Football Roundup: Pike Road wins battle of unbeatens

St. James defensive lineman Barr Armistead grabs Pike Road quarterback Baron Brack after first-quarter scramble in Friday's game.

Pike Road 35, St. James 24

Last year, Pike Road faced its biggest challenge in a region matchup with St. James and was physically dominated from the opening whistle.

This year, the Patriots took huge strides in their final year as a Class 3A program, taking a huge step toward the Region 3 title with an impressive 35-24 win over the Trojans at Carlisle Field on Friday night.

In a showdown between undefeated programs, the second-year Patriots avenged last year’s humiliating 28-0 loss to the Trojans by scoring the game’s final two touchdowns on Friday to improve to 7-0 and hand the Trojans their first loss of the season.

“Last year, it was probably our biggest game as well,” noted Pike Road receiver Bryce Kelly. “We got smacked. They definitely dominated us in that game so we’ve been thinking about this game for a long time. We both had good records going into that game and they beat us, so this year we came out with a lot more fire and executed pretty well.”

Still, the Trojans were able to match their region rivals for most of the first three quarters, putting together an impressive 12-play drive for the game’s first touchdown and adding a 17-play drive that consumed nearly nine minutes off of the third-quarter clock for a 24-21 lead.

But many of the Trojans play both ways while Pike Road, which will be reclassified as a 5A or 6A program next year, relied on its superior depth to flex its muscle with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Baron Brack to Blake Durham and a 20-yard run by Brack to finish off the Trojans.

“Our quarterback dominated tonight,” Kelly said. “That was probably the best game he’s had all season and I’ve got to give it to Blake, too, catching two touchdowns and getting all those jump balls was amazing.”

Actually, Durham fell at the 1-yard line on one of his catches and Quinshon Judkins scored on the next play, but Brack was 12 of 18 for 249 yards and three touchdowns in his best performance since transferring from Fort Dale Academy over the summer.

Austin Gavin led all rushers with 73 yards on 23 carries, but had just four carries for eight yards in the second half as the Trojans had the ball for just 4:19 of the final 12 minutes.

“Hats off to St. James and the job Coach (Jimmy) Perry has done,” Pike Road coach Patrick Browning said. “They do an amazing job, year in, year out. This was a really good high school football game. Our guys, what they did, is what they did not do last year. When adversity hit, they responded. I can’t be more proud of these guys for doing that.”

Pike Road (7-0) improved to 4-0 in region play and returns home to play Dadeville on Friday. St. James (5-1) dropped to 3-1 in region play and remains home against Beulah next week.

Montgomery Academy 8, Dadeville 2

DADEVILLE – Jamal Cooper rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries and scored the game’s only touchdown on a 19-yard run as the Eagles scored early and held off Dadeville 8-2 on Senior Night.

“I’m so proud of the resiliency our guys displayed tonight,” MA coach Gary Nelson said. “We went on the road and played a very inspired Dadeville team on their Senior Night and did whatever we had to do to win the game. It wasn’t always pretty -- especially offensively -- but it was one of the most dominant defensive performances in recent memory. So many players contributed and did whatever they had to do to help us win.”

Montgomery Academy (4-3) improved to 3-1 in 3A Region 3 play, tied with St. James and Southside-Selma for second place heading into next week’s region game with Southside at McLemore Field.

Dadeville (1-6, 0-4) managed just 118 total yards and six turnovers – four fumbles and a pair of interceptions. Thomas Kirkham has five tackles and a sack, Judson Lindsey had five tackles and JaShawn Cooper had five tackles and two fumble recoveries to lead the defensive effort. Hilsman James had four tackles and an interception while Mac Main turned back a late scoring threat by Dadeville with an interception. Cam Holmes also had four tackles and a sack.

Alabama Christian 28, Headland 22

HEADLAND – Jalen Clark rushed for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the game winner on a 10-yard run, to give Alabama Christian a crucial 28-22 region victory over Headland on Friday night.

Clark scored twice on his 23 rushing attempts and added another touchdown with a pass to Bryan Farrington to help the Eagles (3-3) improve to 2-2 in 4A Region 2 play, tied with Dale County for third place and a half-game behind second-place Trinity, who was idle this week.

Corey Landers scored the game’s first touchdown on a 13-yard run and Cobi Keel added the extra point for a 7-0 lead. Clark added another score on a 68-yard run to put the Eagles on top 13-0 in the first quarter.

Headland, which has lost three straight games since a foot injury to quarterback Deaundre Newman, came back with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Ty Dailey to Kareen Sailor and an 81-yard pass from Dailey to Da’Trayvious Melton. Dailey ran in the two-point conversions after both touchdowns to give the Rams a 16-13 lead.

Clark completed just 3 of 9 passes, but one of those was an 18-yard touchdown toss to Farrington to put the Eagles back in front 20-16 at the end of the third quarter.

A 13-yard touchdown run by Andre Galloway gave the Rams a 22-20 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Clark would answer once more with his game winner to give the Eagles their second consecutive win as they return home to face LaFayette next week.

Landers had 75 yards rushing on 13 carries, while Demari Moore had 51 on four carries.

Defensively, Miller McCarthy had 10 tackles, Jack Thomas had nine, Preston Perry had seven and Kory Nixon had six.

Catholic 55, Ashford 28

ASHFORD -- Christian Ivey completed 13 of 17 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown and ran for 48 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine carries as Catholic moved a step closer to the 4A Region 2 title with a 55-28 victory at Ashford on Friday night.

“This was the best offensive effort of the year for us,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “And it came at a good time with Ashford being a tough football team. I think the biggest plus for us came from our defensive coaches. They made adjustments at halftime that made sure we did not give up a single point. It was a good road win for us.”

The Knights (7-0) improved to 4-0 in region play, taking a 1.5-game lead over idle Trinity and a two-game lead over Alabama Christian and Dale County with two region games remaining against winless Booker T. Washington next week and against Headland in three weeks.

Darrell Gibson added 102 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries and Jeremiah Cobb had 104 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Orlando Whatley added a 9-yard touchdown run and DJ Carter had a 29-yard touchdown reception.

Myles Butler had four receptions for 87 yards.

Ashford (2-4, 1-2 in region play) hosts Headland next week.

Macon East Academy 18, Lowndes Academy 13

HAYNEVILLE -- Macon East rebounded from its narrow lost to Edgewood last week and earned a hard fought 18-13 win on the road over Lowndes Academy at Mac Champion Stadium.

For Macon East, Cephus Cleveland split his duties between quarterback and tailback with 29 carries for 142 yards, including a one-yard run for a touchdown. In the passing department he was 6 of 8 for 59 yards, including an 18-yard TD pass to Clay Slagle. Coleby Jordan was a workhorse for the Knights with 15 carries for 76 yards on offense. He also had 5 tackles and 2 sacks on defense. Slagle had 3 catches for 38 yards and 8 tackles on defense. Stone Yarnell made 3 catches for 28 yards and recorded 5 tackles on defense. Yarnell also sacked the Rebels quarterback for a safety. Garrett Harden and Javen Augustus had 7 tackles each.

The Rebels only managed 32 yards rushing and was led by quarterback Colby Briggs with 31 yards on 10 carries. Briggs was 3 of 7 passing for 95 yards, 74 of which came on a touchdown strike to Trevor Haney. The second Rebels touchdown came when Haney burst through the line from 4 yards out late in the third quarter. The point after touchdown was blocked and Macon held a 14-13 lead before notching a pair of safeties in the final period. Peyton Parker, Daniel Janes and Landon Hooper recovered fumbles for the Rebels and Austin Meads intercepted a Knights pass.

Macon East (4-1) will host Monroe Academy next Thursday night in an important AAA Region 2 contest. Lowndes Academy (3-2) will host South Choctaw in an AA Region 2 game for homecoming next week.

Billingsley 25, Wadley 6

BILLINGSLEY – Brisen Tatum stepped in for the injured Levi Arington at quarterback and led Billingsley to a surprisingly easy 25-6 win over Wadley at Mims Field on Friday, lifting the Bears into a first-place tie with Lanett in the region standings.

With Arington sidelined with an injury from last week’s game, Tatum stepped in at quarterback and ran for 117 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries for the Bears (4-2, 3-0 in region play). Arington’s older brother Taylor, the Bears’ starting tailback, added 116 yards on 14 carries on offense and 14 tackles and a fumble recovery on defense.

Eli Cobern helped the Bears defensively with nine tackles and a pair of sacks.

Billingsley, winning for the fourth consecutive week, travels to Autaugaville next week for a region game.

Pensacola Catholic 49, Autauga Academy 27

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Autauga Academy couldn’t match the potent offense of Pensacola Catholic, falling to the undefeated Crusaders 49-27 on Friday night.

Octevious Palmer completed 5 of 10 passes for 88 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while backup quarterback Tyreshon Freeman completed 6 of 11 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown while throwing three interceptions.

Freeman also had 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 10 carries. Tre Cutler rushed for 47 yards on eight carries. Raymond Cutler led the receivers with four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Dominique Webster added 60 yards and a touchdown on three receptions while recording eight tackles, two forced fumbles and a pass breakup on defense.

Willie Willis added 13 tackles (nine solo, four assists) along with a tackle for loss and Logan Gilmore had eight tackles (three solo and five assists).

Autauga (3-2) return to AA Region 1 play with a game next week at Lakeside, while the Crusaders improved to 6-0.

Southside 58, Prattville Christian 14

SELMA – Prattville Christian scored a pair of touchdowns but couldn’t keep pace with Southside, dropping their fourth 3A Region 3 game of the season at Southside on Friday.

Benjamin Echols had 42 yards rushing on 10 carries and had a 14-yard touchdown reception from Jake Davis for the Panthers. Kenny Gunn scored PCA’s other touchdown, rushing for 39 yards on 13 carries.

Andrew Raife led the Panthers with 84 yards rushing on 10 carries. Jake Davis completed 2 of 7 passes for 21 yards, including the touchdown pass to Echols. Trey Barkley added both extra points.

Defensively, Gunn had eight tackles, including two for loss and a fumble recovery, to lead the Panthers on that side of the ball. Brooks Bius also had eight tackles, including a sack and a tackle for a loss. Barkley added five tackles and Andrew Allen and Davis each recorded four tackles.

PCA (0-6) will travel to Union Springs to play Bullock County in a region game next Friday.

Prattville 20, Robert E. Lee 3

PRATTVILLE – The Lions set the tone early, blocking a Robert E. Lee punt, recovering it at the 2-yard line and scoring on the next play to spark Prattville to a 20-3 win over the Generals in 7A Region 2 play at Stanley-Jensen Stadium.

Davian Edwards added a 10-yard pass and Elliot Duke kicked the first of two field goals to give the Lions a 17-0 halftime lead before the two teams traded field goals in the second half.

Prattville (5-1) moved into a tie with Auburn High for third place in the region, a half-game behind the Generals. Lee (6-1) fell out of first place at 3-1 but can regain the region lead with a game at home against Central-Phenix City next week. Prattville will be in Cramton Bowl as well, playing Jeff Davis in a region game.

Eufaula 50, Park Crossing 29

EUFAULA – Hess Horne completed 9 of 17 passes for 153 yards and four touchdowns as Eufaula routed Park Crossing in a 6A Region 2 game.

Horne threw a touchdown pass late in the first quarter, added a quarterback sneak for a touchdown after the Thunderbirds fumbled the ensuing kickoff, then added another touchdown pass for a 19-7 lead.

Park Crossing (1-6) was penalized 20 times for 230 yards in the game.

Horne added a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes to give the Tigers a 33-7 lead at the half. Horne added another quarterback sneak for a touchdown in the second half.

Eufaula (5-2) improved to 2-1 in region play and are tied with Lanier for second place, a half-game behind Dothan.

Carver 44, Dothan 20

DOTHAN – The Wolves scored three touchdowns in the second half to pull away from a one-point lead and coast by Carver in a battle for first place in 6A Region 2 at Rip Hewes Stadium on Friday night.

The Wolves moved a step closer to the region title in their first year, improving to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in region play with only a game remaining against Sidney Lanier. Carver dropped to fourth place at 1-1 in region play behind Eufaula and Lanier.

Dothan led just 21-20 at the half but scored all 23 points in the second half, starting with a safety. Jalen White scored on the ensuing possession on a 10-yard run, Ty Webb added a 61-yard run and White added a 65-yard scoring run to finish off the Wolverines.

Carver (4-2) plays Lanier next week at Cramton Bowl.

Valley 34, Tallassee 12

VALLEY – KD Hutchinson threw for two touchdown passes and ran for another to lead Valley to a 5A Region 2 win over Tallassee.

Hutchinson accounted for the game’s first touchdown on a 40-yard pass to Randall Brooks and added two fourth-quarter scored with a touchdown pass to Jaden Hamlin and a 2-yard run to finish off the Tigers.

Tallassee (2-3), coming off of two bye weeks, cut the lead to 7-6 on Marciano Smith’s 16-yard pass to Jayln Daniels and added another score on a Zavion Carr 2-yard run in the fourth quarter, but dropped to 1-2 in region play and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Valley (5-2) remains in first place in the region with a 4-0 record.

Marbury 45, Central 42

TUSCALOOSA – Marbury scored a touchdown with no time on the clock to pull out a crucial 5A Region 3 victory over Central at Falcon Stadium on Friday night.

Javonta Leatherwood had rushed for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the game, but the Bulldogs rallied with a long pass play to get in the red zone with seven seconds left, then a costly pass interference penalty against Central to give Marbury one last chance at victory.

Marbury (4-2) improved to 2-1 in region play to remain tied with Demopolis for third place in the region and keep alive its playoff hopes. Central (3-4) lost for the fourth consecutive time and dropped to 1-3 in region play.

Marbury returns home to play Jemison next week in a region game before taking on the two region leaders, Chilton County and Bibb County, over the following two weeks.

Chambers Academy 48, Success Unlimited Academy 12

The Rebels scored on every possession except for the two that ran out the clock in each half and held Success Unlimited without a first down for virtually all of the first three quarters to win their 40th consecutive regular season game with a rout of the Mustangs at True Divine Baptist Church on Thursday night.

Braxton Allen rushed for 105 yards on 14 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 1,3 and 5 yards in the first half as the defending A state champions built a 35-0 halftime lead to extend their winning streak to 19 games. Payton Allen threw a pair of 13-yard touchdown passes to Caydon Smoot in the first half as well.

Jordan Benbrook, who had 96 yards on nine carries, added touchdown runs of 7 and 1 yards in the second half as a running clock shortened the game to 28 second-half plays. Chambers (6-0) finished with 342 rushing yards on 45 carries, running out the clock on the Success 3-yard line.

Success picked up its initial first down on a 19-yard pass from Jaden Jones to E’Rico Mayes with 1:43 left in the third quarter. Desmond Adam ran 45 yards for a touchdown on the next play and Jones hit Isaiah Jackson with a 77-yard scoring strike on the Mustangs’ next possession to avoid the shutout.

Success (1-5) travels to Dothan to play Northside Methodist next Friday.

Jeff Davis 31, Smiths Station 14

Chase Ford completed 20 of 24 attempts for 262 yards and a pair of touchdowns and the Jeff Davis defense forced three turnovers in a 31-14 victory over Smiths Station at Cramton Bowl on Thursday night.

Ford threw touchdown passes of 26 yards to Rance Lee and 19 yards to Stacy Crockett to give Jeff Davis a 14-0 lead in the first half. Reginald Summage added a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Dewontay Peterson added a 74-yard scoring run in the fourth.

The Jeff Davis defense intercepted Smiths Station quarterback Corey Minton twice and also recovered a fumble. Smiths Station dropped to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in region play with the loss.

Jeff Davis (2-4, 1-2) pulled into a tie for fifth place in the region with Enterprise, a half-game back of Prattville. The Vols face the Lions next Thursday at Cramton Bowl.