebels' 68-13 loss to Elba. Hamlin hit field goals of 42 and 43 yards.
BAILEY McGATHA-POTTER, SCOTTSBORO: Kicked all three extra points and a 31-yard field goal as the Wildcats beat Brewer 24-22.
Olive Garden and the NFHS Network, the nation’s leading high school sports media company, are teaming up to recognize Team Moms and the high school athletes they support. This partnership includes the launch of GoTeamMoms.com, which will serve as a resource and destination to recognize Team Moms.
Team Moms volunteer to assist coaches and often lead team communications, fundraising, travel coordination and more. The website will feature Team Mom’s Best-Kept Secrets and game day highlights from high schools around the nation. In addition, coaches, athletes, family members and the community are invited to contribute shout-outs or photos of their favorite Team Mom using #GoTeamMoms on Twitter and Instagram to be featured on the website.
“The goal of the NFHS Network is to serve and support both the athletes and their fans,” said Christopher Young, senior vice president of sales for the NFHS Network. “There’s no bigger fan than a Team Mom and no better partner for the NFHS Network than Olive Garden, which resonates so deeply with our audience and shares our same commitment to families and the local community.”
To further assist Team Moms, each Olive Garden restaurant in the U.S. will be paired with a local high school to support through two national fundraising nights and Olive Garden VIP Passes that give teams access to exclusive discounts. With dining options that include ToGo and catering, Olive Garden is often the choice for feeding an entire team.
“Our restaurants are excited to support their hometown high schools and give back to their communities,” said Jose Duenas, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden. “This partnership allows us to thank Team Moms nationwide as well as give families and teams chances to connect over meals and create memories during the busy sports season.”
Visit GoTeamMoms.com to view photos, videos and Team Mom tips and tricks. To find your nearest Olive Garden restaurant and to order your meal online ToGo, visit OliveGarden.com. Visit www.NFHSnetwork.com for live streaming of high school events.
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.8 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate over $6.8 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated more than 33 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country. For more information, visit www.olivegarden.com. Connect with us onFacebook.com/OliveGarden, Twitter.com/OliveGarden and Instagram.com/OliveGarden.
The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of Jimmy Smothers, 82, the long-time sports editor of the Gadsden Times. Mr. Smothers died Monday, Aug. 31.
A former teacher and principal from Geraldine, he was born in 1933. He graduated Geraldine High School in 1951 and went on to attend Jacksonville State University for three years. He taught school for four years and became the youngest principal in DeKalb County history. While teaching, Smothers worked part time as a correspondent for several newspapers.
Mr. Smothers joined The Gadsden Times in 1961 and became sports editor in 1963. He retired in December 2006 but continued to write columns and articles for The Times.
He was highly regarded and honored by his peers in the newspaper industry and by the people he covered. He won dozens of sportswriting awards and in 2011 became just the fifth sportswriter inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. A fixture at the AHSAA state basketball tournament and other championship events for five decades, he became the just second sportswriter inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. Mr. Smothers was also inducted into the Alabama Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame, the Etowah County and DeKalb County halls of fame.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, September 3, at 2 P.M. at Fyffe Church of God located at 778 Main Street, Fyffe, with Rev. Billy Smothers and Rev Charles Beshears officiating. Burial will follow in Glenwood Cemetery in Fort Payne. Visitation will take place on Thursday, Sept 3, 2015 from 1-2 p.m., at Fyffe Church of God.
To read more about Mr. Smothers, go to the following link for The Gadsden Times.
Lawrence County High School’s 62-54 football triumph over East Lawrence last Friday night was a game for the record books.
The two Northeast Alabama rivals battled for almost four hours from start to finish, enduring four regulation quarters and an AHSAA-record-tying seven overtime periods before the Red Devils finally secured a 62-54 win. The marathon game grabbed the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for Week 1 of the 2015 high school football season.
“Never as a player, assistant or head coach have I seen a seven-overtime game,” Lawrence County coach Rich Dutton told reporter J.R. Tidwell of the Moulton Advertiser following the game.
The seven overtimes tied the AHSAA state record for most overtime periods in a single game dating back 36 years to Murphy’s 33-26 win over Theodore in 1979 at Mobile. Etowah beat Oxford 69-63 in 1991 in the AHSAA’s only six overtime game of record, and three schools have battled to five overtimes, including Smiths Station vs. Chavala in a 32-26 Panthers’ win in 1974, Tarrant’s 35-28 win over Cherokee County in 1988 and Gardendale’s 45-42 win over Erwin in 2000.
Homewood’s 41-34 Class 5A state championship game at Birmingham’s Legion Field in 2000 went five overtimes as well. Lauderdale County and Northview have the distinction of being the only schools on record to play five overtime games in one season (1986 and 1985, respectively).
The NFHS National Record was set on Nov. 29, 2010, when Jacksonville (TX) nipped Nacogdoches (TX) 84-81 in a game that finally ended after 12 overtime periods. According to the NFHS Record Book, two games have endured nine overtimes, five have gone eight overtimes and the Lawrence County-East Lawrence game is the 10th to go seven and the first since 1997.
“I’ve never been to seven overtimes, so it was uncharted water for myself and everyone else,” said East Lawrence coach Jarrod Helms said. Helms is in his first year as head coach.
Jakob Terry, Lawrence County’s sturdy running back scored four touchdowns – the game’s first on a 5-yard run in the first quarter and the last one in the final overtime. Quarterbacks Dallas Keenum of Lawrence County and Chase Ratliff of East Lawrence scored four and three TDs, respectively, in the overtime periods. Each also scored two 2-point conversions.
The game was tied at 26-26 at end of regulation, 32-32 after the first OT, 40-40 after the second, 48-48 after the fourth and 54-54 after the fifth extra period. Neither team scored in the third and sixth overtime periods.
“Right now I feel numb,” Dutton said. “There were so many highs and lows in the game, you are just zapped. You know it is over, but it has not sunk in yet. East Lawrence did a phenomenal job. (Coach) Jarrod Helms has them going in the right direction.”
Helms said, “I know that our kids are disappointed, but in a game like this there really are no losers… We learn things every day and during every game we play.”
In other highlights from last weekend’s prep football games:
FUMBLE-LESS STREAK ENDS: Jordan Bentley of Guntersville had a streak of more than carries without a fumble dating from a playoff game November of 2013 until last Friday night’s come-from-behind 33-21 win over North Jackson. On his 10th rush of the game, the streak ended at 321. His outstanding play did not, however. He rushed 24 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns, threw a halfback pass 28 yards for a fourth touchdown and also was the Wildcats’ defensive leader from his safety position with 7 tackles and an interception. Bentley led Guntersville from a 15-point deficit to the victory. A 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior, he upped his career rushing totals to 4,011 yards and 68 rushing touchdowns with his stellar performance and started a new fumble-less streak that now stands at 14 heading into this week’s game versus Madison County at Gurley.
LEE BEAT CARVER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2002: Junior running back Damion Wright had 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 22 carries as the Generals (2-0) beat Carver-Montgomery 34-13 – the first Lee win in the series since 2002.
SAND ROCK COACH GETS FIRST: New Sand Rock head coach Steven Chesnut earned his first victory as head coach of the Wildcats with a 41-6 victory over visiting Gaylesville Friday night. Chesnut, who was the Wildcats' offensive coordinator, took over for longtime Sand Rock coach Russell Jacoway, who retired after 32 years as the Wildcats’ head coach last February. Jacoway, who went 0-10 in his first season in 1983 and 15-0 in his third season (1985) winning the 2A state title, finished his career 228-132 – all at Sand Rock.
CORNER DEFENSE SMOTHERS VINCENT: Coach Zac Willis’ Yellow Jackets limited Vincent to minus-47 yards rushing and no passing yardage in a 63-6 win. The minus-47 yards rushing ranked third all-time behind Greensboro’s minus-67 yards in a win over Uniontown in 1977 and Cedar Bluff’s minus-48 yards allowed versus Donoho in 2012. The minus-47 total yards ranks first all-time reported to the AHSAA for total yards allowed.
JACOB WASHBURN, J.B. PENNINGTON: The senior running back rushed for 279 yards and four touchdowns (1, 5, 40, 62 yards) on 29 carries in the Tigers’ 36-18 win over Boaz. On defense, he had eight tackles and broke up two passes.
ANDREW CASH, FLOMATON: The Hurricanes quarterback ran for 275 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-26 win over Jay, FL.
TYSON WILLIAMS, DOTHAN: Rushed for 237 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns and had five receptions for 64 yards and a score in a 31-28 loss to Smiths Station.
DEONDRE HAMPTON, BROOKS: Rushed for 239 yards and six touchdowns on 26 carries as the Lions beat Sheffield 56-20. The 6-foot, 185-pound junior had TD runs covering 6, 6, 3, 6, 16 and 46 yards.
OSTIN McPHERSON, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Had 20 carries for 245 yards and three touchdowns as St. Paul’s won its 17th game in a row with a 51-28 win over St. Stanislaus, MS.
ALARIC WILLIAMS, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries in the Panthers' 49-14 win over Hokes Bluff. Williams scored on runs of 65, 5 and 19 yards, all in the first half.
STEFAN PALMER, AUTAUGAVILLE: The senior had 212 totals yards, 135 rushing on eight carries and 77 receiving on three catches, as the Eagles beat Calhoun 38-0. He rushed for two TDs and had a third on a pass reception.
AUSTIN HARRIS, FAIRVIEW: Picked up 180 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries in a 34-12 road win over Hanceville. The senior also caught two passes for 58 yards, including a 39-yarder for a score.
BEN ROBINSON & NOAH RICE, ADDISON: Combined for four rushing touchdowns and more than 300 yards rushing in a 42-33 road win over Vinemont. Rice ran for 156 yards and scores of 55, 48 and 17 yards while Robinson picked up 165 yards and a TD.
PEYTON GILLILAND, CLEVELAND: The senior quarterback rushed just four times but picked up 163 yards and three touchdowns (63, 33 and 49 yards) in the Panthers' 42-21 win over Pisgah. He also completed 4-of-5 passes for 59 yards and had seven tackles and an interception on defense.
DAVION STOVALL, HEADLAND: Rushed for 231 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries in a 53-0 win over Dale County.
GARRETT SANDERS, G.W. LONG: Had only five rush attempts but scored four touchdowns and added a fifth score on a 55-yard reception as the Rebels beat Barbour County 61-0.
JACQUEZ, HALL, BESSEMER CITY: Had 20 rush attempts for 203 yards and two TDs as the Tigers beat Shades Valley 24-17.
KEYVONTAE MAYFIELD, SHELBY COUNTY: The junior had 203 yards rushing on 22 tries and scored three TDs in a 32-31 loss to Helena.
ELDRIC JONES, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Rushed for 198 yards on 21 carries, including a 94-yard touchdown run, in a 14-2 victory over Brookwood.
DAX BENTON, HUBBERTVILLE: Ran for 183 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown in a 34-12 victory over Holy Spirit.
DONTE EDWARDS, DAVIDSON: Had 172 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 26 carries as the Warriors edged Mary G. Montgomery 38-36.
COLEY LOCKE, DALEVILLE: The Warhawks quarterback rushed for 165 yards on 12 carries, including TD runs of 41 and 80 yards, in Daleville's 27-9 win over Charles Henderson.
DAMON WILLIAMS, GADSDEN CITY: Ran 14 times for 166 yards with touchdown runs of 45 and 47 yards and had a 26-yard catch to set up another score in Gadsden City’s 41-19 victory over Oxford.
DESMON TURNER, FORT PAYNE: Totaled 158 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 23 carries to lead the Wildcats to a 42-7 win over New Hope. He also had one pass reception for 15 yards and two punt returns for 62 yards.
DILAN KILPATRICK, FYFFE: Had 26 carries for 203 yards and two touchdowns as the Red Devils beat Geraldine 31-14.
TAYLOR HAYES, PIEDMONT: Rushed for 145 yards on 26 carries, including a 17-yard touchdown, and passed for 79 yards and another score in the Bulldogs' 35-20 victory at Cherokee County.
AUSTIN BUSH, GLENCOE: In his first varsity start at running back, the junior rushed 17 times for 119 yards and four touchdowns (6, 20, 4 and 10 yards) in the Yellow Jackets’ 43-13 win over Plainview.
TORREY TERRY, EUFAULA: Touched the ball only three times, scoring two rushing touchdowns and one pass receiving TD (34, 24 and 61 yards) in a 61-6 Tigers’ win over Russell County. He averaged 38.3 yards per touch.
KALEB PARKER, PRICEVILLE: Had 552 total yards and accounted for seven touchdowns in a 63-18 win over West Morgan. Barker ran for 166 yards and six touchdowns and threw for 386 yards and a score.
GARRETT BOLAND, VINEMONT: Accounted for 351 total yards in a 42-33 loss to Addison. The junior quarterback connected with seven different receivers during a 19-of-26 passing display for 218 yards. He also collected 133 rushing yards and touchdowns of 30, 1 44 and yards. Colby Nicholas was Boland’s most frequent target with seven catches for 100 yards.
TY PIGROME, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Was 15-of-21 passing for 324 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 63 yards and two more scores as the Cougars beat Minor 49-14 for their the 17th straight win.
HEATH BURCHFIELD, JAMES CLEMENS: Was 14-of-17 passing for 251 yards and three touchdowns (17, 26, 69 yards) in a 45-7 win over Athens.
DREW GUY, FAYETTE COUNTY: Was 18-of-37 passing for 284 yards and two touchdowns in a 19-14 loss to Gordo.
COLE FREDERICK, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Completed 14-of-21 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-0 victory over Oak Mountain.
BO NIX, SCOTTSBORO: The freshman quarterback completed 14-of-21 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown in the Wildcats’ 32-30 loss to Sparkman.
PRESTON HERRING, ARITON: Completed 9-of-14 passing for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the Purple Cats' 50-13 win over Florala.
DALTON ADKINSON, NEW BROCKTON: Completed 11-of-16 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown in the Gamecocks' 47-0 win over Pleasant Home.
KENNON CASEY, G.W. LONG: Was a perfect 7-of-7 passing for 172 yards with three touchdowns in the Rebels' 61-0 win over Barbour County.
HUNTER GRANT, WEST END: Was 13-of-18 passing for 234 yards and three TDs in the Patriots' 41-28 win over Susan Moore. Grant also had 103 rushing yards and three more scores on 12 carries to account for 337 total yards and six touchdowns.
JORDAN KING, SLOCOMB: Completed 13-of-16 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns and added 67 yards rushing on 14 carries in a 35-0 win over Rehobeth.
TYCE THOMAS, BROOKS: Passed for 214 yards and rushed for 82 in a 56-20 win over Sheffield. He had a 29-yard TD pass to Lazarius Decatur.
JOSH DECKER, CEDAR BLUFF: Completed 9-of-15 pass attempts for 188 yards and three touchdowns (37,38, 40 yards) and rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries with two 2-yard TD runs to lead the Tigers past rival Collinsville 33-26.
DE’QUAN JOHNSON, SOUTHSIDE-SELMA: Had five touchdowns in the Panthers' 38-32 overtime win over Keith. Johnson had six receptions for 201 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning reception in OT. He also returned an interception 80 yards for a fifth TD and added three rushes for 28 yards. Southside rallied from a 16-0 deficit in the game, which started on Friday night but finished Saturday after storms forced suspension in the first quarter.
DARIUS SMITH, SLOCOMB: Caught three passes, all for touchdowns, as Slocomb beat Rehobeth 35-0.
MALIK TALLEY, SCOTTSBORO: The senior receiver caught 6 passes for 175 yards and a TD in the Wildcats’ 32-30 loss to Sparkman.
ANDRE LITTLE, WEST END: Caught eight passes for 126 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 41-28 win over Susan Moore.
JUSTIN McKNIGHT, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Caught seven passes for 108 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown reception, in the Warriors' 35-20 loss to Piedmont.
JOSE OROZCO, HANCEVILLE: Grabbed three passes for 77 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown catch, and had more than 100 yards on kickoff returns in Hanceville’s 34-12 loss to Fairview.
ETHAN McMINN, CULLMAN: Registered 15 tackles, made an interception and ran for a 10-yard TD on offense to lead the Bearcats to a 31-6 win over Etowah.
BRANDON WILLIAMS, OPP: Recorded 15 tackles in Opp's come-from-behind 21-18 win over Straughn.
JORDAN BARNES, BUCKHORN: Had two interceptions, recorded nine solo tackles and seven assists, and broke up a pass in a 22-20 win over Austin.
COLE REVIS, HACKLEBURG: Recorded 4.5 sacks and teammate Tanner Swinney had four as Hackleburg beat Marion County. The Panthers defense had 10 sacks on the night.
DARNELL JACKSON, PIEDMONT: Had 10 tackles and scored Piedmont's first touchdown on a 25-yard fumble return in the Bulldogs' 35-20 victory at Cherokee County. Jackson also rushed for 135 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns (71, 10 yards). Teammate Austin Brazier also posted five tackles and three sacks in the win.
TYSON WOODS, SCOTTSBORO: The sophomore linebacker had 11 tackles, including three for losses, as the Wildcats lost a close 32-30 decision to Sparkman.
ROMAN PAYTON, NORTHRIDGE: Made two interceptions on defense, one in the end zone and the other at the Northridge 2-yard line, to help preserve a 24-17 win over Tuscaloosa County. He also rushed for 89 yards and two TDs on 11 carries.
DREW McCLENDON, COLD SPRINGS: Registered 12 tackles, including four for loss, in a 21-20 loss to Danville.
CALEN MURRY, HEADLAND: Returned an interception and a fumble for touchdowns in the Rams' 53-0 win over Dale County.
RICKY HALL, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Had 15 stops in the Eagles' 44-0 win over Zion Chapel.
LEVI HAMMACK, ADDISON: Had had back-to-back sacks on a second-half defensive stop capped off by a safety as the Bulldogs beat Vinemont 42-33.
DEZMOND JOHNSON, SLOCOMB: Returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown and had four tackles on defense in the Red Tops’ 35-0 win over Rehobeth. He also rushed for 49 yards on eight carries with a touchdown, caught three passes for 55 yards and had 45 yards on two punt returns.
HUNTER GIBSON, SPARKMAN: Scored the game-winning touchdown on a 72-yard punt return as the Senators beat Scottsboro 32-30. He also scored on a 97-yard kick return and 55-yard run.
KAINAN SMITH, GOOD HOPE: Returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and returned the next kickoff 69 yards before exiting early with an injury in a 46-14 loss to Cordova. KEENAN LEWIS, SARDIS: The senior halfback returned a punt 77 yards for a TD and rushed for 129 yards on 11 carries with two more scores in a 50-35 Lions win over Sylvania.
ISAAC RODRIGUEZ, CULLMAN: In just his second football game, the sophomore soccer standout kicked a 43-yard field goal and made all four of his extra-point attempts as Cullman beat Etowah 31-6.
What a difference a year made for Austin High School’s Black Bears!
Last season Coach Jeremy Perkins’ team lost to Spain Park on a late field goal 5-3 to open the 2014 prep football season. Last Friday, it was the Austin that kicked the winning field goal when Ivan Torres booted a 17-yarder through the uprights in the third overtime to give the Black Bears a 38-35 season-opening victory.
The triple-overtime victory thrusted Austin into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Prep Spotlight for Week Zero of the prep football season.
The Black Bears battled through a frustrating 2-8 season in 2014 that included a 28-26 setback versus Buckhorn in the second game and five losses coming by less than a touchdown.
“After a while it can get in your head and shake your confidence,” Perkins said. “It was great to win this kind of game for a change. The biggest thing we are taking from this is confidence and momentum.”
Running back Asa Martin had 29 carries for 280 yards and four touchdowns, Perkins said. He also caught a 66-yard TD pass and added 20 yards on two kick returns to finish with 366 total yards.
“Asa had a complete game,” Perkins said. “He also played well on defense (at linebacker) and our quarterback Victor Garth also rushed for 100 yards.”
Torres, a senior who joined the football team for the first time last spring, missed two tough-angle field goals, including one in the first overtime and one from 47 yards out. He nailed the final one, however, that counted most.
Austin led 14-7 at the half, then 21-14, then 21-20 in the fourth quarter when the Black Bears registered one of its three blocked kicks on the ensuing extra point. The lead extended to 28-20 late when the Jaguars scored and tied the game with a successful two-point conversion.
Neither team scored in the first overtime with both missing field goals. In the second overtime Austin scored on first down to take a 35-28 lead and Spain Park scored on fourth down to tie the game. In the third OT, the Black Bears defense held on three downs and Eric Washington blocked the Jags’ field-goal attempt to set up Torres’ winning kick.
“Even though we finished 2-8 last season, we didn’t panic,” Perkins said. “We had a chance to win every game we played. We are in a very tough region. We didn’t have to make major adjustments and didn’t have many holes to fill. The biggest thing our kids needed was the belief that they could make the plays to win. I think this was a big step in the right direction.”
Austin’s team performance edged another outstanding team effort as Thompson High School, reeling after going 0-10 in 2014, beat Wetumpka 37-13 as new head coach Mark Freeman opened his tenure as the Warriors’ head coach. Freeman, 165-37 over in his 17-year head-coaching career, came to Thompson after going 50-7 in four seasons at Spanish Fort where his teams won two Class 5A state championships.
Senior T.J. Rayam anchored a defensive front that sacked Wetumpka six times and limited the Indians to only 73 rushing yards on the night. Carlos Stephens rushed for 125 yards on 25 carries for an offense that scored three touchdowns in the first four minutes of the game.
In other top performances reported for Week Zero of the 2015 season:
TRE’ NATION, LEEDS: Gained 211 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns in a 19-14 season-opening loss to Madison Academy in the 10th annual Champions Challenge Classic at Cramton Bowl that pitted the defending 4A state champs versus the defending 3A state champs.
MALIK MILLER, MADISON ACADEMY: Ran for 146 yards on 24 carries and scored once as the Mustangs avenged their only loss from last season with a 2015 season-opening 19-14 win over defending 4A state champion Leeds in the 10th annual Champion Challenge. MA’s current winning streak extended to 15 in a row with the win televised statewide by Raycom Network from Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
ANDREW BROWN, WINSTON COUNTY: The Yellow Jackets’ running back had 18 carries for 206 yards and three touchdowns in Winston County’s 28-19 win over Haleyville. He also had 13 tackles from his linebacker position on defense.
COLTON KNIGHT, REHOBETH: Rushed for 202 yards and a touchdown in the Rebels' 20-13 win over Ashford, snapping a six-game losing streak to their Houston County rivals.
DALTON PARKS, DAR: After missing the second half of the season last year with an injury, the Patriots running back returned with 202 yards rushing and a touchdown on 17 carries to lead DAR over Douglas 27-7 in a Marshall County rivalry game. Quarterback T.J. Steele also passed for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
JAMARIUS MAYFIELD, SHELBY COUNTY: Rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns on 11 attempts to lead the Wildcats past Jemison 42-6.
DEVONTA JOHNSON, CHEROKEE: Totaled 186 yards rushing and scored five touchdowns to lead Cherokee to a 43-7 season-opening win over R.A. Hubbard.
DAWSON DRAKE, CULLMAN: Made the transition from receiver to running back this season with style gaining 169 yards on 23 rush attempts as the Bearcats downed Arab 56-7. He ran for one TD, caught four passes for 35 yards and had an 8-yard reception for two-point conversion after a penalty backed Cullman up. Ethan McMinn also had six carries – all inside the Arab 20 – and scored three of the Bearcats’ seven rushing touchdowns. He also had an interception on defense.
SHAQUILLE TERRY, McADORY: Needed only 10 carries to gain 153 yards as the Jackets beat Bibb County 41-14. He scored three rushing touchdowns.
TYRE GRAY, BENJAMIN RUSSELL: Rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 11 attempts and threw for another score to lead Benjamin Russell to a 33-14 win over B.C. Rain.
NIC ROLLO, COLD SPRINGS: The junior rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries, all in the first half, and the Panthers rolled to a 41-14 win over Brilliant. He ran for a 65-yard TD on the first play from scrimmage to start the 2015 season with a bang.
DEKARLOS BILLINGSLEY, SCOTTSBORO: Had 22 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-21 loss to Dalton Georgia Friday night and also had three tackles on defense.
DALTON SINQUEFIELD, SMITHS STATION: The senior quarterback rushed for 76 yards on six carries, scored two touchdowns and was 14-of-26 passing for 317 yards and two more scores as the Panthers thumped Americus, GA, in the season opener 41-13.
TY PIGROME, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: The defending Class 6A state champions won their 16th game in a row beating Blackman (TN) 38-7 at Murfreesboro as the senior quarterback completed 17-of-27 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 59 yards and another TD.
MONTY TURNER, FLORENCE: Passed for 286 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Falcons past Shades Valley 38-13.
ORLANDO LACEY, OPP: Completed 10-of-12 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 153 yards on 13 carries with three touchdowns in a 44-27 win over Luverne.
K.D. DAVIS, BESSEMER CITY: Completed 16-of-21 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers thumped Hueytown 34-6.
JORDAN KING, SLOCOMB: Completed 15-of-17 passes for 228 yards with two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown in the 31-26 win over Geneva. He played just three quarters before missing the final quarter because of cramps.
GRAYSON EDGEMON, MADISON ACADEMY: Making his starting QB debut, the junior was 10-of-13 passing for 200 yards and one score in a 19-14 win over Leeds at the Champion Challenge played at Cramton Bowl.
WIL APPLETON, ALBERTVILLE: The junior quarterback was 12-of-15 passing for 182 yards and a touchdown in Albertville's 35-7 win over Columbia in veteran head coach Dale Pruitt's first game as the Aggies' coach. Appleton also rushed 5 and 36 yards for touchdowns.
BRADLEY NORTHCUTT, AUBURN: Rushed 27 times for 160 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 117 yards and a TD in the Tigers' 45-38 Class 7A win over Gadsden City.
SLADE PRICE, CARVER-MONTGOMERY: Price was 18-of-25 passing for 338 yards and two touchdowns in his debut as the Wolverines quarterback as Carver fell 37-30 to Bob Jones in the Champions Challenge at Cramton Bowl. The game was officially a preseason jamboree game. Xavier Lane had nine catches for 132 yards and a score and Darrion Steele had six for 142 yards and a score.
BRADY POLSON, BOB JONES: Was 16-of-25 passing for 159 yards and a touchdown in just over a half of play in the Patriots’ 37-30 Champions Challenge win over Carver-Montgomery.
JAKOBI BYRD, FLORENCE: Caught six passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns covering 49 and 58 yards as the Falcons beat Shades Valley 38-13.
T.J. SIMMONS, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Caught four passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns as the Cougars went out-of-state to beat Blackman (TN) 38-7 at Murfreesboro.
JAVARIA NALLS, SHEFFIELD: Had two interceptions, returning one 40 yards for a TD, as Sheffield beat Mars Hill Bible 49-7. The Bulldogs finished with six interceptions on the night.
XAVIER LANE, GORDO: Returned an interception 95 yards in the Green Wave’s 28-21 Champions Challenge preseason game win over Glencoe. A few minutes earlier, teammate Pat Manning streaked 95 yards on a rush from scrimmage for another Gordo TD.
JAE-LYN RUSS, TALLADEGA: The defensive end forced three fumbles in Talladega’s 14-6 win over Talladega County Central.
ROBBIE ORFIELD, MADISON ACADEMY: Had nine tackles, including two sacks resulting in 20 yards in losses, as the Mustangs beat Leeds 19-14 in the Champions Challenge at Cramton Bowl.
DERRICK UNDERWOOD, HOMEWOOD: Returned a kickoff 90 yards for a game-tying touchdown in the first quarter and finished with 270 all-purpose yards as the Patriots beat Decatur 28-15. Underwood rushed for 143 yards on 25 carries and also caught three passes for 35 yards in the win.
KOBE BAGGETT, DOTHAN: Punted four times for 45.0-yard average and also caught three passes for 66 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown pass, in Dothan's 43-22 loss to Navarre (FL).
Gordo High School used two big plays in the second half and a tenacious defensive effort to post a 28-21 victory over Glencoe in the 10th annual AHSAA Champions Challenge Football Classic at Cramton Bowl Saturday.
The Classic is an event of the AHSAA and is hosted annually by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. The Class 3A battle was the second of three games in the 2015 series. Class 7A Bob Jones and Class 6A Carver-Montgomery met in the final game Saturday night, and Madison Academy beat Leeds 19-14 on Friday in the first game.
The MA-Leeds game was the regular-season opener for those teams while the final two games were considered preseason jamboree games.
Leading 14-7 at intermission thanks to a punishing offensive attack and even stronger defense, Coach Ryan Lolley’s Green Wave struck with lightning speed midway through the third period when Pat Manning streaked through a gaping hole for 95 yards to give Gordo a 21-7 lead at 7:04 of the third quarter.
Glencoe, anchored by a talented offensive front, responded with an 11-play, 81-yard drive that ended with Aaron Bush hauling in an 18-yard pass in the corner of the end zone to close the gap to 21-14 with 1:49 left in the third. The Yellow Jackets, coached by Lee Ozmint, got the ball back with 11:49 left in the fourth quarter and mounted another time-consuming drive using 13 snaps to move from their own 37-yard line to the Gordo 11. With 4:34 remaining, however, the Green Wave lightning struck again when defensive back Xavier Lanier picked off a pass at the 5-yard line and raced 95 yards for the TD as Gordo jumped back ahead 28-14.
Glencoe responded once again, though, driving 70 yards in nine plays to cut the lead to 28-21 with 47 seconds left when Taylor Daugherty scored on a 6-yard scamper.
The onside kick that followed sailed out of bounds and Gordo needed only two snaps to run out the clock.
Gordo led 14-7 at the half with the first score coming on an 11-play, 64-yard march to open the game. It culminated with Collin Herring scoring on a 5-yard run. Will Hankins’ kick gave the Green Wave a 7-0 lead with 6:35 left in the quarter. Glencoe tied the contest early in the second quarter following a 49-yard punt return by Pace Ozmint to the Gordo 1-yard line. Chase Wilson bulled in for the score on the next play, and Andrew Long kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
Gordo tight end Ben Davis, considered one of the top senior prospects in the Southeast, turned a short pass from Koy Chapman into a 24-yard TD reception with 3:23 left in the half to close out the first-half scoring.
Only 12 yards separated the two teams’ total yards with Glencoe rolling up 115 rushing, 150 passing while Gordo gained 193 yards on the ground and 60 passing for 253 yards. Manning was the game’s leading rusher with 123 yards rushing on eight carries for Gordo. Malcolm Nicholson also added 41 on 13 carries and Chapman was 5-of-7 passing for 60 yards. Davis finished with two catches for 36 yards.
Wilson completed 12-of-18 passes for 150 yards and one TD for Glencoe. Pace Ozmint had five receptions for 76 yards, and Dalton Roberts had four for 35 yards. Wilson also rushed for 39 yards on 15 carries, and Taylor Daugherty had 62 on 16 carries.
Tyree Hurst had 11 tackles, Dee Jones had nine, Davis and Herring had eight each to lead the Green Wave defense. Austin Bush had 10 stops and Ozmint had nine to lead the Jackets.