The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior playing his first season on the varsity, missed an assignment a play earlier and his coach took him out of the lineup to explain his mistake. However, Blacksher lined up in the red zone with a chance to score and Myrthil frantically rushed his player back onto the field.
“He got out there before the play got underway and found himself lined up at cornerback instead of his linebacker position,” Myrthil said.
A pass was fired in the corner of the end zone where Bouler was positioned. The ball bounced off another player into the senior’s hands two yards from the back line. “He just took off running,” Myrthil said. “And nobody caught him. It was a 108-yard return for a touchdown. It was the biggest play of the game.”
The touchdown sealed a 52-36 Class 1A, Region 1 win that keeps Marengo’s playoff hopes alive for another week. It also landed Bouler in the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for Week 9 of the prep football season.
“The difference,” Myrthil said, “is Dajaquon’s athletic ability. He is a first-year player with tremendous talent. I’d like to tell you it was great coaching strategy, but it was just our good fortune. He made us as coaches look pretty smart I guess.”
The interception return ties the state record set by Demopolis defensive back Tommy Wilson versus American Christian in 2012 for the longest interception return. Demiean Archibald of Sipsey Valley and Jack Peavey of Madison County each had 105-yard interception returns in 2013.
Opelika’s Malcolm Buggs had a 102-yard interception return in the Class 6A state playoffs versus Carver-Montgomery in 2012, John Coger of Oakman had a 100-yard return in 2013 versus Berry, and Greg Mcclin of Tanner had a 100-yarder versus Phil Campbell in 2012.
Bouler’s return was the finishing touch of his big defensive night versus the Pirates. His performance edged out two other special defensive efforts from Juray Smith of Pinson Valley and Darian Jones of Brantley for the AHSAA’s top spotlight.
Smith, a senior cornerback who suffered a debilitating knee injury last March, had three interceptions from his DB position in a 31-0 Pinson win over Center Point. He returned one of the picks for a 30-yard touchdown and now has five picks on the season.
Jones returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown and also caught two TD passes covering 74 and 12 yards as Brantley (8-0) posted a 49-6 win over McKenzie (7-1) in a key Class 1A, Region 2 battle of unbeatens. For Jones, it was his fourth kick return for a touchdown in the last four games. For Brantley, the win clinched the Region 2 title for the fourth straight year and for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons.
McKenzie snapped the Bulldogs’ 62-region game winning streak to win the region title in 2010. Over the last 13 seasons, Brantley has compiled an 87-1 record against region opponents.
Other top performances reported for Week 9 included:
TERENCE HUMPHREY, COLUMBIA: Ran for 252 yards and seven touchdowns (1 yard, 2, 5, 24, 36, 48 and 78 yards) in a 50-39 win over Ardmore. The seven TDs tied the third-highest single-game total in state history. He also converted a 2-point run.
DILLON EVANS, GAYLESVILLE: Rushed for 274 yards on 34 carries and scored four touchdowns in the Trojans' 51-32 victory at Coosa Christian.
T.J. STEELE, DAR: Had over 400 all-purpose yards as the Patriots fell 63-40 to Good Hope. He rushed 24 times for 225 yards and passed for 166.
TRE NATION, LEEDS: The junior running back had 29 carries for 290 rushing yards and two scores as the Green Wave beat Childersburg 42-7. Leeds finished with 572 rushing yards on 52 attempts.
J.T. HYCHE, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-22 victory over Ellwood Christian.
QUAY WRIGHT, BEAUREGARD: Accounted for 377 total yards and four touchdowns in a 49-34 victory over Tallassee. He rushed for 229 yards and a pair of scores and completed 5-of-7 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
ALERIC WILLLIAMS, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns and caught a 38-yard touchdown pass in the Panthers' 42-16 win over Scottsboro. Williams scored on runs of 11, 90 and 52 yards.
DAVE KIRKSEY, FAIRHOPE: Rushed 20 times for 239 yards and four touchdowns as the Pirates beat Davidson55-28. He also had three receptions for 87 yards and two more scores to finish with six touchdowns in the win.
NICK CARROLL, GENEVA COUNTY: Rushed for 236 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns and had six tackles, a sack, and a pass break-up on defense in a 38-25 win over Providence Christian.
DEPRIEST TURNER, MURPHY: Rushed for 257 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers won the “Battle for the Cannon” with a 48-21 victory over McGill-Toolen. He scored on runs of 30, 16, 78 and 25 yards. Turner also threw a pair of TD passes to account for six TDs overall.
AUSTIN STIEFEL, FYFFE: Needed only 15 carries to pileup 251 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Red Devils beat West End 62-6.
KEENAN LEWIS, SARDIS: Scored four touchdowns, including an 86-yard kickoff return, and rushed for 225 yards on 19 carries in the Lions' 42-36 win over Cherokee County. Lewis scored on runs of 34, 66 and 67 yards.
DELVECCHIO JOHNSON, BESSEMER CITY: The Tigers running back had 19 rushing attempts for 233 yards to lead Bessemer City to a 35-14 win versus Northridge.
TROY DIXON, UMS-WRIGHT: Ran for 214 yards and five touchdowns as the Bulldogs rolled over Monroe County 55-0.
MALCOLM HAWTHORNE, W.S. NEAL: Gained 210 yards rushing and scored five touchdowns on 18 carries as the Blue Eagles beat Satsuma 47-21. Hawthorne scored on runs of 1, 18, 1, 76 and 38 yards.
PAUL RUIZ, ETOWAH: Piled up 205 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 23 carries and caught a TD pass in the Blue Devils' 40-14 win over Boaz.
WARREN SHADER, OAK MOUNTAIN: The Eagles quarterback had 27 carries for 197 yards and touchdowns from 1 and 10 yards in a 34-27 victory at Spain Park. He also was 8-of-12 passing for 91 yards with a 24-yard TD toss to his brother, Harold Shader.
TYLER THORNTON, WENONAH: The two-way standout delivered four touchdowns in a 49-35 victory against Corner. He ran 13 times for 197 rushing yards with touchdowns of 5, 19 and 52 yards. He also returned an interception on defense 40 yards for a touchdown.
DERRICK UNDERWOOD, HOMEWOOD: Led the Patriots to a 28-14 win over Hueytown with 211 yards rushing on 26 carries. He scored on two short runs but had four runs over 20 yards, including a 61-yard scamper.
QUINTIN DOWNEY, SPRING GARDEN: Ran for 180 yards on 18 carries and scored two touchdowns (5 and 1 yards) in the Panthers' 53-20 victory at Woodville. Teammate Dakota Lambert added 133 yards and a TD in the win.
DAMONTA BROOKS, TARRANT: He had 186 yards rushing on 18 carries with scoring runs of 8 and 55 yards in a 26-13 win against Addison.
DANT’E REESE, HANCEVILLE: Rushed 17 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-7 homecoming win over Holly Pond. The senior’s first scoring scamper was a 67-yarder on the game’s second play from scrimmage.
THOMAS OZMINT, GLENCOE: Piled up 155 yards and six rushing touchdowns - five in the first half - on 22 rushes as Glencoe beat Weaver 56-7 to clinch the Class 3A, Region 7 title.
LOGAN BURNETT, PELHAM: The junior quarterback was 20-of-26 passing for 360 yards and six touchdowns – to five different receivers – as Pelham blanked John Carroll Catholic 47-0.
RILEY EISNER, GOOD HOPE: Was 18-of-30 passing for 371 yards, six touchdowns in a 63-40 homecoming win over DAR. He completed two TDs each to Kainan Smith (28 and 59 yards), Austin Reid (26, 22) and Reese Harbison (9, 26) as the Raiders set a school record for points in a game. The previous best was 61 in last season’s opener against Holly Pond.
JOHNNY GRIZZARD, COOSA CHRISTIAN: Completed 12-of-26 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns and rushed eight times for 169 yards and two touchdowns in a 51-32 loss to Gaylesville. He finished with 416 total yards.
BRADY POLSON, BOB JONES: The sophomore quarterback was 22-of-25 passing for 299 yards and five TD's in a 42-21 win over Huntsville. Deondre Douglas hauled in six catches 90 yards two scores.
RAMSEY RIGBY, ELBA: Completed 9-of-14 passes attempted for 282 yards and four touchdowns (75, 24, 94 and 51 yards) in the Tigers’ 51-6 rout of Calhoun.
AUSTIN INGRAM, CHARLES HENDERSON: The senior finished 21-of-24 passing for 248 yards and four touchdowns, including 13-of-13 and three touchdowns in the second half as the Trojans pulled away from a 9-7 halftime lead to down Rehobeth 30-7. Ingram completed his last 17 passes attempted.
DAULTON HYATT, ARAB: Completed 18-of-27 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns (40, 13, 11 yards), and ran for a 79-yard score in a 34-27 win over Lee-Huntsville.
TYLER GURLEY, MADISON COUNTY: Completed 14-of-20 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns (13, 26 yards) and ran for two more scores (7, 6 yards) in a 67-14 win over Randolph.
CORY GILL, COTTONWOOD: Completed 13-of-16 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns and added a 25-yard field goal in the Bears’ 38-7 win over Samson.
DREW GUY, FAYETTE COUNTY: Completed 11-of-12 passes for 217 yards and four touchdowns to pace the Tigers to a 54-33 win over Curry.
KADARIUS TONEY, BLOUNT: Was 10-of-16 passing for 175 yards and five touchdowns as the Leopards beat Baldwin County 37-13.
TREY McMILLIAN, DALE COUNTY: The Warriors quarterback was 10-of-11 passing for 211 yards and four touchdowns, including two scores in the second half, as Dale County pulled away from a five-point halftime lead to beat Daleville 53-27.
CHASE GARRETT, SAND ROCK: Completed 17-of-37 pass attempts for 185 yards and two touchdowns (15, 12 yards), both to Joel Brock, in the Wildcats' 24-21 loss at New Hope.
TYLER LUSK, PIEDMONT: Was 9-of-11 passing for 185 yards and two touchdowns (71, 15 yards), both to C.J. Savage, in the Bulldogs' 49-0 win at Westbrook Christian.
TODD GOODWIN, LOCUST FORK: Completed 8-of-12 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns (34, 72, 30 yards) in a 50-35 win over Priceville. He also ran four times for 83 yards with a 38-yard scoring run.
WESLEY GRIZZARD, COOSA CHRISTIAN: Caught seven passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-32 loss to Gaylesville.
C.J. SAVAGE, PIEDMONT: Caught six passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns (71, 15 yards) in the Bulldogs' 49-0 win at Westbrook Christian.
REESE HARBISON, GOOD HOPE: Snagged seven receptions for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Raiders’ 63-40 win over DAR. The freshman’s touchdowns covered 9 and 26 yards.
TYSON WILLIAMS, DOTHAN: Caught 11 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in the Tigers’ 28-17 loss to Carver.
GARRETT DAFFRON, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Recorded 25 tackles in the Eagles’ 38-25 loss to Geneva County. Teammate Rowan Godwin also had 11 solo stops.
TYLER WRIGHT, LEEDS: Had 15 tackles as Leeds beat Childersburg 42-7. He also had 121 yards rushing and three TDs.
LYNDELL WILSON, CARVER-MONTGOMERY: Had 10 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and an interception return of 42 yards for a touchdown as the Wolverines beat Dothan 28-17.
KAINE HANCEVILLE: Had three of the Bulldogs’ six sacks in a 27-7 win over Holly Pond that snapped an eight-game losing streak dating back to the first round of last year’s playoffs.
TRISTAN DAUGHERTY, SAND ROCK: Posted nine tackles and a sack in the Wildcats' 24-21 loss at New Hope.
FRANCISCO TIRADO, DECATUR: Kicked four field goals (42, 35, 29 and 20 yards) in a 33-13 win at Cullman.
TYLER WITTNER, MARY MONTGOMERY: Nailed a 19-yard field goal as time expired to lift Mary G. Montgomery over Alma Bryant 17-14.
JALYN MARTIN, COLLINSVILLE: Returned a punt 60 yards for one score and added another rushing TD in the Panthers’ 26-14 loss to Gaston.
OCTAVIUSE HARDRICK, COTTONWOOD: Returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown, was in on nine tackles and had six pass receptions for 91 yards in the Bears’ 38-7 win over Samson.
The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the untimely death of Deshler High School head football coach Jeffrey “Jake” Linville and joins with its member schools in offering condolences and to his family and extended family at the school.
Linville, 41, died Sunday at Collinwood, TN. He is survived by his wife Kim and two children.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Coach Linville, the coaches and players at Deshler High School and the entire school community,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “We offer our most sincere condolences and pray that God will sustain them in this time of such great loss.”
Coach Linville, a native of Collinwood, was in his first year as head coach at Deshler. His 7-1 team clinched the Class 4A, Region 8 football title Friday night as the Tigers won its seventh straight game of the season.
Previously he also served as an assistant coach at Wilson and Russellville and was head coach at Covington and Tipton-Rosemark high schools in Tennessee.
Funeral arrangements were not available Monday morning.