St. James, Catholic, Trinity post wins

Austin Gavin had a career night for St. James and scored a pair of touchdowns in the Trojans' win over Montgomery Academy on Friday night.

Macon East Academy 41, Fort Dale Academy 7

GREENVILLE – Glynn Lott celebrated his 150th coaching victory at Macon East by leading the Knights to a region rout of Fort Dale on Friday night.

Lott, the only coach in the 24-year history of the school, is now 150-105 after the Knights rolled out to a 28-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 41-7 halftime lead.

Quarterback Cephus Cleveland had four carries for 168 yards, including touchdown runs of 73 and 57 yards, and completed his only passing attempt for 33 yards and a touchdown to Parker Whittle.

Coleby Jordan added 69 yards on just four carries, including touchdown runs of 38 and 9 yards.

Garrett Harden had a 62-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

Defensively, Stone Yarnell had 12 tackles and a fumble recovery, Kirkland Pugh had three tackles and a pair of interceptions, Luke Noffsinger had nine tackles and an interception and Javen Augustus had an interception.

Macon East (2-0) returns home for a region game with Pike Liberal Arts next Friday. Fort Dale (0-3) travels to Montgomery for a region game with Success Unlimited on Thursday at True Divine Baptist Church.

St. James 26, Montgomery Academy 7

The one-two combination of Austin Gavin and Alex Whisenhunt combined for 330 yards as St. James pulled away in the second half for a convincing 26-7 win over Montgomery Academy in a region matchup at McLemore Field on Friday night.

“That’s what you’ve got to have,” St. James coach Jimmy Perry said. “They kind of zeroed in on 3 (Gavin) and got their eyes off of 4 (Whisenhunt) and then 4 came in and they had to look at him for a while and 3 came back and did his thing. We just had a good one-two punch and the defense played lights out.”

Gavin rushed for a career-high 238 yards on 33 carries, scoring on a 64-yard run in the first quarter to break a scoreless tie and again in the final seconds of the third quarter on a 16-yard run. Whisenhunt was just as valuable, rushing for 138 yards on 21 carries, all in the final three quarters. He scored on 24-yard run up the middle seconds into the second quarter and on a 53-yard run to cap the Trojans’ first possession of the third quarter.

“I just give all the credit to my line and my teammates,” Gavin said. “We knew that we were in for a dogfight, but we needed to stay calm and collected. I just think we came together as a team when it got rough in the second half and just did business.”

The Eagles suffered a huge setback late in the first quarter when senior middle linebacker Hilsman James reinjured his right knee and left the game, forcing a shuffling of the lineup and leaving Montgomery Academy without one of its most inspirational leaders.

“That was a blow,” Montgomery Academy coach Gary Nelson said. “Losing your middle linebacker in the first quarter against a team that runs what they run, it’s hard to recover. It deflated us. Honestly, I don’t know if I did the best job after that. It kind of shook me.”

Although the Trojans seemed to have the upper hand throughout much of the first half, the Eagles appeared to pull even on an 84-yard Jamal Cooper punt return for a touchdown with 5:58 remaining in the first half, only to have an official penalize the Montgomery Academy bench for celebrating and leaving the bench area as Cooper covered the final 20 yards.

“I’m not going to comment on officials,” Nelson said. “We encourage our kids to be involved in the game and we want our sideline to be excited when things go well. I felt like the guys on our sideline were responding with great energy to really the first big play we had in the game and the official thought that excitement went overboard. It was an unfortunate call.”

“That was huge,” Perry said. “We didn’t have but nine guys on the field and that was a coaching error that won’t happen again.”

Mac Main led the MA defense with 10 tackles. William Robertson had nine tackles, Jack Anzalone had nine tackles and forced a fumble, Jackson Kelly had eight tackles and Thomas Kirkham had six tackles.

St. James (4-0) travels to Dadeville for a region game next week, while MA (2-2) travels to Prattville Christian for a region matchup next Friday.

Trinity 44, Headland 14

John David Bonner completed 9 of 15 passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns and Tate Holley rushed for two more as the Wildcats rolled to a surprisingly easy region victory at Ragsdale-Boykin Field on Friday night.

Bonner threw touchdown passes to William Roberson, James Handey and Jake Hufham, while Holley added 52 yards on 16 carries. Defensively, Mac McClinton and Coleman Morris each had seven tackles to lead the Wildcats, followed by Jim Portis and Porter Birmingham with six each and Kylar Williamson with five.

Headland (3-1) scored both of its touchdowns in the final minutes, the first on a 33-yard interception return by Tyson Kirkland, the second on a 42-yard pass from Tyler Dailey to Datavious Melton. Headland is idle until a Sept. 27 game against Pike Road, while Trinity (2-2) plays host to Catholic in a region game next week.

Catholic 52, Alabama Christian 13

Christian Ivey passed for 126 yards and rushed for 146 more as the Knights rolled to an easy region win over Alabama Christian Academy on Friday night.

Ivey completed 5 of 10 passes for 126 yards, while rushing for 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 carries. Darrell Gibson added 185 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries.

“I’m really proud of how fast we started tonight,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “Our guys were focused and played together. Our offense had some big plays early and the score on our first drive was huge for our momentum.”

DJ Carter added a 38-yard touchdown run and Jreemiah Cobb had a 20-yard touchdown run, part of a 507-yard performance by the Catholic offense. Defensively, Nate Downes had an interception for the Knights.

“Our senior leadership has really been good for us so far,” Blackwell said. “They’re goal oriented and have kept our guys focused and determined.”

Alabama Christian (1-3) travels to Midland City to play Dale County next week, while Catholic (4-0) plays host to Trinity in an region game.

Pike Road 63, Southside-Selma 16

SELMA – Barron Brack rushed for a pair of touchdowns and threw for another and the Patriot defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns as Pike Road cruised to an easy region win on Friday.

Brack rushed for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns and completed 6 of 9 passes for 86 yards and another touchdown in the rout. Quinshon Judkins added 60 yards rushing for the Patriots.

Defensively, Eli Clark returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown and CJ Paymon returned another 45 yards for a touchdown in the win.

Pike Road (4-0) travels to Union Springs next week for a region game with Bullock County, while Southside (1-1) travels to Beulah for a region game.

Beulah 60, Prattville Christian 6

PRATTVILLE – Jake Davis completed 3 of 5 passes for 63 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown pass to Trey Barkley, but Prattville Christian dropped its region opener to Beulah at PCA on Friday night.

Kenny Gunn and Benjamin Echols each had 20 yards to lead the Panthers (0-3) in rushing. Defensively, Gunn had five tackles, including three for loss. Jake Bius had five tackles, Gavin Hewlett had four tackles and Andrew Allen had three.

Beulah (3-1) plays Southside next week, while PCA plays host to Montgomery Academy.

Billingsley 47, Verbena 0

VERBENA – Taylor Arington scored on three of his five carries, accounting for 130 yards, and younger brother Levi Arington was 7 of 8 for 157 yards as Billingsley swamped Verbena in a region contest on Friday.

It was a homecoming of sorts for first-year Billingsley coach Phillip Coggins, a Verbena graduate and current resident of the Chilton County community.

Eli Cobern led the Bears’ defense with nine tackles, including three sacks. Brisen Tatum had four tackles and an interception.

Billingsley (2-2) is idle next week, returning to action on Sept. 27 at Prattville Christian Academy. Verbena (1-2) plays host to Wadley in a region game next week.

South Choctaw Academy 39, Hooper Academy 20

HOPE HULL – Houston Jacques ran for one touchdown and threw for two more but it wasn’t enough as South Choctaw Academy built an early lead and held off the Colts on Friday night at Davis Henry Field.

Jacques had 69 yards rushing, including a 51-yard scoring run in the first half for Hooper. He added touchdown throws of 14 yards to Monte Davis and 42 yards to Holden Hollingshead in the second half.

Davis finished with 50 yards rushing and 59 yards receiving, while Hollingshead had 72 receiving yards. Tamarcus Hardaway led the Hooper defense with 10 tackles, including a sack. Hollingshead also had 10 tackles, while Dalton Hooper had nine tackles, including one for loss.

South Choctaw (2-2) will play host to Clarke Prep in a region game next week. Hooper (1-2) travels to Hayneville to play Lowndes Academy in a region game next Friday.

Edgewood Academy 42, Springwood School 8

ELMORE – Alex Johnson threw for a pair of touchdown passes and the Wildcats added another on defense and a fourth with special teams to cruise out to a 35-point lead in the first half on the way to an easy region opening win.

Johnson completed 5 of 8 passes for 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including an 85-yard pass to Kam Burleson for the game’s first touchdown and another of 23 yards to Mitchell Boyd early in the second half for a 42-0 lead.

Boyd also ran 27 yards for a touchdown, followed by a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown by Kaleb Varner to give the Wildcats a quick 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

Blane Guthrie added an interception return for a touchdown and a 25-yard touchdown run for a touchdown for a 35-0 lead at the half.

Clay Williams led the Edgewood defense with 10 tackles, followed by Colton Jones with seven and Boyd, Guthrie and Dawson Owens with six tackles each.

Edgewood improved to 4-0 with the win and 1-0 in region play. Springwood dropped to 2-2 and 0-1.

Patrician Academy 26, Lowndes Academy 7

BUTLER – Patrician Academy broke open a tight game with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns to help the Saints defeat Lowndes Academy for their first win in an important region game on Friday night.

Patrician (1-3) jumped on the scoreboard with a 14-yard run by Lee McBride for a 7-0 lead but that was the only scoring in the first half as the two teams waged a defensive battle. After the Saints scored a pair of third-quarter touchdowns, Garrett Lewis added a 5-yard scoring run for a 26-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Lowndes (2-1) averted the shutout with John Morgan’s 47-yard touchdown pass.

Defensively, Gus Page led the Rebels with 10 tackles, followed by Daniel Janes with eight and Trevor Haney, Peyton Parker and Landon Hooper with five each. The Rebels return home to play host to Hooper in a region game next week.

Lee-Scott Academy 28, Morgan Academy 20

SELMA – Lee-Scott rallied from a 20-7 halftime deficit with 21 unanswered points to turn back Morgan in a crucial AAA Region 1 game on Friday.

Wilks Fisher was an all-around performer tonight by throwing for 105 yards and a touchdown, adding 45 receiving yards and 85 rushing yards and contributing five tackles on defense.

Mailon Reese added 150 yards and a touchdown on the ground tonight and had seven tackles on defense, including four for loss. Thomas Whatley ran for 160 yards and a touchdown and added 15 receiving yards for another touchdown.

Lee Scott Academy (2-2) returns to action on Sept. 27 against Pike Liberal Arts in the Warriors’ 2019 home opener.

Central-Phenix City 45, Prattville 20

PHENIX CITY – Tucker Melton completed all seven pass attempts and Trey Miles ran for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Central broke open a tight game in the third quarter and cruised to a big region win over the Lions on Friday night.

Melton passed for 94 yards and a touchdown in the win. Prattville (2-1) travels to Enterprise for a region game next week. The Red Devils (3-1) will play host to Opelika.

Opelika 33, Wetumpka 32

OPELIKA – Brody Davis threw a 5-yard pass to Marien Warner with 2:55 left, then turned back a late drive by Wetumpka, to edge the Indians in an important region battle at Bulldog Stadium on Friday night.

Eric Watts led the Bulldogs with 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 28 carries.

Wetumpka (2-2) travels to Jacksonville State University to play Buckhorn on Thursday. Opelika (4-0) travels to Phenix City to play Central.

Robert E. Lee 19, Auburn 14

AUBURN – The Generals rallied with a pair of second-half touchdown receptions, then watched Auburn’s last-minute drive die at the Lee 3-yard line as time ran out, allowing Lee to snap a seven-game losing streak in region matchups with the Tigers on Friday night.

Lee trailed 14-6 at the half but came back with a 37-yard touchdown reception by Damarshia Davis and another 37-yard touchdown reception, the second by Jamari Smith, to help the Generals take the lead. Auburn drove inside the Lee 10-yard line in the final seconds but an Auburn player was tackled inbounds at the 3 and the Tigers could not spike the ball before time ran out.

Lee beat Auburn 12-6 in the 7A quarterfinals last year, but had lost seven consecutive regular-season region matchups to the Tigers, starting in 2012, before finally winning on Friday.

Park Crossing 42, Dothan 7

The Thunderbirds jumped on Dothan for 30 unanswered points to open the game and coasted from there, beating the Wolves in the region opener for both teams on Thursday night at Cramton Bowl.

An Adaryll Lewis touchdown run, a Jayvius Langford touchdown pass and an interception return for a touchdown by Jaden Taylor staked Park Crossing to a 30-0 lead before Dothan finally scored in the second quarter.

It was the first win for first-year coach C.J. Harris at Park Crossing (1-3). The Thunderbirds face Lanier in a region game next week. It was the first region loss for Dothan, a program that consolidated the old Dothan High and Northview High programs under first-year coach Smitty Grider, the first coach at Park Crossing when the school opened in east Montgomery in 2014.

Monroe Academy 34, Success Unlimited Academy 7

MONROEVILLE – Monroe Academy pulled away in the second half for an easy win over the Mustangs on Thursday night in the region opener for both teams.

Monroe (2-2) extended its region winning streak to 24 consecutive games dating back to a loss to Escambia in 2014. The Volunteers have won 61 of their last 62 region games dating back to 2007 and travel to Dothan to play Northside Methodist in a region game next week.

Success (1-2) drops to 1-5 all-time in region games since starting the program in 2018 and plays host to Fort Dale next Thursday at True Divine Baptist Church.