Alabama Christian 18, Lincoln 14
LINCOLN – Reece Solar scored from just outside the 1-yard line on a fourth-down carry with four seconds left to left Alabama Christian to a 18-14 win over Lincoln in the first round of the 4A state playoffs on Friday night.
The win marks the first time ACA (4-7) has won consecutive first-round games since winning three straight in 1988-90. The Eagles will play host to Hillcrest-Evergreen next week in the second round.
Solar was 12 of 20 for 85 yards in the air, but did most of his damage on the ground, where he carried the ball 28 times for 198 yards and all three touchdowns. He ran 23 yards for ACA’s first touchdown, added a 13-yarder to put the Eagles in front, then came back with the final score after the Golden Bears took the lead in the fourth quarter.
Jeff Flowers led the ACA defense with eight tackles. Dawson Locklier had seven tackles and a fumble recovery, Blake Bryant had six tackles and forced a fumble, Bryan Farrington had six tackles and Miller McCarthy had five.
Trinity 14, Handley 7
ROANOKE – Rob Chandler completed 11 of 19 passes for 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns and the Trinity defense did the rest, holding Handley scoreless in the second half to preserve a 14-7 upset in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs on Friday night.
Trinity (5-6) will play host to defending state champion UMS-Wright (10-0) in the second round next Friday.
Nexton Marshall was on the receiving end of Chandler’s first touchdown pass, going 26 yards to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. After Handley tied it up, Chandler passed to Nolan Sasser for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead that would stand the remainder of the game.
Sasser finished with 68 yards on four receptions. Josh Hynniman led the ground game with 111 yards on 29 carries.
Defensively, Tyler Britton had 10 tackles and a pair of sacks. Britton also recovered a Handley fumble at the Wildcats 5 yard line in the fourth quarter to stop a Handley drive to tie the game. Bracken Osmer and Watkins Johnston each had seven tackles.
St. James 38, T.R. Miller 7
Colin Duncan rushed for three touchdowns to help the Trojans win a school-record 10th consecutive game in disposing of T.R. Miller 38-7 on Friday night in the first round of the 3A state playoffs at Carlisle Field.
Duncan scored on runs of 17 and 21 yards and Jan Wackowitz added a 27-yard field goal to help the Trojans to a 17-0 halftime lead. Duncan followed his 49-yard run with a 2-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, finishing with 93 yards on seven carries.
Duncan also threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Alex Whisenhunt early in the third quarter.
St. James (10-1) advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year, a first in school history. The Trojans will play host to Providence Christian in the second round next week. St. James has reached the quarterfinals just twice (1985, 2003) in school history.
Tony Amerson added a 25-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for his 26th touchdown of the year, two shy of the school record he set last year. Amerson had 147 yards on 29 carries, becoming the first St. James running back in school history to top the 2,000-yard rushing mark.
Amerson now has 2,106 rushing yards this season and 4,980 for his career.
Catholic 41, Holtville 13
Catholic’s offense took a while to get going but the defense did the job all night long as the Knights rolled to a 41-13 victory over Holtville in the first round of the 4A playoffs, marking the first time in school history the Knights have won first-round playoff games in consecutive years.
Catholic (8-3) will travel to Tuscaloosa next week to play American Christian Academy in the second round of the playoffs.
Christian Ivey threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another. In the first quarter Ivey connected with a wide-open D.J. Carter for a 65-yard score and later tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Gibson. Ivey scored on a quarterback sneak in the second half. Ivey was 4 of 8 for 116 yards.
Gibson scored on runs of 20 and 3 yards and had one touchdown run of 51 yards negated by a penalty. The Catholic workhorse carried the ball 29 times for 143 yards.
The defense for the Knights caused five turnovers -- a trio of interceptions and two fumbles.
Derrick Parker intercepted a halfback pass on the last play of the first half and returned it 28 yards to the Bulldogs’ end zone. Razz Chandler and Nathan Downes also pick off Holtville passes.
Marcus Dees recovered a Holtville fumble that led to a touchdown. Morris Carmichael recovered a Knights kickoff as the Holtville deep men thought the ball would make it into the end zone, but instead nestled in the mud at the one-yard line. Carmichael’s recovery led to Ivey’s quarterback sneak for a touchdown.
Catholic fumbled twice deep in its own territory to set up both of Holtville’s touchdowns. The Bulldogs (7-4) scored in the first half on a 5-yard Braxton Buck to Dajon Reeves pass. The second touchdown for Holtville came in the third quarter on a one-yard dive by Drake Baker. Outside of those two occasions Catholic yielded very little to its opponent.
“There’s no doubt about it, our defense really came through for us. They shut them down and forced turnovers and that is what we ask them to do every week,” Knights head coach Aubrey Blackwell said.
Monroe Academy 45, Macon East Academy 7
MONROEVILLE – Monroe returned an interception for a touchdown on the first play of the game and added two more defensive scores to cruise past Macon East 45-7 in the AISA Class AAA semifinals on Friday night.
The defending AAA state champions (12-0) will face Bessemer-Glenwood in the AAA finals at Troy University on Friday at 7 p.m.
The loss concluded the most successful two-year run by Macon East (9-3) since making three consecutive trips to the state finals in 1998-2000.
Monroe added another interception return for a touchdown and a fumble return for a touchdown to finish off the Knights. Tucker Neven was 9 of 22 for 62 yards and was intercepted three times. His backup, Kirkland Pugh, was 2 of 4 for 48 yards with an interception and added 31 yards rushing.
Brock Taunton had 3 receptions for 50 yards and added 25 yards rushing on a pair of carries. Ethan Honaker added 35 yards on five receptions and scored the Knights’ only touchdown on a 1-yard run.
Stone Yarnell and Clay Slagle both had seven tackles to lead the Macon East defense, while Nate Center had six tackles and a sack.
Flomaton 40, Montgomery Academy 14
FLOMATON – Flomaton scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second half to break open a close game and beat Montgomery Academy 40-14 in the opening round of the 3A state playoffs.
The Hurricanes will travel to Winfield for a second-round game.
Flomaton used a pair of conversions on fourth down to score the game’s first touchdown but the Eagles marched downfield to tie the game, using a fourth-down, 3-yard pass from Trey Lindsey to Williamson Robertson to make it 7-7.
Flomaton answered with a touchdown, then returned a Montgomery Academy fumble for another touchdown and a 21-7 lead. The Eagles answered with a touchdown in the third quarter to pull within a touchdown, but a trio of turnovers allowed the Hurricanes to pull away.
Mobile Christian 42, Pike Road 14
MOBILE – Alex Moore threw touchdown passes of 10, 37 and 24 yards in the first quarter to build a 28-7 halftime lead as Mobile Christian cruised to an opening-round win in the 3A playoffs.
C.J. Paymon had a rushing touchdown for Pike Road.
Pike Road (6-5) made history with its appearance in the state playoffs, becoming the first team in River Region history to qualify for the state playoffs in its first year as a varsity program.
Autauga Academy 42, South Choctaw Academy 0
PRATTVILLE – Tripp Carr passed for four touchdowns and ran for another as Autauga Academy cruised into the finals with a 42-0 win over South Choctaw Academy on Friday night.
The Generals (11-1) earned a rematch with Escambia (10-2), which defeated Edgewood 39-31 on Friday night in Atmore. The two teams played for the AA championship in each of the last two years, with Autauga winning in 2016 and Escambia winning in 2017.
Carr completed 11 of 13 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns, while his backup, Tyson Tubbs, completed 2 of 3 for 35 yards. Barry Womack had three receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown, Josh Kelsey had a pair of receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown, tailback Derrion Ashley had two catches for 134 yards and a touchdown and Carson Tate added a 4-yard touchdown reception.
On the ground, Carr had three carries for 45 yards and a touchdown and Ashley had three carries for 21 yards and a touchdown. Tre Cutler led the rushing attack with 109 yards on six carries.
Defensively, Kelsey had nine tackles, Trent Camp had eight, Krys Chapman had six tackles and an interception, Tate had six tackles and a pair of sacks and Shemar Pettaway had five tackles. Tubbs added an interception.
In the process, Autauga reached the state finals for the third consecutive year, a first in school history. Head coach Bobby Carr becomes only the third coach to lead the Generals to the finals in multiple years, joining James Carter (1978, 1983) and Kyle Glover (1998, 2016).
Tripp Carr became the first quarterback in AISA history to top the 10,000-yard total offense mark and now has 10,182 yards. Carr has 8,185 yards and 98 touchdowns passing, including 2,904 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. The senior also has 1,997 career rushing yards and 29 touchdowns rushing.
His 10,000-yard mark in total offense puts him in some elite company. Pinson Valley’s Bo Nix just passed the milestone late last month. Terrence Hollingsworth of Berry High leads all quarterbacks in total offense with 11,788, followed by Zach Smith of Susan Moore with 11,266 and Mitch Stults of Hamilton with 11,004.
In passing yardage, only two state quarterbacks have ever topped the 10,000-yard mark. Chris Smelley of American Christian Academy finished with 10,385 yards in 2005, falling nearly 400 yards shy of the record of 10,774 set by Williamson’s JaMarcus Russell in 2002.
Saraland 42, Stanhope Elmore 14
SARALAND – Cody White scored four touchdowns to lead Saraland to an easy victory over Stanhope Elmore in the first round of the 6A state playoffs on Friday night.
Saraland will travel to Hueytown for a second-round game next week.
Stanhope Elmore avoided the shutout on a 56-yard quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-one play, then added another touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Wetumpka 49, Daphne 21
WETUMPKA – The Indians used three touchdowns from DeAngelo Jones to grab an easy victory over Daphne in the first round of the 6A playoffs on Friday at Hohenberg Stadium.
Quarterback Tyquan Rawls rushed for 214 yards and Terrance Thomas added 152 yards and a touchdown to help the Indians earn a rematch with Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. Wetumpka defeated the Patriots last year in the semifinals at home to earn their first trip to the finals.
This year, Wetumpka will be traveling to Tuscaloosa.
McGill-Toolen 17, Prattville 13
MOBILE – Sheldon Layman threw a touchdown pass to Kendal White for the go-ahead points midway through the third quarter and the Yellow Jackets made it stand, surviving a 17-13 scare from Prattville in the first round of the 7A state playoffs on Friday night.
McGill-Toolen will travel to Phenix City to play Central in the second round of the playoffs next week.
C.J. Evans scored on a 63-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and Bay Cummings added a 37-yard field goal to give McGill-Toolen a 10-0 lead but the Lions fought back, recovering a kickoff for a short drive and a touchdown to take a 13-10 lead in the third quarter.
Robert E. Lee 13, Theodore 7
THEODORE – Robert E. Lee scored twice in the fourth quarter to upset Theodore 13-7 and advance to the second round of the 7A state playoffs, where the Generals will travel to Auburn in a rematch of region rivals.
Theodore (8-3) took a 7-0 lead late in the third quarter, but the Generals returned a fumble for a touchdown to tie the game, then scored with 1:13 remaining for the game-winning points.
McAdory 17, G.W. Carver 0
McADORY – Desmon Dortch threw a 3-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter and De’Arrion Riddle added a 30-yard touchdown run late as McAdory upended Carver 17-0 in the first round of the 6A state playoffs on Friday.
McAdory will travel to Spanish Fort for the second round of the playoffs.
Elba 54, Billingsley 19
ELBA – Walker Motley ran for a touchdown and threw for another and Carlton McCary added a kickoff return for a touchdown in Billingsley’s 54-19 loss at Elba in the first round of the 1A state playoffs.
Elba (8-2) will travel to Linden for a second-round playoff game. Billingsley ends the season at 5-6.
Motley completed 9 of 16 passes for 88 yards, including a touchdown pass to McCary, and rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown on four carries. McCary had 53 yards on four receptions, added 17 yards on three carries and intercepted a pass on defense.
Tailback Taylor Arington added 42 yards on 13 carries.
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 10, Sidney Lanier 3
The Hillcrest Patriots couldn’t be sure of what to expect from their first-round opponent on Thursday night.
Would it be the Sidney Lanier team that defeated Carver and battled 7A Prattville to the wire or the one that allowed Jeff Davis and Russell County to pick up their first wins of the season against the Poets?
The Poets didn’t play poorly but 14 penalties, along with 131 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries by Hillcrest’s Nassir Boyd, helped the Patriots hold off Lanier 10-3 in the first round of the 6A state playoffs at Cramton Bowl on Thursday night.
Hillcrest (6-5) will play host to Wetumpka in a second-round game next week. Hillcrest ended its most successful season in school history 12 months ago in a semifinal loss at Wetumpka.
Lanier (4-7) would get one last shot at tying the game but Jayson Barnes’ reception at the first-down marker was spotted two yards short of a first down after he was tackled and the ensuing snap to an unaware Marquarius Moore resulted in a hurried incomplete pass that turned the ball over on downs at the Lanier 39 with 1:13 left.
Three consecutive carries by Boyd moved the ball 22 yards and allowed the Patriots to run out the clock.
Boyd’s 2-yard run provided the only touchdown of the game to cap an impressive 13-play, 95-yard drive midway through the second quarter that accounted for 106 of the Patriots’ 192 total yards.
Seth Martin kicked a 39-yard field goal with 39 seconds left for a 10-0 halftime lead before Lanier answered with a 33-yard Rod Smith field goal midway through the third quarter.
Hillcrest had a chance to put the game away late in the third quarter with a little help from the Poets. Offsetting penalties on a punt forced the Patriots to kick again. After a low snap, Jay Bramblett, the punter, scooped up the ball, saw Lanier setting up the return and scrambled 11 yards for a first down. Four penalties assessed against the Poets over the next five plays moved the ball to a first and goal but Boyd was stopped short on a fourth-down carry from inside the 1.
Boyd actually scored the play before, but Lanier was penalized for being offside, negating the play.
Lanier’s Jacory Merritt had 68 yards on 16 carries, 49 yards on nine receptions and an interception to help the Poets keep the game close.