AISA Roundup: Macon thumps Edgewood in battle of unbeatens

Macon East Academy's Carlos Carter, who rushed for four touchdowns in Friday's win, is grabbed by Edgewood Academy's Joseph Benton as Caleb Justiss closes in from the left.

Macon East Academy 42, Edgewood Academy 14

CECIL – Last year, there were more big plays than some teams make in a month as Edgewood and Macon East raced up and down the field on the way to a record-setting 70-69 overtime win by Edgewood.

This year’s game had the same feel for six minutes as Macon East took the opening kickoff and went 59 yards in three plays, only to see the Wildcats go 42 yards in eight plays to tie the game at 7-7.

From there, all the big plays belonged to the Knights as Macon East scored their next three touchdowns on plays of 69, 47 and 39 yards while slamming the door on the Wildcats in a shockingly easy 42-14 win on Friday night.

“Forget all the adversity, Coach (Chad Michael) left and he’s there, forget what they did last year, just come out and compete and play hard,” said Macon East senior linebacker Stone Yarnell, who had five tackles in the win. “We’re 1-0 in the region. I think we just made a statement.”

Macon East improved to 4-0 with the win, while Edgewood (3-1, 1-1 in AA Region 1 play) suffered their first loss, a reversal of last year’s game in which Chad Michael called the offensive plays for Macon East before taking the job as Edgewood’s head coach over the summer. That decision created an interesting chess match on Friday, with Michael calling the offensive plays for Edgewood while his brother-in-law, Bob Pickett, called the defense for Macon East.

“He’s a great guy,” Michael said. “Those guys over there have always been my friends. We have a great relationship. I love competing against those guys.”

Carlos Carter rushed for 203 yards on 15 carries, scoring on a 47-yard run on the third play of the game, then on another 47-yard run in the final two minutes of the first quarter. In between, Edgewood defenders were so focused on Carter, they ignored receiver Tyler Daniels, who got behind the Wildcat defense for an easy 69-yard reception from Kirkland Pugh.

“We 100 percent got outcoached tonight,” Michael said. “That’s my job, my fault. Coach Lott and his staff did a great job. That’s on me. I think our guys got prepared, but they did a lot better job getting their guys prepared.”

After Carter’s second touchdown, a heavy downpour accompanied by lightning drove both teams into the locker room for 40 minutes with 11:10 remaining in the first half.

“You’ve got your momentum rolling, you’re getting plays in quick (on offense), you’re making stops (on defense),” Yarnell said. “You’ve just got to reboot and get back after it.”

Easier said than done. Macon East had rolled to a 20-7 lead and held the Edgewood offense to one play of positive yardage since the Wildcats’ opening possession.

“We knew that (Michael) would challenge his team during the break and they would come out excited,” Macon East coach Glynn Lott said. “And they did. And we didn’t. It kind of reversed at the half. We kind of got in our players’ grills a little bit and talked about how we’ve got to put somebody away. That was the best part of the night was at the end we finished the game.”

The Knights did have one positive play after the weather delay. On the first play back, Gabe Spencer was stopped for no gain by a fired-up Edgewood defense. On the second play, Carter broke free for a 39-yard touchdown run and Eric Lawson added the two-point conversion for a 28-7 lead.

“They’ve got a great back,” Michael said. “We knew going into it how great Carlos was. We watched him on film and saw his last three games. He’s been doing it all year long.”

In the third quarter, with the Knights leading 28-14 and the Wildcats desperately trying to climb back into the contest, Carter’s 51-yard run on a third-and-10 option play put Macon East in the red zone and Carter finished off the Wildcats three plays later with a 7-yard touchdown run.

“Carlos is a special player,” Lott said. “Last week, Gabe was huge when he came in with fresh legs. They kind of feed off each other.”

Another touchdown, a quick fourth-and-four pass from Pugh to Lawson that the speedy receiver turned into a 32-yard sprint to the end zone, put the finishing touches on an impressive win. While the explosive offense was a fan favorite, the defensive effort was the deciding factor. After Alex Johnson threw a perfect 39-yard strike to Connor Bailey to draw Edgewood within 28-14 midway through the second quarter, the Wildcats’ final six offensive possessions resulted in minus 29 rushing yards and 86 total yards.

“Our defense played real well tonight after the first drive,” Lott said. “Last year in the debacle game, we double-covered a guy (and left another open) and did some things that we wish we could have done different. Their plan last year worked well against us. We felt like they were more physical last year and we felt like we were going to be more physical tonight. We felt like last week’s game (against Southwest Georgia Academy of Damascus, Ga.) helped us with that.”

Defensively for the Knights, Garrett Hardin had eight tackles, including a sack, while Teron Wright had four tackles and a sack, Lane Goree had three tackles and two sacks and Tyson Amaya had four tackles and forced a fumble.

Johnson completed 17 of 33 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown, including nine receptions by Carson Peevy for 72 yards and three by Bailey for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively for the Wildcats, Joseph Benton, Bradley Boone and Colton Jones all had five tackles.

Macon East remains home next week against Lee-Scott for homecoming, while Edgewood travels to Troy to play Pike Liberal Arts.

Morgan Academy 34, Monroe Academy 20

SELMA – Andrew Thomas threw a pair of touchdown passes and Holt Utsey ran for two more as Morgan Academy defeated the Volunteers 34-20 on Friday night.

The loss to the Senators, coupled with last week’s loss to Bessemer, marked the first time since 2007 that Mitchell Tuberville’s Volunteers have lost back-to-back region games. Since losing three straight region games in 2007, Monroe was 65-1 in region contests entering this season, losing only to Escambia in 2014.

Morgan (3-0) got on the scoreboard first with Andrew Thomas touchdown passes of 20 and 97 yards to Rhyne Williams. Utsey’s two-point conversion run after the first touchdown helped the Senators to a 14-6 lead. Thomas added a 2-yard touchdown run and an extra point by Wade Mason for a 21-6 lead but each time the Volunteers rallied.

Utsey scored on a 4-yard run, only to have Monroe answer, before the Senators finally put Monroe away with a 40-yard touchdown run late for the game’s final points.

Utsey had 155 yards on 22 carries, while Thomas was 6 of 15 for 174 yards. Williams nabbed four of those passes for 146 yards.

Morgan, which improved to 2-0 in AAA Region 2 play with the win, will step out of region action next week with a game at home against Southern. Monroe (1-2, 0-2 in region play) will play host to Wilcox.

Chambers Academy 43, Lowndes Academy 6

HAYNEVILLE – Payton Allen completed 12 of 18 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns as Chambers Academy remained unbeaten with a 43-6 win over Lowndes on Friday.

Lowndes kept the score close in the first quarter, trailing just 8-6, but Chambers scored two touchdowns in the second quarter and three more in the third to pull away.

Jordan Benbrook had 13 carries for 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Chambers, while Allen added 120 yards and a touchdown on five carries.

John White led the Chambers Academy receiving corps with 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns on three receptions. TY Trammell had 52 yards and a touchdown on five catches with Jeremy Conway adding 41 yards on four receptions and Josh Holliday had 39 yards on three catches.

Defensively, Kross Colley led Chambers with 11 tackles, followed by Hunter Knox with nine stops and Hayden Hurst, Hunter Burdette, Dean Sheffield and Jacob Oliver, all with six. Gavin Kight and Hunter Harmon each had five tackles.

Chambers (4-0) will play host to Valiant Cross next Friday, while Lowndes (1-3) will travel to Sparta.

Patrician Academy 34, Autauga Academy 28 (OT)

PRATTVILLE – Patrician Academy scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime to snap Autauga Academy’s 24-game home winning streak over AISA teams dating back to 2015.

The Generals (1-1, 0-1 in AA Region 2 play) haven’t lost at home since Monroe Academy’s 34-7 victory in 2015. Autauga also had a 34-game regular season winning streak against AISA teams snapped as well.

Will Traywick completed 16 of 27 passes for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Generals’ offense. Donte Henry had five receptions for 19 yards and a touchdown, while Anden Hilyer added four catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Hilyer also rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on six carries.

Defensively, Tucker Cousins had three tackles, along with a fumble return for 54 yards and a touchdown. Caden Henry had seven solo tackles, two assists and a pair of interceptions and Jaquon Cohen had six solo tackles and three assists.

Autauga plays host to Clarke Prep next Friday, while Patrician (2-1, 1-1 in region play) will play host to Tuscaloosa Academy on Friday.

Pickens Academy 40, Snook Academy 0

CARRLLTON – The Pirates got touchdowns from five different players to cruise past Snook Academy on Friday night and improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2013.

Pickens, which opened the season with a last-minute win over Banks, posted a shutout for the second time this season, a week after a game with Sparta was forfeited to the Pirates over coronavirus concerns.

Chandler Box had two rushing touchdowns, while Lane Goodman, Hunter Lowery and Ethan McGee each had one.

Aidan Johnson was 1 of 2 passing but his one completion was a 65-yard touchdown pass to Drake Lowery.

Pickens (4-0, 2-0 in Class A Region 2 play) will play host to Abbeville Christian next week.