WEEK 8 RECAP: UPDATED - Park Crossing wins region title; Wetumpka falls; Lee loses to Central
Park Crossing 34, Sidney Lanier 19
The Thunderbirds won their third consecutive region title with a 34-19 victory over Sidney Lanier in what was one of the more bizarre games of the year at Cramton Bowl.
Cam Taylor scored four touchdowns to lead the T’Birds to their eighth win of the season (8-1, 6-0) and their 12th consecutive win in region play.
The game had a few interesting twists. Lanier trailed 20-13 at halftime after driving the ball to the Park Crossing 1-yard line with eight seconds remaining. Lanier quarterback James Foster scrambled to the 1 coming up short of the end zone. The ball bounced off the ground as he stretched to the line causing a fumble that bounced deep into the end zone.
Foster was ruled down before the fumble but Lanier had used all of its time outs. Still, the clock was stopped to spot the ball when the time should have run out. After a long delay for officials to settle the clock controversy, the half ended and Lanier was denied another play.
Park Crossing added to its lead midway through the third quarter on Taylor’s fourth touchdown of the game. The score was set up on a Lanier fumble deep in its own territory.
On the next possession, Foster was ejected from the game for a personal foul with 13 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Dacoreyon Johnson took over at quarterback for the Poets and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jacory Merritt with 10:04 remaining in the game.
The two teams combined for almost 200 yards in penalties in the first half and finished with 34 penalties for nearly 350 yards for the game. There were nine unsportsmanlike penalties between the two teams in a game that lasted more than three hours.
Park Crossing’s Uziah McDaniels led the T’Birds with 195 yards on 31 carries with 149 coming in the first half. Taylor finished with 87 yards rushing and four scores.
Foster was 8 of 23 for 170 yards and two TDs.
Lanier (7-1, 4-1) will face Stanhope Elmore next Friday at Faulkner University. Park Crossing travels to Clay-Chalkville.
Central-Phenix City 52, R.E. Lee 30 (Sat.)
The win clinched the fourth-straight region title for the Red Devils, who maintained a perfect record at 8-0, 5-0 in Class 7A, Region 2.
Lee (5-3. 3-2) lost for the second-straight week and played itself out of a first-round home game.
Like his counterpart, Lee quarterback Kaniaus Johnson scored three touchdowns on long runs of 42, 30 and 25 yards. Tedarrian Murray also had a run for 31 yards for a score.
The Generals were tied with the Red Devils with just under five minutes left in the first half but would not get closer after Central scored on the final minute of the half.
Parrish scored on runs of 48, 35 and 83 yards. He threw his lone TD pass to Justyn Ross for 30 yards and the final points of the game.
Parrish finished with 185 yards on 12 carries. Amontae Spivey had 151 yards and three scores for Central.
Johnson led Lee with 113 yards rushing.
Lee is home next week for the regular season finale against Enterprise.
G.W. Carver 20, Northview 7
The Wolverines (3-6) overcame 23 penalties and a 7-0 deficit to earn a playoff berth for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
Williams finished with 112 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-21 passing. He added 110 yards rushing on 11 carries. Justin Lewis added 118 yards on 18 carries with a score.
The Carver defense recorded three intereceptions, one each by Darryl Flowers, Quenterious Jones and Antarrio Howard.
Carver became the fifth and final MPS team to secure a playoff berth, the first time that has happened in the history of the county school system and the first time since 1992 that every city public school earned a playoff berth.
Carver, Lee, Jeff Davis and Lanier all earned playoff bids in 1985, 1987 and 1992 before Park Crossing was added to the system in 2014.
Grayson Davis threw a touchdown pass to T.J. Ford to give the Cougars (2-6) a 7-0 lead, but Williams’ touchdown run made it 7-6 at the half.
Lewis scored on an 8-yard run and Williams’ conversion pass gave the Wolverines a 14-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
Opelika 20, Wetumpka 19
Wetumpka (8-1) would have secured home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but now must win its region game next week at Benjamin Russell to throw the region into a three-way tie.
Kavoisey Smoke scored on runs of 30 yards and 2 yards and quarterback Jadarious Martin added a 1-yard quarterback sneak for the Indians.
Stanhope Elmore 28, Dothan 21
Stanhope Elmore (4-4) trailed 14-0 at the half but pulled back into the game in the third quarter with a touchdown pass from Johnny Montgomery to Kadin Anderson before pulling even on Quantarius Daniels’ 27-yard scoring run. Trailing 21-14, the Mustangs bounced back again with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Montgomery to Anderson to force overtime.
The win gave Stanhope Elmore a 3-2 record in region play heading into next week’s game at Lanier and assured the Mustangs of at least the fourth seed in the region. Dothan (1-7) returns home to play Northview.
St. James 49, Dale County 22
Tony Amerson had a school-record five touchdowns, following Colin Duncan’s 33-yard touchdown run two minutes into the game with scoring runs of 1, 23, 10, 3 and 23 yards. He finished with 189 yards on 29 carries, scoring the second and third touchdowns of the first quarter and the first of the second half to give the Trojans a 28-0 lead.
After Dionte Henderson ran 72 yards for the Warriors’ first score and Amerson answered with another touchdown, Henderson caught a 17-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-14. The Trojans put the game away in the fourth quarter with a 23-yard run by Amerson and a 69-yard run by T.R. Robertson.
St. James had to overcome 131 penalty yards in the game as well. The Trojans (6-3) clinched a berth in the state playoffs with the victory. St. James returns home to play host to Trinity at Carlisle Field next week. A Trojan victory will give St. James a share of the region title with the winner of the Alabama Christian-Catholic game. Wins by St. James and ACA would give the Trojans the number one seed, while wins by Catholic and St. James would leave the Trojans as the second seed in the upcoming playoffs.
It was the first regular-season loss at home for Dale County (6-3) in the past two years. The Warriors must win next week’s game at Ashford and hope for a St. James victory over Trinity to earn the fourth seed in the playoffs.
Trinity 43, Ashford 15
The Wildcats (4-5) had just two first downs in the first quarter, but both resulted in touchdowns as Trace Bright threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Jack Singletary and Bryce Kelly ran 46 yards for a touchdown. Four plays after Kelly’s touchdown, Tate Holley broke through the middle to block Jonathon McCray’s punt, then scooped up the ball at the 13-yard line and ran it in for a touchdown and a 22-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Trinity scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter on touchdown receptions of 12 and 44 yards by Luke Hufham for a 36-9 lead on the way to their eighth win in as many games in the series.
“This is the time of the year when you want to be playing your best,” Trinity coach Barry Loyal said. “We made a few tweaks during the week and continue up front (on the offensive line) to keep working and keep working. It paid off a little tonight in the running game. I feel good where we are. The kids have put themselves in a position to play in the postseason. You can’t for a whole lot more than that.”
The Wildcats improved to 3-2 in region play and will earn a playoff berth by winning at St. James next week or with an Ashford victory over Dale County next week.
Montgomery Catholic 31, Bullock County 6
Carrying the mail on offense with the injured Tyler Price on the sidelines, Gibson scored all 3 offensive touchdowns for Catholic from 6, 9 and 10 yard runs. His first and last scores came on the only two lengthy sustained Catholic drives of the night. The first drive in the first quarter consumed almost 6 minutes on the clock after the Knights ran 13 plays covering 69 yards. The sophomore’s second touchdown came from 6 yards away in the second quarter. Gibson’s, who finished with 135 yards on the night, scored his third touchdown to conclude a 67-yard drive on 9 plays in the fourth quarter.
On the second play of the second half Greg Ellis picked off a Bullock pass and zipped 20 yards untouched for a touchdown.
Hooper also caused havoc and made several tackles by blitzing effectively. “I know they didn’t pick me up several times when I timed it just right. That’s the whole thing about it. If your timing is good you can catch them by surprise,” Hooper explained afterwards.
Catholic improved to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the region. Bullock County drops to 1-7 and 0-6 in the region. This is the best start for Catholic since 1994. The Knights go to ACA next week while Bullock County plays Abbeville.
Keefe White led the Eagles (7-1) with 96 yards on five carries, including a 41-yard touchdown run. CJ Paymon added 85 yards on five carries, scoring on runs of 69, 1 and 1 yards. Kevin Doh added 41 yards on three carries, including a 22-yard touchdown run. John Clarke Woodward had 54 yards on five carries, including a 33-yard touchdown run.
Defensively, Mason Young had 14 tackles and a fumble recovery, followed by Paymon with 13 tackles, Brian Wilson with 11 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble and Mac Main with eight tackles and an interception to lead the shutout victory over Central (0-8).
The Eagles close out the regular season next week at Prattville Christian.
Central-Tuscaloosa 36, Marbury 22
Leatherwood scored on runs of 9, 6 and 16 yards before putting away the Bulldogs with a 26-yard touchdown run on fourth and one. His first two touchdowns and a Micaiah Overton field goal gave the Falcons a 15-0 lead before Jakhiel Walker hit Orlando Smith with a 73-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead in half.
Leatherwood answered with another score for Central (3-5) but Marbury (4-4) came back with an 8-yard touchdown run by Dantavius Bristow and a 14-yard run by Gary Pilgreen to tie the game at 22-22.
Jaden Thomas broke the tie with an 11-yard touchdown run and Leatherwood finished off the Bulldogs, who travel to Calera next week.
Tallassee 36, Leeds 21
The win gave the Tigers (8-1) their best-ever start under head coach Mike Battles and the best since 2010, but more importantly it pulled the Tigers (5-1 in region play) even with Leeds, who must face the region’s only unbeaten team, Munford, next week.
Baynes threw 15 yards to Markevious Mathews and 54 yards to Kalvin Levett to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead midway through the first half before both teams traded scores. Jaylen Washington scored on a 2-yard run for Leeds (7-2), but it was countered with 50 seconds left on Baynes’ 20-yard touchdown pass to Jake Burton for a 22-7 lead.
Mathews scored on a 28-yard run late in the third period, but Leeds answered 14 seconds later as Zachary Roberts hit Braxton Ragland with a 54-yard touchdown pass.
Baynes came back with his fourth touchdown pass of the game, a 22-yard pass to Mathews, to put the game out of reach.
Roberts completed 14 of 31 passes for 195 yards and a pair of touchdowns but was also intercepted by Tavarious Griffin. Ragland had 112 yards on six receptions to lead the Green Wave.
Tallassee closes out the regular season at home next week against Elmore County.
Elmore County 30, Holtville 28 (Thurs.)
Holtville’s Kelandre Baker scored on touchdown runs of 3 and 10 yards and he passed for a touchdown to Jaderick Carter for 17 yards. The loss extended Holtville’s losing streak in region games to 27, a streak Elmore County started in 2013.
Elmore County travels to Tallassee next Friday for its final game of the season while Holtville (1-8, 0-7) plays host to Handley.
Prattville Christian 34, B.B. Comer 0
Prattville Christian (3-5) returns home to play Montgomery Academy next week, while B.B. Comer (1-7) travels to Beulah.
Thorsby 47, Billingsley 12
Billingsley (3-5) dropped to 2-3 in region play and will play Aliceville in a home game next week at Marbury High. Thorsby (6-1, 4-1) remained unbeaten at home this season and will travel to Keith next week.
Macon East Academy 47, Kingwood Christian 6
Macon East (8-1) won its seventh consecutive game, its longest winning streak since 2002, scoring 30 or more points for the seventh consecutive time. The Knights close out the regular season at Southern next Thursday, then return home to play host to Clarke Prep in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs on Nov. 3.
Mike Murry carried the ball just six times, but scored on runs of 14, 25 and 37 yards to finish with 94 yards. Brock Taunton had four catches for 106 yards and a touchdown, while intercepting a pass on defense. Logan Goree made a pair of catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Colin Harris had a 10-yard touchdown run and threw a 55-yard touchdown pass. JC Ceman had a 12-yard touchdown and an interception on defense.
Kingwood (1-8) managed just 95 total yards against the Macon East defense. Ethan Honacker had an interception for the Knights and Wes Pugh and Nick Fitzgerald led the team with four tackles each. Kingwood only had 95 yards of total defense.
Fort Dale Academy 50, Hooper Academy 27
Wyatt Barnett had 88 receiving yards and a touchdown for Hooper (5-5, 1-4 in region play), while Charlie Harris had 81 yards rushing to lead the Colts.
Jarrod Kelly returned a fumble 48 yards for a touchdown. Defensively, Tristan McGhee had 13 tackles for Hooper and Cody King had three tackles and an interception.
Fort Dale (7-2, 3-2) plays host to Lakeside next week to close out the regular season, while Hooper travels to Evangel Christian.
Coleman pulled in a 9-yard scoring pass to open the scoring and scored on a 75-yard reception early in the second quarter for a 28-0 lead. Conwell scored on a 40-yard run and on a swing pass from Hatcher for 24 yards for a 35-0 halftime lead.
Edgewood (1-8, 0-5) returns home to play Crenshaw Christian on Thursday.
Autauga Academy 42, Escambia Academy 20
The Generals led 28-0 before Escambia scored on the final play of the first half to make it 28-6. Both teams added a touchdown each in the third quarter and again in the fourth.
Autauga (9-0) will be home next week against Morgan in its quest for the first back-to-back 10-0 regular seasons in school history, then will face Coosa Valley on Nov. 3 in the first round of the AA state playoffs. The Generals will remain home in the second round if they win on Nov. 3.
Escambia (8-1) travels to Bessemer next week, then returns home to play Cornerstone Christian in a first-round playoff game on Nov. 3 but may have to travel in the semifinals.
James Woods had six receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown in the win. Tripp Carr completed 15 of 25 passes for 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns, one to Woods and the other to Kendrick Rogers. Carr also rushed for 70 yards and two more touchdowns.
Jordan Epkins led the Generals’ rushing attack with 104 yards and a touchdown. Djay Garner also scored for Autauga on a 1-yard run.
Lowndes Academy 41, Sparta Academy 8
Five different players scored touchdowns for Lowndes (4-4, 1-3 in region play) as the Rebels secured the fourth seed in Class A Region 1 and will travel to Patrician in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 3. Lowndes beat Patrician in Hayneville a week ago, 7-0.
John Morgan, who finished with 60 yards on four carries, scored on a 2-run run to open the scoring, followed by a 14-yard run by Johnson and a 9-yard run by Daniel Janes for a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. Mason McCurdy added a 6-yard touchdown run and Johnson followed with a 23-yard touchdown run for a 34-0 halftime lead.
Drew Till added a 4-yard run for the Rebels, who close out the regular season next week at Coosa Valley.
Quarterback Aaron Alpert had the only touchdown on a 59-yard run for Evangel (1-8), which closes out the season next week at home against Hooper.
Lakeside (5-3) travels to Fort Dale to close out the regular season next week before returning home on Nov. 3 to host a first-round playoff game.