WEEK 7 RECAP: St. James hands ACA first loss; Macon East clinches region title
Park Crossing 58, Dothan 14
Uziah McDaniels scored on a 19-yard run midway through the first quarter, then scored on a 53-yard run five plays later for a 14-0 lead. Cameron Taylor added touchdown passes of 78 yards to Lamont Mitchell and 16 yards to Tremeine Osborne for a 28-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Ta’Bryious Webb’s 12-yard run put Dothan on the scoreboard but the Thunderbirds answered quickly as Taylor threw another touchdown pass to Osborne. Taylor added a 74-yard touchdown pass to Daron Mitchell for a 41-7 halftime lead.
Benjamin Braswell and Kendrevious Collins added touchdown runs for Park Crossing (7-1), which will face Sidney Lanier next week for the region championship. Dothan will travel to Millbrook to play Stanhope Elmore.
G.W. Carver 39, Stanhope Elmore 7
Quarterback Kole Williams threw three touchdown passes to lead Carver to a 39-7 victory over Stanhope Elmore in a key Class 6A, Region 2 win at Cramton Bowl.
Williams had just seven completions in the game (7 of 12) but hit Jatorrian Fuller-Jones twice for scores and added another to Jerquameian Howard as Carver won for the second time this season (2-6, 2-2).
Carver got touchdown runs from Anthony Wills and Terrance Webster and a 34-yard field goal from Kaleb Moseley. The Wolverines never trailed and took a 24-0 lead at halftime.
The Mustangs’ lone score came early in the third quarter on a Quantarius Daniels 4-yard run.
Wills finished with 80 yards on eight carries while Webster had had 76 yards on seven carries.
Travasia Duncan led Stanhope Elmore (3-4, 2-2) with 64 yards rushing.
Carver travels to Northview next Friday while the Mustangs play host to Dothan.
Auburn (6-1, 3-1 in region play) failed to cash in on an early fumble by the Generals, but then found the end zone after Avery Atkins intercepted Lee quarterback Kaniaus Johnson on the first play of the second quarter. Fuller connected with Jones for a 6-yard touchdown pass and then found JaMarcus Knight for 11 yards and a 13-0 halftime lead.
Fuller ran 15 yards for another score in the third quarter, then hit Jones with a 19-yard touchdown pass to close out the scoring.
Lee, one of the top scoring teams in Class 7A, turned the ball over three times while failing to score. The Generals return home to play Central-Phenix City next Saturday, while Auburn travels to Smiths Station next Friday.
It was part of a nightmarish contest by the Vols (4-4, 2-2 in region play), who had three interceptions and a lost fumble on top of the special teams’ miscues.
The Red Devils (7-0, 4-0) have region contests remaining with Robert E. Lee next Saturday and Prattville a week later, but are in the driver’s seat for the region title after jumping out to a 27-0 lead in the first quarter.
Even when it appeared Central’s offense was held in check by the Vols, the Red Devils responded as Amontae Spivey ran 71 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-and-one play in the second quarter. He finished with 176 yards on six carries, all in the first half, as Central built a 41-12 lead.
The Vols return home to play Prattville next Thursday at Cramton Bowl in a game for fourth place and the final playoff spot in the region.
St. James 49, Alabama Christian 14
Amerson scored on runs of 15 and 23 yards in the second quarter, on a 37-yard sprint in the third quarter and on a 6-yard run early in the fourth quarter to finish with 298 yards on 23 carries as the Trojans improved to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in region play, knocking the Eagles (7-1, 4-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.
“We knew we could execute offensively because the offensive line was awesome last year,” Amerson said. “They did even better this year. The holes were sideline to sideline. It was like practice pretty much. They stayed on their blocks, they drove their feet and they never gave up on a play and I love them for that.”
The two teams went through a scoreless first quarter before ACA scored on a 4-yard run by Alden Stroud. Stroud rushed for 95 yards in the first half but managed just 21 in the second half.
Amerson, meanwhile, was just warming up. After the Trojans had the ball for just four plays in the first quarter, the junior carried for 128 yards in the second quarter and 115 in the third to turn what was expected to be a defensive battle into a rout.
St. James broke a 7-7 tie as Steven Sadie blocked Coleman Harrison’s punt and the Trojans recovered at the ACA 23. Amerson scored on the next play to make it 14-7 and after five plays and a Harrison punt, T.R. Robertson gathered in the punt at the 16, shook off a hit from a diving Stroud and sprinted 84 yards down the sideline for a 21-7 lead.
“ACA is a great team so we knew we had to come out and play,” Sadie said. “I think special teams is always important. Coach Perry is always stressing that to us. The big plays helped us a lot but it was just consistency throughout the whole game that helped us.”
The Eagles were playing without their leading rusher and passer, Reece Solar, who had suffered a broken jaw the previous week at Ashford. In his place was 14-year-old freshman Jalen Clark, who did an admirable job in leading the Eagles on an impressive 16-play drive to take a 7-0 lead.
Still, there was no question Solar’s absence had an effect on ACA as Clark managed 17 yards on 14 carries and completed 9 of 15 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown while Harrison, punting in place of Solar, averaged 22.4 yards on five punts, had one blocked and one returned for a touchdown.
And while the breakdowns on special teams may have been a turning point, Amerson’s performance overshadowed the brief second-quarter lapse.
“I’m not sure it would’ve made a difference on a night like this,” ACA coach Nate Sanford said. “It doesn’t help the cause. We made several not-smart mistakes that gave them field position or gave them points and that’s the last thing you can do when you play a good opponent.”
Montgomery Catholic 28, Ashford 21
Jackson finished with 123 yards rushing and 68 yards receiving as the Knights had to rally to keep pace in second place in the region. Catholic (6-1, 3-1 in region play) plays host to Bullock County next week before traveling across town to region leader Alabama Christian in two weeks.
Hunter Ferrall was 11 of 22 for 150 yards and three touchdowns, throwing touchdown passes to Tyler Price (13 yards), Darrell Gipson (9 yards) and Braxton Rogers (69 yards).
Wetumpka 35, Helena 14
The Indians (8-0) clinched a playoff berth with the win and can clinch a first-round playoff game at home with a win at Opelika next week. Wetumpka and Benjamin Russell are both 4-0 in region play, while Opelika is a game back at 3-1.
The Indians scored their first touchdown on a little trickery as backup quarterback Deandre Ezell threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Martin, the starting quarterback, in the first quarter. Martin then connected with Robert Lapadre on a touchdown strike to give Wetumpka a 14-7 halftime lead.
Keedrick Adams returned the second-half kickoff 80 yards for Wetumpka and Martin added a 13-yard touchdown run to give the Indians a comfortable lead. Tailback Kavosiey Smoke added a 5-yard touchdown run.
Tallassee 44, Holtville 28
Tallassee (7-1) improved to 4-1 in the region for their best start in region play since 2011, but are still third behind region rivals Munford (6-1, 5-0) and Leeds (7-1, 5-0). The Tigers play Leeds at J.E. “Hot” O’Brien Stadium next week.
Casey Baynes completed 8 of 10 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown and ran for 34 yards on nine carries and two more touchdowns to lead Tallassee. Kalvin Levett, Markevious Mathews and Jalen Johnson also rushed for touchdowns.
Mathews finished with 166 yards on 13 carries, Levett had 103 on four carries and Johnson had 95 yards on 11 carries. Levett also had 75 yards and a touchdown on four receptions.
Tallassee jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Drake Baker threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Dajon Reeves for the Bulldogs (1-6, 0-5). Tallassee added two more touchdowns before Baker and Reeves connected again, this time for 42 yards, to make it 28-12 at the half.
Johnson’s 5-yard run and Levett’s 8-yard touchdown reception gave the Tigers a comfortable 44-12 lead and they turned it over to the reserves in the fourth quarter. Austin Tally scored on a 3-yard fumble return for Holtville and Austin Gay added a 2-yard touchdown run with three minutes left.
Baker was 16 of 24 for 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Holtville. Reeves had 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns on two receptions and Jaderick Carter added 84 receiving yards on seven catches. Baker led the ground attack with 43 yards on seven carries.
Montgomery Academy 42, Southside Selma 22
Keefe White had 159 yards on 16 carries and a rushing touchdown of 31 yards. White also caught a 12 yard Trey Lindsey touchdown pass for the second touchdown of the game. Lindsey was 5 of 11 for 71 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Oliver Lester caught the other Lindsey touchdown pass from 25 yards out.
C.J. Paymon had a big game for the Eagles on both sides of the ball. Paymon rushed for two touchdowns from 3 and 41 yards out, gained 96 yards on 11 carries, had 9 tackles and an interception.
“He just gets better every game. Having C.J. in the backfield gives us so many options and helps to keep the defense from concentrating too much on Keefe,” MA coach Gary Nelson said. “On defense he really can find the ball and he has been a major contributor from his linebacker position.”
Mason Young had 10 tackles for the Eagles. Nate Meacham picked off a pass and Will Peeples intercepted a pass and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown midway in the second quarter. All of the Eagles interceptions came in the first half.
The Panthers made a game of it after trailing MA 28-0 at halftime. The Panthers gained 216 yards on offense with the overwhelming majority coming in the seconf half.
Montgomery Academy is 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the region. The Eagles will travel to Rockford next week for another region game with Central Coosa.
Billingsley 34, R.C. Hatch 30
The Bears, playing in their third different home stadium this season after Mims Field was condemned in August, may want to return to the artificial surface at Faulkner as Callens completed 9 of 12 passes for 212 yards and five touchdowns.
Billingsley (3-4, 2-2 in region play) won for the third consecutive time and kept alive their playoff hopes by grabbing an 18-12 lead at the half over the Bobcats (2-5, 1-3). Billingsley led 26-18 going into the fourth quarter, but R.C. Hatch scored twice to take the lead before Callens led his team down the field for the game-winning score.
Cutler had eight receptions for 176 yards and four touchdowns, scoring on catches of 36, 54, 4 and the game-winning score of 10 yards. He also rushed for 44 yards on 11 carries.
Callens followed up the touchdown with a two-point conversion pass to Taylor Arrington before the Bears took over on downs with less than a minute remaining and ran out the clock.
Billingsley will travel to Thorsby next week for another region game.
Evangel Christian 47, Coosa Valley Academy 40
Quarterback Aaron Alpert accounted for 361 total yards and rushed for a pair of touchdowns. Dre Martin caught a pair of touchdown passes, one from Alpert and the other from Sam Allen. Jaden Gardner rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Evangel Christian (1-7, 1-3 in region play) will travel to Eufaula to play Lakeside next week in another region game.
Macon East Academy 47, Cornerstone Christian 7
The win makes the Knights (7-1) the top seed in Class AA Region 1, assuring Macon East of a first-round playoff game at home on Nov. 3 against the winner of next week’s game between Clarke Prep and Pickens Academy.
Neven completed 7 of 9 passes, including three to Brock Taunton for 49 yards and a 32-yard touchdown; two to Logan Goree for 24 yards and a pair of touchdowns; and two to JC Ceman for 20 yards.
Ceman also had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and had four tackles on defense.
The Knights held Cornerstone to 92 total yards as Wes Pugh had eight tackles and forced a fumble, Coleby Jordan had four tackles, including a sack, and Ethan Honacker had four tackles and an interception.
Macon East plays host to Kingwood next week.
Autauga Academy 49, Clarke Prep 13
The Generals (8-0, 3-0 in region play) will play host to Escambia (8-0, 3-0) next week to determine the region championship.
Jordan Epkins rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown on two carries. Jamal Epkins added 39 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Defensively, Deontae Stoudemire had nine tackles to lead the Generals. Granger Armstrong had six tackles and an interception and Jacob Murphy and Khalid Young added six tackles each. Jackson Adams had an interception, Elijah Elmore recovered a fumble and Jakari Howard forced a fumble for Autauga.
Tuscaloosa Academy 43, Edgewood Academy 0
Demarcus Burris scored on a 62-yard run and an 18-yard interception return for the Knights while Alex Johnson threw a pair of touchdown passes.
It was the third shutout for the Wildcats in the past four games. Edgewood (1-7) travels to Bessemer Academy next week.
McCurdy rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries and completed 5 of 13 passes for 57 yards. Jon Johnson added 45 yards on 14 carries.
Defensively, Cole Crook had seven tackles and a pair of sacks and Buddy Johnson had five tackles and a pair of sacks to lead the Rebels. Lowndes (3-4) will travel to Evergreen next week to play Sparta Academy in a game that will determine the fourth and final playoff spot in Class A Region 1.
A Lowndes victory next week would send the Rebels on the road in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 3 to face Patrician Academy again.
Pike Liberal Arts 47, Hooper Academy 21
Wyatt Barnett had 82 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns and Mason Hill added 59 receiving yards for the Colts, who dropped to 1-3 in region play heading into next week’s region matchup at Fort Dale.
Charlie Harris added a rushing touchdown for Hooper, while Reed Culver led the defense with 13 tackles.
Pike Liberal Arts (7-2) returns home to face Morgan Academy in a region battle for second place next week.