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Thompson Youth Movement Flexes Its Muscle at the Southeastern Pools Invite

MONTGOMERY – Thompson High School’s defending Class 7A state champion wrestling team graduated five individual state champions from its lineup last season. The Warriors are no signs of backing up, however, turning in a very strong showing to win its own Southeastern Pools Invitational tourney by almost 100 points.
   Thompson, coached by Sean Weltzin,  which graduated state champs at 113 pounds, 126 pounds, 138 pounds, 160 pounds and 220 pounds, burst into the AHSAA Wrestling Spotlight this week with seven individual wrestlers claiming weight division titles in last week’s very tough competition which many of the top teams in Alabama as well as Tennessee powerhouse McCallie of Chattanooga.
   The Warriors totaled 309 points with McCallie second with 21i.5, followed by Oak Mountain with 165, Hewitt-Trussville with 165 and Wetumpka, last year’s Class 6A runner-up, with 153.
   The meet was filled with outstanding grapplers – 168 matches were won by pins. In fact, in the 285-pound division 14 of the 16 matches were won by pins and one was won by default.
   Sophomore Yanni Vines (38-4) won the 133-pound title last week with a 4-2 decision over Isaiah Powe of Gardendale. Vines was third in the Class 7A state tourney last year at 106 pounds and finished with a 60-14 record. Sophomore James Latona (34-5), the 2019 7A runner-up at 120 pounds, moved up to 126 pounds this year and posted a 5-2 decision in last Saturday’s finals versus McCallie’s Emory Taylor.
    Other Thompson wrestlers winning their weight classes last week were Emmanuel Oliver (28-4) at 130 pounds; sophomore Will Garrett (20-11) at 145 pounds; junior Will Miller (37-4) at 152 pounds; senior Michael Jackson (31-5) at 195 pounds; and senior Alex Ward (32-6) at 220 pounds. Jackson won four matches by fall – tying him with 145-pounder Cole Burrough of Oak Mountain for the most in the tourney. Burrough finished fifth in his division.
   The Warriors had three other wrestlers in the finals, including seniors Ashunti Perry (20-9), William Browder (21-3) and junior Michael Bubel (7-6), at 160, 170 285 pounds, respectively.  Thompson’s other four wrestlers in its lineup finished third in their weight classes.
    The Warriors claimed a berth in the AHSAA Wrestling Duals Class 7A tourney as Region 2 winner, which gets underway this weekend. Thompson, the defending 7A duals champion as well, hosts Smiths Station at 5 p.m. Thursday. Vestavia Hills is at home versus Bob Jones and Huntsville hosts Hewitt-Trussville on Friday at 5 and 5:30 p.m., respectively. Auburn hosts Oak Mountain on Saturday at 3 p.m.  
    The Class 1A/5A and Class 6A divisions feature 16 teams in each division and will have four teams in each playoff event battling at four sites. The matches will be held either Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Defending 6A duals champ Oxford will host Northridge in a first-round match Thursday at 5:30 p.m., and will also host McAdory vs. Benjamin Russell in another first-round match. The two winners at each site will meet the same night with a quarterfinal match.  Defending 1A/5A duals champion Scottsboro did not qualify for this year’s duals tourney.
   All 7A winners, 6A and 1A/5A quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals on Tuesday, January 21. The first-round pairings are listed below.
  

Other Top Wrestling Performances
 

  • CORY LAND, MOODY: The AHSAA’s state champion at 106 pounds as a freshman and eighth grader, Land (27-0) won the 120-pound title at the Matt Tice Invitational at Leeds with a pin in the finals. The win extended his current high school winning streak to 78 in a row. According to data compiled in Track Wrestling, his last loss was in the 2018 South Super Section 106-pound finals when he was an eighth grader. His record the last three years is 126-2.

  • SULLIVAN TIPTON, OAK MOUNTAIN : The senior improved to 39-1 with a 7-1 decision over Mountain Brook sophomore Gray Ortis (26-4) in the 138-pound finals of the Southeastern Pools Invitational at Thompson.
     
  • JAY NOWLIN, WETUMPKA: The Indians’ 126-pounder had two pins at the Southeastern Pools tourney in a total of 38 seconds – winning in 18 seconds in the first round and wining a consolation match in just 20 seconds. He is now 21-14 on the season.
     
  • GEORGE McMINN, MOUNTAIN BROOK: McMinn (12-7), a junior in the 152-pound division, won his opening match at the Southeastern Pools Invitational at Thompson with a pin in just 14 seconds – the fastest pin of the tourney. He also won another match in the consolation bracket and finished fifth overall. Teammate Mason Brint had the second fastest pin in the meet needing just 15 seconds to win his quarterfinal match. He place fourth overall in the 220-pound division.

AHSAA Wrestling Duals Tournament
First-round Pairings
(Jan. 16, 17 or 18)

CLASS 1A/5A
Regions 1/2 at Beauregard

First Round, Friday, Jan. 17

Tallassee vs. Saint James, 5:30 p.m.
Brewbaker Tech vs. Beauregard, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 17

First-round winners,  6:30 p.m.

Region 3/4 at Ranburne
First Round, Friday, Jan. 17
Ranburne vs. Montevallo, 6:30 p.m.
Elmore County vs. Weaver, 6:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 17

First-round winners,  7:30 p.m.

Regions 5/6 at Moody
First Round, Thursday, Jan. 16
Alexandria vs. Mortimer Jordan, 6 p.m.
Moody vs. Southside-Gadsden, 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 16

First-round winners,  7 p.m.

Regions 7/8 at Jasper
First Round, Thursday, Jan. 16

Arab vs. Corner, 6 p.m.
Madison County vs. Jasper, 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 16

First-round winners,  7 p.m.

 

CLASS 6A
Regions 1/2 at Wetumpka

First Round, Friday, Jan. 17

Spanish Fort vs. Stanhope Elmore, 3 p.m.
Gulf Shores vs. Wetumpka, 4 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 17

First-round winners,  5 p.m.


Region 3/4 at Oxford
First Round, Thursday, Jan. 16
McAdory vs. Benjamin Russell, 5:30 p.m.
Oxford vs. Northridge, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 16

First-round winners,  6:30 p.m.


Regions 5/6 at Chelsea Middle School
First Round, Thursday, Jan. 16
Gardendale vs. Helena, 5:30 p.m.
Chelsea vs. Clay-Chalkville, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 16

First-round winners,  6:30 p.m.


Regions 7/8 at Mae Jemison
First Round, Saturday, Jan. 18

Mae Jemison vs. Decatur, 10 a.m.
Hartselle vs. Fort Payne, 10 a.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 18

First-round winners,  11 a.m.


CLASS 7A
First Round

Oak Mountain at Auburn, Saturday, Jan. 18, 3 p.m.
Smiths Station at Thompson, Thursday, Jan, 16, 5 p.m.
Bob Jones at Vestavia Hills, Friday, Jan. 17, 5 p.m.
Hewitt-Trussville at Huntsville, Friday, Jan. 17, 5:30 p.m.



Semifinals
All Classes

Tuesday, Jan. 21

Duals Finals, Friday, Jan. 24
Ben Harris Arena, Birmingham CrossPlex

Class 1A/5A Championship match, 6 p.m.
Class 6A Championship match, 6 p.m.
Class 7A Championship match, 6 p.m.
Weigh in is 5 p.m. for all classes


AHSAA Offers Condolences to Geneva High School Community

    The AHSAA is saddened to learn of a Christmas Day car accident that has taken the lives of three Geneva High School students and injured two others.
    “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the students, Geneva High School, its faculty and student body for their tragic loss,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “We pray God will sustain each in this time of great loss.”
     No other details are available at this time.


Defending Champions Repeat at the 2019 AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships Saturday

                                                       By MIKE PERRIN
                                                       FOR THE AHSAA

AUBURN – Familiar faces returned to the top of the 54th AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships Saturday with all four defending state champions repeating at the feat at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
    The Westminster Christian Academy girls took first place in the Class 6A/7A division and UMS-Wright of Mobile took the 1A/5A crown. For the boys, Huntsville won its fourth straight championship and its sixth in eight years in the 6A/7A big-school division while T.R. Miller captured the 1A/5A crown outright in 2019 after sharing the title with Boaz a year ago.
    Westminster’s girls of Huntsville have won four straight titles, two in 6A/7A and two in the smaller-school division. The Wildcats totaled 290 points to top Auburn (181), Spain Park (169), Grissom (165) and Fairhope (163). Auburn won the big-school division from 2013-17.
    In the girls’ 1A/5A division, UMS-Wright of Mobile edged Whitesburg Christian Academy of Huntsville 273-271 for the championship in the most exciting competition of the 2019 state meet. Bayside Academy of Daphne was third with 173 points, followed by Madison Academy (124) and Birmingham’s Briarwood Christian School (118).
   Huntsville earned 188 points to win the 6A/7A boys title. Daphne finished second with 236 points, followed by Auburn (209), St. Paul’s Episcopal (205) and Grissom (199).
    T.R. Miller of Brewton registered 215 points to repeat as 1A/5A champ. Runner-up St. Michael Catholic of Fairhope finished with 196 points, followed by Boaz (182), Briarwood Christian (180) and Whitesburg Christian Academy (173).

    Several AHSAA state swimming records fell Saturday with Westminster Christian Academy junior Rebekah Hamilton captured the 200-yard freestyle with a blistering 1:46.91 finish. The previous mark was 1:48.39, set by Paige Madden of UMS-Wright in 2015. Hamilton also finished first in the 500-yard freestyle with a winning time of 4:57.95. She clocked 4:54.27 in the prelims on Friday. No other girls’ swimmer clocked under 5:04.
    Eboni McCarty of Westminster Christian also set a new record in the 50-yard freestyle, winning the prelims Friday with a 22.62 times. She set the record in 2018 with s 22.81 winning time. She won the 2019 finals clocking 22.88. McCarty also won the 200-yard freestyle title Saturday with a 50.07 time in the finals, which was just 29/100ths of a second shy of the state mark.
   In the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries, Trey Sheils of Daphne bettered his own state record from a year ago with a 54.95 finish in the prelims Friday. He won Saturday with a 55.90 time, which was just shy of the record (55.34) time he set in 2018. Sheils also won the 200-yard individual medley Saturday with a winning time of 1:50.52.
   Daphne’ boys 400-yard freestyle relay team swam a 3:09.01 race to break Bob Jones High School’s record of 3:09.93 set in 2009.
   St. Paul’s Episcopal’s boys won the 200-yard medley relay with a record time of 1:34.30, which was 22/100ths of a second faster than the previous record (1:34.52) set by Bob Jones in 2015.
    Complete results are available at the following link:
http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Swimming/2019/swimming%20finals%20results.pdf?ver=2019-12-07-213008-723
    The complete team scoring can be found at the following link:
http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Swimming/2019/final%20team%20scores.pdf?ver=2019-12-07-213005-787


SUPER 7 CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Oxford 14, Spanish Fort 13

Oxford 14, Spanish Fort 13

AUBURN – The Oxford Yellow Jackets won their first state championship in 26 years in a cliffhanging Super 7 Class 6A State Championship Game Friday night, edging Spanish Fort 14-13 thanks to a touchdown and extra point with just 23 seconds remaining in the contest at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  The 6A finals closed out the 2019 Super 7 State Championships.
     The Toros (9-5) had taken a 13-7 lead earlier in the final period after a wild blocked field goal return followed by a fourth-and-inches fumble into the end zone for a score with 6:21 to play.
     Oxford, coached by first-year head coach Keith Etheredge, scored the winning touchdown almost six minutes later when sophomore Trequon Fegans scampered 3 yards around right end, crashing through two Spanish Fort would-be tacklers at the goal-line for the tying score, and senior Andrew Warhurst kicked the game-deciding extra point. The TD was the fourth play of a 43-yard drive that started with 1:34 remaining in the game.
      Yellow Jackets senior X’Zavian Britt, a starting wide receiver who was forced into action as the backup quarterback when starter Trey Higgins was injured in the third quarter, broke loose for a 24-yard scamper to the 15 and ran 8 more yards to the Toros’ 7 to set winning score. A Britt-to-Roc Taylor lob pass was incomplete in the end zone, but Spanish Fort was flagged for interference gave Oxford the ball at the 3 to set up Fegans’ dramatic score. Britt was named the Class 6A state championship game MVP.
   Spanish Fort’s go-ahead score was also remarkable. Linebacker Logan Ganey blocked Warhurst’s 43-yard field goal try and Micah Gaffney sprinted down the left sideline for 63 yards before he was knocked out of bounds at the 2 by Oxford’s Miguel Mitchell.
    Toros quarterback Kris Abrams-Draine lost a yard on second-and-goal, but appeared to dive into the end zone from the 3 on third down. A replay challenge overturned the play, showing the quarterback’s knee was down inside the 1. On fourth down, Abrams-Draine tried the left side of the pile again, but the ball popped loose and into the end zone where wide receiver Travis McGowan pounced on it for the score. Tanner Keesee’s PAT went wide right.
     The Yellow Jackets’ ensuing 58-yard drive ended at the Spanish Fort 13 when the spot on a fourth-and-inches play was challenged. The ball was re-spotted and a re-measurement showed it inches short with 2:42 remaining.
    Oxford’s defense rose to the challenge, however, with leading tackler Tavares Elston (seven solo stops and one assist) and Chanceton Holifield dropping Spanish Fort’s Johnny Morris for a 6-yard loss to the Toros’ 8-yard-line on first down. Two plays netted just 3 yards and the Toros punted on fourth-and-14, setting up the dramatic finish.
    The Toros, coached by Ben Blackmon, had been hoping to become the first No. 4 seed to win a state football championship. Spanish Fort was 4-0 in previous runs to the Super 7 finals, winning in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Oxford added its first blue championship trophy since 1993 to go along with back-to-back titles in 1988 and ’89. While it was Oxford’s fourth state crown overall, it was the fifth for Etheredge, who guided Leeds to four state titles during his tenure with the Green Wave.
     Oxford got the only points in the hard-fought first half on a 13-yard run by Jonovan Carlisle with 2:05 left in the second period. The Yellow Jackets’ scoring drive was only 36 yards following a 24-yard Toros’ punt. Warhurst kicked the point-after.
    Spanish Fort tied the score with a 12-play, 62-yard march in the third period. A wide-open Morris caught a 15-yard pass from Abrams-Draine.

Carlisle led the winners with 93 yards rushing on 18 attempts and Higgins had 70 on 17 before suffering an injury in the third period. Taylor caught four passes for 86 yards while Britt threw for 66 yards on 2-of-4 passing and caught two throws for 16.
    Spanish Fort’s Morris had 100 yards on the ground on 18 attempts and Abrams-Draine ran for 83 on 18. Abrams-Draine was also the Toros’ leading receiver catching one of two completed passes for 25 yards. Carlos Johnson led the Spanish Fort defense with nine tackles and one assist.
   
AHSAA 2019 Super 7 State Championships
Class 7A

Thompson (12-1) 40, Central-Phenix City (12-2) 14
Class 6A
Oxford (14-1) 14, Spanish Fort (9-5) 13
Class 5A
Central, Clay County (13-2) 31, Pleasant Grove (13-2) 27
Class 4A
UMS-Wright (14-0) 28, Jacksonville (12-3) 17
Class 3A
Piedmont (14-1) 26, Mobile Christian (9-5) 24
Class 2A
Fyffe (15-0) 56, Reeltown (13-2) 7
Class 1A
Lanett (14-0) 41, Mars Hill Bible (14-1) 30
Special Olympics Alabama Unified Game
Baldwin County 27, Vestavia Hills 20


UMS-Wright Sophomore Wins 4th Straight Diving Title at State Swimming Championships

   AUBURN – UMS Wright High School’s Blakeslee Elliott won her fourth straight diving title Friday to highlight the first day of the 54th AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
    The state meet concludes Saturday afternoon with finals in all swim events. The NFHS Network is live-streaming all finals over its subscriber-based NFHS Network platform.
     Elliott won her first state crown in the Class 1A-5A division 1-meter event as a seventh-grader at the Mobile school. Her championship on Friday came thanks to her 313.35 final score. UMS swept the top four of five divers in the meet.

     Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa’s M’Kay Gidley won the girls’ 6A-7A diving championship with 322 points. Gidley, a senior, was fourth last year in the state finals.

      Huntsville High School senior Hampton Jarres (362.85) and St. Michael Catholic of Fairhope junior Ben Adamski (295.15) won the boys’ diving titles. Jarres was third a year ago in the large-school division while Adamski finished second in 1A-5A in 2018.

     UMS-Wright freshman Tori Waters finished second in the small-school girls’ event with 280.05 points, teammate Mae Elliott – a seventh-grader – was third at 248.10 and eighth-grader Ann Chason Brock was fourth with 242.75. Whitesburg Christian Academy’s Michaela Houser was fifth at 214.55.

    In the 6A-7A girls’ competition, sophomore Anna Cate Goodson of the Randolph School finished second with 282.75 points. Auburn junior Maggie Rendleman (275.45) was third, followed by Daphne eighth-grader Rose Gilder (272.95) and James Clemens sophomore Ashley Ahrens (271.15).

     Avery Balch, a junior from Hartselle, was second in the 6A-7A boys’ event with 360.80 finish. Senior Parker Inman of Davidson (354.95) was third, followed by freshman Daniel Coffman of Huntsville (343.45) and Alec Benzek, a junior from James Clemens (311.65).

     In 1A-5A, Kaje Jordan, freshman from Scottsboro High, finished second with a 259.70 score. Whitesburg Christian Academy senior Joey Houser (255.20) was third, followed by Elmore County freshman Coleman Rogers (253.85) and UMS-Wright eighth-grader Harrigan Weston (253.35).

    Saturday’s swimming finals begin with warm-ups at 1 p.m. and competition at 2 p.m. Admission is $10.
  


SUPER 7 CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Fyffe 56, Reeltown 7

Fyffe 56, Reeltown 7
 

     AUBURN – The Fyffe Red Devils rolled to an insurmountable 42-point lead in the opening half and cruised to a 56-7 victory over Reeltown to claim their second straight Class 2A state championship at the 2019 AHSAA Super 7 State Football Championships at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Friday.
     The Red Devils (15-0) led 28-7 after one period and 42-7 at the half behind quarterback Zach Pyron’s 153 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 20 carries.  Pyron threw only one pass in the opening half out of Coach Paul Benefield’s run-oriented hybrid Wing-T offense, a 20-yard score to tight end Brody Dalton. For the game, Pyron gained 171 yards on 27 carries.
      Fyffe, coached by Paul Benefield, finished with 325 yards, all but 20 on the ground, on 55 plays to just 51 total yards for Reeltown (13-2), coached by Matt Johnson. The Red Devils’ defensive effort was the second fewest yards allowed in AHSAA Super 7 history dating back to 1996 and secured the school’s fourth state title overall.
      A big reason the defense was so dominate was the offense’s ability to keep the ball, with a 30:14 time of possession to the Rebels’ 17:46. The Red Devils also converted 9-of-13 third-down attempts and was 2-of-2 on fourth-down tries while holding the Rebels to 2-of-8 on third downs and 0-for-2 on fourth downs.

The winners gave up a 90-yard kickoff return to Eric Shaw for Reeltown’s lone score with 23 seconds remaining in the first quarter, making the score 28-7 after Connor Moore’s PAT. That was the only touchdown Fyffe’s first-team unit gave up all season. The Red Devils outscored opponents 639-43 in 15 games and had nine shutouts.
      In the opening half, Fyffe’s stifling defense held Reeltown to minus-1 yard rushing and only 5 total yards on just 13 offensive snaps. The Rebels gained 51 total yards in the game, just 20 on the ground on 23 rushes.
     Fyffe Linebacker Ty Bell, who recovered a fumble on the kickoff following Dalton’s score, scooped up another loose ball and ran it in for a 7-yard touchdown to put Fyffe up 20-0 with 7:11 to play in the first period. The final Fyffe points – with 1:12 left in the game – also came on a fumble recovery as David McKee grabbed the ball in the end zone after Reeltown’s punter lost it in a scramble for a high snap from center.
     After Pyron’s third first-half TD, a 1-yard run with 6:16 left in the second quarter, Ike Rowell punched in another score with just 19 seconds left in the period. Rowell finished with 121 yards on 18 carries in the win.
     The third period was scoreless before Malichi Mize scored from 2 yards out to complete an 11-play, 58-yard drive on the first snap of the final quarter. Dalton was 7-for-8 on extra-point kicks while Pyron ran for a two-point conversion to push the lead to 28-0 with 40 seconds remaining in the first.
     Cameron Faison was the leading rusher for Reeltown with 20 yards on seven carries. Quarterback Iverson Hooks was 4-of-11 passing for 31 yards with Shaw catching two passes for 19 yards. He also had 114 yards in kickoff returns.
     Ike Rowell had five tackles to pace the Red Devils defense. Leading the Rebels was Tra Hughley with a game-leading 10 tackles and two assists. Hooks had eight tackles and Rhasheed Wilson had seven.
     Reeltown has been a regular visitor to the AHSAA state championship game, with three titles (1987, 2001, 2009) and six runner-up finishes (1984, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2010, 2019). Fyffe’s other state titles were in 2014, 2016 and 2018 – all at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Red Devils finished second in 2007 and 2015. The coaching win for Benefield was the 297th of his 28-year career. He is now 297-53 overall.
     The 24th Super 7 State Championships conclude Friday with defending Oxford (13-1) taking on Spanish Fort (9-4) in the 6A finals at 7 to close out the 2019 Super 7 Championships.
    All championship games  are being televised over the AHSAA TV Network by the NFHS Network and WOTM, the AHSAA TV partner. The games are available over the NFHS Network live-stream platform and the WOTM network of cable affiliates across the state.

For detailed information concerning the telecasts, go to the following link:
http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/WOTM-Coverage-2019_1.jpg

To access the AHSAA Radio Network, which is broadcasting all seven championship games, go to the following link for the internet link:
http://mixlr.com/ahsaaradio/

 


SUPER 7 CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP UMS-Wright 28, Jacksonville 17

UMS-Wright 28, Jacksonville 17
AUBURN – Jacksonville High School senior Ron Darrius Wiggins dashed 79 yards on the third play of the AHSAA Super 7 Class 4A State Championship game Friday at Jordan-Hare Stadium to give the Golden Eagles a quick 7-0 lead and defending state champ UMS-Wright a wake-up call.
    The Bulldogs (14-0) took the warning seriously, clawing back for four methodical touchdowns en route to a 28-17 victory. The championship game victory extended UMS-Wright’s current win streak to 33 consecutive games and was the third straight state title for the Mobile school – which played its first high school football 114 years ago in 1905.
     Wiggins finished with 179 yards rushing on 24 carries, but didn’t get in the end zone again. Jacksonville’s 17 points were the most scored on the UMS-Wright defense all season. That defense allowed only 106 points all season after yielding 58 in a 14-0 run last season. The championship was the school’s ninth overall and the eighth for head coach Terry Curtis, tying the AHSAA record set Thursday night by Central of Clay County Coach Danny Horn in the 5A finals.
       UMS-Wright tied the game with 1:27 left in the third quarter when Richard Brinson scored on a 24-yard run around left end. The Bulldogs took the lead for good with only seven seconds left in the half when end Jay Lawrence, lining up in a tight formation at left end, crouched and played possum just  long enough to find an opening to slip outside all alone in the end zone and quarterback Trey Singleton connected for a 4-yard TD pass. The play was one of seven UMS-Wright practiced weekly just for goal-line and two-point conversion situations, said Curtis.
     After a scoreless third quarter, Jacksonville (12-3), coached by Clint Smith,  cut the lead to 14-10 with a 26-yard field goal by Mason Terrell with 9:12 remaining. UMS-Wright answered with  a seven-play, 60-yard march that was capped by Brinson’s 4-yard TD reception from Singleton. Senior running back Symon Smith, who led the Bulldogs with 139 yards rushing on 28 carries to earn Class 4A state championship game MVP honors, extended the lead to 28-10 with 2:04 remaining.
    Jacksonville, making its first trip to the Super 7, got its final touchdown with 1:28 left on a 57-yard pass from quarterback Luke Jackson to receiver Jaeden Barksdale.
     The  runner-up Eagles had 311 total yards on 55 plays and the Bulldogs had 250 on 63 plays. Both teams had 15 first downs. Singleton was 9-of-19 passing for 54 yards and two TDs for UMS-Wright. Keyshawn Woodyard had three catches for 35 yards.
     Jackson was 11-of-20 passing for 132 yards, one TD and threw two interceptions for Jacksonville. Barksdale closed with four catches and 82 receiving yards.
     Will Breland had seven solo tackles and three assists, three tackles for 12 yards in losses and also recovered a fumble to lead UMS-Wright’s vaunted defense. Cameron Snypes also had eight tackles. Brinson and Edwin White each had an interception. White returned his pick 47 yards.
      The 24th Super 7 State Championships conclude Friday with defending state champion Fyffe (14-0) meeting Reeltown (13-1) in the 2A championship game 3 p.m. and Oxford (13-1) taking on Spanish Fort (9-4) in the 6A finals at 7 to close out the 2019 Super 7 Championships.
     All championship games  are being televised over the AHSAA TV Network by the NFHS Network and WOTM, the AHSAA TV partner. The games are available over the NFHS Network live-stream platform and the WOTM network of cable affiliates across the state.
     For detailed information concerning the telecasts, go to the following link:

http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/WOTM-Coverage-2019_1.jpg
    To access the AHSAA Radio Network, which is broadcasting all seven championship games, go to the following link for the internet link:
http://mixlr.com/ahsaaradio/

 


SUPER 7 CLASS 5A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Central, Clay County 31, Pleasant Grove 27

Central, Clay County 31, Pleasant Grove 27
AUBURN – The AHSAA Super 7 Class 5A state championship came down to the final play with in the final seconds as Central of Clay County downed Pleasant Grove 31-27 to win the second state title in a row for the Volunteers.
     Pleasant Grove snapped the final play from the Central 10-yard line. As quarterback Zyquez Perryman dropped back to ball, he flushed out of out of the pocket and had no choice but to tuck the ball and run. Central defenders J.D. McNealey and Javon Wood had no choice either. The trio collided just inside the 2-yard line, and when the dust had settled, Perryman was stopped just shy of the goal line and the Volunteers had won the state title as time expired.
      The incredible finish in the 5A finals closed out a day of incredible games as Piedmont beat Mobile Christian 26-24 in the Class 3A championship game and Lanett downed defending Class 1A state champ Mars Hill Bible 41-30 for the 1A title.
      The 24th Super 7 State Championships conclude Friday with defending state champion UMS-Wright (13-0), riding a 32-game winning streak, and Jacksonville (12-2) squaring off in the 4A finals at 11 a.m., followed by defending state champion Fyffe (14-0), with a 29-game win streak, meeting Reeltown (13-1) in the 2A championship game 3 p.m., and Oxford (13-1) taking on Spanish Fort (9-4) in the 6A finals at 7 to close out the 2019 Super 7 Championships.
      Coach Darrell LeBeaux’s Spartans (13-2) and Coach Danny Horn’s Vols (13-2) were pretty much even from start to finish. Central relied on a punishing running game led by senior Quentin Knight, who finished with 181 yards rushing on 23 carries with two touchdowns. He earned the Class 5A championship game MVP honors with his effort.  Linebacker J.D. McNealey added 79 yards on 11 carries – 60 coming in the third quarter – and scored two touchdowns as well. His 1-yard run with 7:25 remaining erased a 27-24 deficit and proved to be the deciding touchdown. Phillip Ogles completed 4-of-11 passes for 74 yards with Javon Wood hauling in three receptions for 67 yards.
       Pleasant Grove countered with the strong  arm of Perryman, who completed 25-of-43 passes for 316 yards and four touchdowns. He played a near perfect game with no interceptions and
no sacks. He rushed for 28 yards on six carries to finish with 344 total yards. Xavier Hill caught nine passes for 100 yards and two TDs, and Chris Lewis had seven catches for two scores. JaMaryon Furlow also had five receptions for 82 yards.
    Pleasant Grove opened the scoring in the first quarter with a methodical 14-play, 76-drive – the last 17 yards coming on a TD pass from Perryman to Hill. Leon Rodriguez’s kick gave the Spartans a 7-0 lead at the quarter break.  Central tied the game at 7-7 midway through the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by Knight. Perryman gave Pleasant Grove a 13-7 lead at the 3:44 mark of the second period with a 40-yard touchdown toss to Lewis. The Volunteers tacked on s 22-yard field goal by Clayton Yates with 1:21 left in the period and trailed 13-10 at halftime.
     Central took the lead in the third period with two touchdowns coming on the strong running of McNealey and Knight. McNealey put a spark in the Vols offense with 60 yards rushing on his first five carries in the second half. He scored on a powerful 30-yard run and Knight, who led all rushers on the night with 181 yards, gave Central a 24-13 lead with an 18-yard touchdown run with just over five minutes left in the quarter.
    Pleasant Grove’s offense was energized on its next possession and the Spartans cut the lead to 24-20 with a 12-yard TD pass from Perryman to Lewis with 1:21 left in the quarter to set up the wild finish in the final period.
    McNealey had eight tackles and two assists to lead the Volunteers defensive effort. Wood and Clayton Yates were in on seven tackles each.  Elijah Thomas led Pleasant Grove with 12 stops.
      The state championship was the eighth coached by Horn, who led Clay County to six state championships before the school merged with Lineville in 2012. He is 311-88 in his legendary career, which has spanned 31 seasons. Clay County won a state-record 55 consecutive games from 1994-97.
       All championship games  are being televised over the AHSAA TV Network by the NFHS Network and WOTM, the AHSAA TV partner. The games are available over the NFHS Network live-stream platform and the WOTM network of cable affiliates across the state.
     For detailed information concerning the telecasts, go to the following link:

http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/WOTM-Coverage-2019_1.jpg
    To access the AHSAA Radio Network, which is broadcasting all seven championship games, go to the following link for the internet link:
http://mixlr.com/ahsaaradio/

 


SUPER 7 CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Lanett 41, Mars Hill Bible 30

Lanett 41, Mars Hill Bible 30
AUBURN – Lanett High School senior Kristian Story closed out his prep career much like it started – helping the Panthers win a state football championship. Story accounted for 359 total yards and four touchdowns Thursday afternoon as Lanett downed defending state champion Mars Hill Bible 41-30 in the Super 7 Class 1A finals at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The victory snapped Mars Hill’s school-record 24-game winning streak and was Lanett’s second state title in school history.
    The 24th Super 7 State Championships continued Thursday night with Central of Clay County (12-2) battling Pleasant Grove in the Class 5A state finals to close out the second day’s action.     The Super 7 State Championships conclude Friday with defending state champion UMS-Wright (13-0), riding a 32-game winning streak, and Jacksonville (12-2) squaring off in the 4A finals at 11 a.m., followed by defending state champion Fyffe (14-0), with a 29-game win streak, meeting Reeltown (13-1) in the 2A championship game 3 p.m., and Oxford (13-1) taking on Spanish Fort (9-4) in the 6A finals at 7 to close out the 2019 Super 7 Championships.
       Story was magnificent all day as Lanett and Mars Hill Bible battled nose-to-nose in four exciting quarters of football. He answered Mars Hill’s opening TD, a 1-yard run by Justus McDaniel midway through the first period, with a 28-yard TD pass to Travaunta Abner at 4:12 in the first quarter. Peyton Higgins, who scored a 2-point conversion after the first Mars Hill TD, capped a quick 63-yard, five play drive two minutes later with an 8-yard TD run as the Panthers took a 16-7 lead. Coach Clifford Story’s Lanett Panthers needed only 1:22 to score its second TD, a 3-yard run by D’Quez Madden, and Mars Hill led 16-13 at the first-quarter break.
       Lanett took the lead 20-16 at 7:53 in the second period when Brandon Smith scored on a 6-yard run. Mars Hill, coached by Darrell Higgins, tacked on a 20-yard TD run by McDaniel four minutes later to take a 22-20 lead in at halftime.
      Story took over in the second half scoring on a 2-yard run and tossing the 2-point conversion pass to Jaquarius Houston as Lanett moved into the lead again 28-22.  He broke loose down the left sideline on a dazzling 52-yard TD run later in the third quarter as the Panthers surged ahead 34-22. McDaniel got his third touchdown early in the fourth period on a 1-yard run as Mars Hill pulled closer trailing 34-30. Story’s 30-yard TD pass to Houston three plays later closed the scoring leading 41-30. Story made an interception on defense late in the final quarter, the 29th pick of his prep career, to seal the win.
     The senior quarterback finished with 110 yards rushing on 13 carries with two touchdowns and was 18-of-23 passing for 249 yards and two more scores to earn Class 1A State Championship MVP honors. He finished his senior season 162-of-237 passing for 2,865 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also had 1,151 yards rushing on 116 carries and 17 touchdowns. He finished his prep career as the AHSAA record holder in total offense and touchdowns account for. He accumulated 13,218 total yards with 9,070 passing, 3,618 rushing and 530 receiving from 2016-19 and accounted for 175 touchdowns (119 passing, 48 rushing and 8 receiving). 
     Story’s totals broke records set by Bo Nix of Pinson Valley from 2015-18 (12,497 total yards and 161 TDs accounted for). Story’s 9,070 career passing yards ranks eighth all time and his 119 TD passes ranks third.
     He spread his passes around Thursday with Abner, Larontavious Hurston and Houston hauling in five catches each. Lanett finished with 402 total yards.
     Mars Hill’s offense, which had 300 yards rushing and 121 passing for 421 total yards,  was led by McDaniel, who had 157 yards rushing on 23 carries and three TDs. Higgins had 22 carries for 115 yards and one TD and had one reception for 29 yards. Quarterback Griffin Hanson was 9-of-16 passing for 121 yards.
    On defense, Hunter Kilpatrick had seven tackles for Mars Hill and Dametrious Johnson had eight solos and eight assists. Story finished with nine tackles.
       All championship games  are being televised over the AHSAA TV Network by the NFHS Network and WOTM, the AHSAA TV partner. The games are available over the NFHS Network live-stream platform and the WOTM network of cable affiliates across the state.
     For detailed information concerning the telecasts, go to the following link:

http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/WOTM-Coverage-2019_1.jpg
    To access the AHSAA Radio Network, which is broadcasting all seven championship games, go to the following link for the internet link:
http://mixlr.com/ahsaaradio/

 


SUPER 7 CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Piedmont 26, Mobile Christian 24SUPER 7 CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Piedmont 26, Mobile Christian 24

Piedmont 26, Mobile Christian 24
AUBURN – Piedmont’s Bulldogs (14-1) outscored Mobile Christian 19-7 in the fourth quarter Thursday, including the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining, to eke out a 26-24 victory as the second day of the 2019 AHSAA Super Seven State Football Championships opened its second day of championship action at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
    Senior Jakari Foster snagged a 27-yard strike from freshman quarterback Jackson Hayes to pull out the Bulldogs’ fourth state title since 2009.  The play culminated an 11-play, 66-yard march that started with only 3:25 remaining.
    Mobile Christian (9-5) led 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter thanks in part to quarterback  Kason Lincke’s strong passing arm. Jackson Chandler opened the scoring on the Leopards’ first drive of the night with a 27-yard field goal for a quick 3-0 lead. Lincke then connected with Nick Ellis for an 85-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to increase the lead for Coach Ronnie Cottrell’s team.
     Hayes capped a 14-play, 64-yard march on Piedmont’s first possession of the second half with a 2-yard keeper for a touchdown to cut the Leopards’ lead to 10-7. Mobile Christian followed with a six-play, 64-yard drive of its own to extend their lead to 17-7 when junior Deontae Lawson bulled his way into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 2 with 26 seconds left in the third quarter.
   Coach Steve Smith’s Bulldogs answered quickly with Hayes, who was 13-of-29 passing for 204 yards and two touchdowns, found sophomore Austin Estes open for an 81-yard TD connection on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 17-14. Piedmont got the ball back two minutes later and drove 59 yards for a go-ahead score. Hayes scored the touchdown on the drive’s eighth play on a keeper from the 3-yard line and Piedmont got led 20-17.
    The final seven minutes was filled with one clutch play after another by both teams. Mobile Christian pounded out s nine-play, 57-yard march to retake the lead 24-20 when Lawson scored again on fourth and goal from the 1 with 3:25 left to play.
     Taking over at their own 34 after the following kickoff, Hayes then methodically drove the Bulldogs to the winning score – with nine straight rushing plays highlighted by runs of 8, 7 and 10 yards by Elijah Johnson to set up the winning TD pass from Hayes to Foster.
      The Leopards were able to move the ball in the final 35 seconds to the Mobile Christian 42-yard line but Lincke’s final pass was intercepted by Hayes – in the secondary for the first time in the game – with one second remaining.
      Hayes earned Class 3A Championship Game MVP honors with 55 offensive plays out of the Bulldogs’ 79 total plays and accounted for 305 of Piedmont’s 395 total yards. He also had a hand in all four touchdowns. Johnson had 91 rushing yards on 22 carries, Austin Estes had six pass receptions for 114 yards  and Max Mohon had four punts for  37-yard average and two pinned the Leopards inside their own 20-yard line. Piedmont had a 79-48 advantage in offensive plays and had 395 total yards to the Leopards’ 325.
     Lincke was 14-of-23 passing for 254 yards and one TD for Mobile Christian. Ellis had two catches for 120 yards and Toler Keigley had four catches for 67 yards. Kendrick Boutwell also had four punts for a 41.5-yard average.
    Defensively, Landon Smart had five tackles and two assists to pace Piedmont. Trey McFarland also had five tackles and senior Bryson Ingram was in on seven tackles with one sack two stops for losses. 
    Tate Moore had eight tackles and three assists and Lawson, a junior, had six tackles and seven assists. Zhivago McNeil was also in on 10 tackles. Piedmont and Mobile Christian met in the 2016 3A championship game with the Bulldogs winning 22-12.
      Play continues in the Super 7 Thursday with defending state champion Mars Hill Bible (14-0) vs. Lanett (13-0) in the 1A championship game at 3 p.m. The Class 5A title game features defending state champ Central of Clay County (12-2) and Pleasant Grove (13-1) at 7 p.m. Friday’s schedule has defending state champion UMS-Wright (13-0), riding a 32-game winning streak, and Jacksonville (12-2) squaring off in the 4A finals at 11 a.m., followed by defending state champion Fyffe (14-0), with a 29-game win streak, meeting Reeltown (13-1) in the 2A championship game 3 p.m., and Oxford (13-1) meeting Spanish Fort (9-4) in the 6A finals at 7 to close out the Super 7 Championships.
    All championship games  are being televised over the AHSAA TV Network by the NFHS Network and WOTM, the AHSAA TV partner. The games are available over the NFHS Network live-stream platform and the WOTM network of cable affiliates across the state.
     For detailed information concerning the telecasts, go to the following link:

http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/WOTM-Coverage-2019_1.jpg
    To access the AHSAA Radio Network, which is broadcasting all seven championship games, go to the following link for the internet link:
http://mixlr.com/ahsaaradio/