Marengo upends Georgiana, sets third round rendezvous with Wadley

For the second time in as many weeks, Marengo shut down a powerful Class 1A offense and advanced in the state playoffs. Eight days after shutting out Highland Home, Marengo hit the road to beat Georgiana 18-0.

Georgiana entered the game with 517 points on the season and a perfect 11-0 record.

All of that amounted to very little for Georgiana, which proved unable to satisfactorily limit the Marengo rushing attack. Quarterback Quindaris Ausbon ran the ball eight times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Alphonzo Lewis added 73 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Roosevelt Thompson added 56 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving in the effort. Calvin Ferguson contributed 48 yards on only eight rushes.

De’Angelos Crispin recorded six tackles and a sack to lead the Marengo defense. Thompson and Curtis Autery each also had eight tackles.

Johnny Kennedy and Ronald Bouler each had three tackles for loss and two sacks.

“Our defense really stepped up again tonight. Any time you are able to limit a good offense like Georgiana, that shows signs of a disciplined team,” Marengo coach Eberne Myrthil said. “Our offense did what we have been doing all year: run the ball and pass it when we want to. I am very proud of our overall team effort. Also, I must add the Panther faithful fans showed up in full force. It was like we were at home.”

Marengo (9-3) hosts Wadley next Friday night.

Sweet Water rolls over Brantley

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Junior Jah’Darius McIntosh drags down Brantley RB Michael Booker (25) for a loss.

Sweet Water had little trouble dispatching of Brantley Friday night on the way to a 41-13 victory in the second round of the AHSAA, Class 1A playoffs.

Shamar Lewis wasted no time announcing the Bulldogs’ intentions as he returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Purple Dawg Jaylon Williamson (44) splits two defenders and picks up a first down.

Jaylon Williamson scored the game’s first offensive touchdown when he punched it in from 15 yards out for a 14-0 lead.

Jacory Brown continued to pour it on with five seconds left in the first quarter as he scored on a 5-yard run to push the lead to 20-0.

Brantley looked to get off the deck with 10:22 remaining in the second quarter when Parker Driggers connected with Adrian Person for an 11-yard touchdown strike to narrow the gap to 20-7.

Jonah Smith followed with a touchdown toss of his own, hitting Chance Broussard for a 21-yard score to move the Sweet Water lead to 27-7.

Mack Wise broke a 27-yard touchdown run with 3:26 left in the opening half to narrow Brantley’s deficit to 27-13.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
SW WR Chastian Washington (22) cradles the ball and makes the catch despite the efforts Brantley DB Jacob Odom (9)

Just before intermission fell in Nolan Atkins Stadium, Smith hit his younger brother Sasha Smith for a 12-yard touchdown pass and the 34-13 lead. The Sweet Water signal caller found the end zone one more time when he connected with Trent Sams for a 12-yard passing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Smith finished 6 of 10 throwing for 90 yards and three touchdowns. Lewis led the ground game with 102 yards on 12 carries. Brown added 67 yards on 17 carries. Kaleb Greene intercepted a pass for the Sweet Water defense.

Sweet Water (10-1) hosts reigning state champion Maplesville next Friday night in the Class 1A quarterfinals.

Demopolis drops Central-Clay to move to quarterfinals

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Malaki Simpson hits a field goal from the hold of Andrew Patterson to give the Tigers their first points in their victory over Clay Central.

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Demetrius Davis (1) celebrates with Malaki Simpson (89) after Simpson hit a field goal to give the Tigers their first points of the game in their victory over Clay Central.

Demopolis relied on its defense at virtually every turn Friday night to frustrate Central-Clay County and punch its ticket to the Class 5A quarterfinals. Demopolis downed the Volunteers 17-6 to set up a third round date with Vigor High next week.

The Tigers found themselves with their backs proverbially against the wall early as the Volunteers had the ball on the Demopolis 1. As Cameron Peoples went over the top for an attempted touchdown, the Tigers knocked the ball out and Derrick Birl pounced on it, staving the threat.

“It was huge. I think we lost our leverage a couple of times early. They got a big run early,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “Our kids got a little penetration right there. I think Fred actually got his hand on the ball and knocked it loose. We got a fumble recovery right there and that got our defense loosened up. Huge play. Probably the play of the game.”

The Volunteers scarcely threatened again. Demopolis found some offensive mojo in the second quarter when Andrew Patterson found Tyquan Alston for a 31-yard gain to help set up a 25-yard field goal by Malaki Simpson, the first of the freshman kicker’s career.

“I saw him in warmups and he was hitting the ball real well,” Seymore said. “For him to step up and knock that thing through showed a lot of character on his part. We needed some points.”

The Tigers found the end zone for the first time on a remarkable catch and run from A.J. Jackson with 2:10 remaining in the first half. The senior tailback hauled in a screen pass and reversed field multiple times to complete the 59-yard touchdown play and put the Tigers up 10-0.

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson breaks free on a touchdown run in the first half of the Tigers’ victory over Clay Central.

“(Offensive coordinator Matt) Mellown and the offensive staff made a good call right there,” Seymore said. “When you get a good athlete like A.J. in the open field, he has the ability to make a lot of people miss and also has the ability to outrun people.”

Demopolis broke it open early in the fourth quarter when Patterson threw over the top down the left side and dropped it right into the arms of Alston, who sprinted the rest of the way to complete a 90-yard touchdown strike.

“I caught it. I almost went out of bounds. When I caught it, all I could remember was ‘Don’t get caught. Don’t get caught.’ It has happened every time,” Alston, who got his first career touchdown on the play, said in allusion to the multiple plays this season where he has been drug down just feet from the goal line. “I was looking back trying to make sure I didn’t get caught.”

“We give him a lot of crap about getting caught. We call him slow and everything,” Patterson joked. “But he was not getting caught tonight. He turned on those jets and he was gone.”

The play effectively put the game out of reach for Central-Clay.

“It started with the protection. Patty threw a strike. He hit him right in the numbers right there,” Seyomre said. “Tyquan looked it in. He just turned on the jets and tight-roped the sideline right there. That was probably the nail in the coffin right there.”

Alston finished with three receptions for 132 yards. Patterson finished 10 of 19 for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Tigers (10-2) travel to Prichard next week to face Vigor in the third round.

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Keionte Whitfield (88) and Alexander Besteder (3) wrap up a Volunteer runner as Derrick Birl (24) closes in during the Tigers’ victory over Clay Central.

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Tyquan Alston secures a pass that he would turn into a touchdown during the Tigers’ victory over Clay Central.

Sweet Water handles Notasulga for first round win

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
RB Jacory Brown finds a opening and breaks a long run against the Blue Devils.

It may be playoff time but it was certainly business as usual for Sweet Water Friday night as they ran over Notasulga 54-0 to advance to the AHSAA Class 1A second round. The Bulldogs rushed to a 34-0 lead by halftime and shifted into cruise control down the stretch to ice the win in the first ever meeting between the two schools.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
A trio of Bulldog defenders lead by Jaylon Williamson halt the forward progress of the Blue Devils RB.

Shamar Lewis opened the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run with 6:34 remaining in the first quarter. Jacory Brown added a 13-yard run with 57 seconds remaining in the quarter to move the lead to 14-0. Lewis broke a 41-yard scoring run with 10:49 left in the second quarter to make it 20-0. JahDarius McIntosh then intercepted a pass and returned it for a score 14 seconds later to officially move the game into blowout territory. Brown added another touchdown run from a yard out with 4:13 left in the opening half.

Jaylon Williamson, Kaleb Greene and Jaylin Dixon each added a rushing touchdown in the second half to set the final margin.

Sweet Water totaled 386 yards of total offense on 58 plays with 371 of those yards coming on the ground. Conversely, the Bulldogs allowed only 48 yards of total offense to Notasulga.

Brown led the way with 102 yards rushing on 15 carries. Lewis added 97 yards on eight runs. McIntosh and Smith each intercepted a pass.

Sweet Water (9-1) is set to host Brantley (8-3) in the Class 1A second round next Friday.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Bulldog junior Chance Broussard runs for a first down after a pass reception.

Impenetrable Panthers ground Flying Squadron for playoff win

11-9-17 — Dixon Mills, Ala. — Marengo High QB Quandaris Ausbon (2) accounted for a total of four touchdowns on the night while rushing 154 yards and completing 5 of 7 pass attempts for 89 yards. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Marengo High School entered its first round Class 1A playoff matchup looking to do more than just win the game. The Panthers made an emphatic statement with a 50-0 shutout of Highland Home while completely dismantling a Flying Squadron offense that had accounted for 433 points through 10 games. Marengo piled up 412 yards while holding Highland Home to 67 yards and only three first downs.

“We wanted to make a statement,” Marengo coach Eberne Myrthil said. “We heard a lot about their offense and their ability to put up points. We challenged our defense to make this a statement game. I was very proud of our team in every facet of the game. We played a complete game.”

Ronald Bouler paced the defensive effort with eight tackles including three for loss and two sacks. Johnny Kennedy added eight tackles with two for loss and one sack. De’Angelos Crispin and Curtis Autery notched seven tackles apiece. KeShawn Fountain intercepted a pass for the Panther defense.

The offense saw its biggest contributions come from quarterback Quandaris Ausbon. The senior standout rushed nine times for 154 yards and two touchdowns while also completing 5 of 7 passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Calvin Ferguson rushed eight times for 70 yards. Alphonzo Lewis had 12 carries for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Roosevelt Thompson had seven rushes for 42 yards.

Autery hauled in two passes for 30 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Crispin caught one pass for 38 yards.

Marengo (8-3) will face the winner of Georgiana and Winterboro next Friday night.

Demopolis sacks Williamson to move to Class 5A second round

11-9-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Russ Logan wraps up Williamson’s quarterback for a sack during the Tigers’ first round win over the Lions.

In a showcase of standout defenses, Demopolis made the necessary offensive adjustments to pull out a 21-0 playoff win over Williamson Thursday. The teams battled to a 0-0 stalemate by halftime that saw 59 total yards for Demopolis against 58 for Williamson. The Tigers turned the tables during their first drive of the second half on one of the most nondescript of plays.

11-9-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Fred Haywood sacks Williamson’s quarterback near the Lions’ own end zone during the Tigers’ first round win over the Lions.

Facing a third and five in their own territory, Demopolis got a boost when senior quarterback Andrew Patterson called his own number. Patterson pulled the ball, ran away from pressure toward the Williamson sideline and dove for the stick marking the line to gain. The 5-yard sprint gave Demopolis a first down and extended a drive that resulted in the first points of the game.

“That might’ve been the biggest play of the game,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “We ran our sprint pass to the left and they did a good job in coverage. He pulled it down and did a good job with it and got us a big first down.”

A.J. Jackson culminated the effort when momentarily slipped on a rushing attempt before pivoting off his free hand to go around the right end for a 19-yard touchdown sprint.

11-9-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson heads to the end zone for the game deciding score during the Tigers’ first round win over the Williamson Lions.

“It was back and forth. The defense dominated the first half. I thought in the first half, we played not to lose instead of playing to win. I challenged them to go out there and do what we do. I thought they responded in a big way. We got the big run from A.J. and after that I felt like the momentum swung our way,” Seymore said. “Our kids take a lot of pride in doing the little things right. We stayed on blocks and our backs ran the ball physical. One thing led to another and it was a domino effect. Our guys picked up the momentum and kind of ran with it.”

Demopolis added to the lead in the fourth quarter when Jackson ran for a 7-yard touchdown. The final score came when Patterson went off play-action and hit DeDe Davis over the top for a 34-yard touchdown pass.

Demopolis finished with 269 yards of total offense while Williamson had 100 yards. Jackson paced the Tigers with 105 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Antonio Besteder ran the ball 15 times for 75 yards.

The Demopolis defense got after Williamson most of the night, tallying four sacks on the evening. Tavion Brown had a pair of sacks while Fred Haywood and Russ Logan had one apiece. Aron Collier intercepted a pass for the Tigers.

The win moves Demopolis to 9-2 and advances the squad to the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs where it will host the winner of Central Clay County and Charles Henderson. The victory also marks the first playoff win of Seymore’s career.

“To me it’s special because I’ve been so close many times. I’ve had a lot of close losses and so many overtime losses. But the credit goes back to the coaches and the players,” Seymore said. “It was special to get that Gatorade bath. I just hope we can keep the momentum going.”

11-9-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Demetrius Davis turns toward the end zone after catching a pass for the Tigers’ final touchdown of the night during the Tigers’ first round win over the Williamson Lions.

UWA men’s soccer No. 2 seed in South Regional

INDIANAPOLIS – After winning the Gulf South Conference regular season and tournament championships, the West Alabama Tigers are not done hunting for accolades after being selected as the No. 2 seed in NCAA South Regional.

UWA (15-2-1) will travel to face the No. 3 seeded Tampa Spartans in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, Nov. 12 starting at 12 p.m. locally. The Spartans come in after defeating Rollins 2-1 in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship to earn an automatic bid.

“Delighted to be here at this stage at the season and still be playing shows that you’ve had a successful year in the toughest region in the nation,” said Head coach Matthew Thorne. “We’re confident we compete with anyone and I look forward battling Tampa. I’m proud of these guys for what they’ve done so far, but we’ve got a lot more to do this season.”

Despite being the higher seed, The Tigers will have to win in Tampa’s home stadium. However, Thorne is proud of reaching the post-season and reaching new highest for UWA Men’s Soccer.

“The No. 2 seed is great to see. It shows how far we’ve come as a program,” said Thorne. “It’s the highest seed we’ve ever had and we’re looking forward to going down to Tampa and pusing forward with the win.”

Palm Beach Atlantic earned the top seed and will face No. 4 seed Lynn on this side of the regional bracket.

Two to six teams were selected from each of the eight regions.  Teams from the same region will be paired for first- and/or second-round competition, which will be conducted November 9-12 on campus sites.  Third-round/quarterfinals will be held on campus sites and completed by November 19. The semifinals and final will be played November 30 and December 2 at Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri, hosted by Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, Rockhurst University and Kansas City Sports Commission.

UWA holds at No. 2 in Super Region Two

With one week to play in the regular season, the 2017 Gulf South Conference champion West Alabama football team remains at No. 2 in the NCAA Super Region Two rankings. The Tigers are 8-2 overall, 8-1 against Division II opponents and 8-1 against regional foes.

Wingate (N.C.) remained in the top spot at 9-0 against both regional and Division II competition. The top seed at the end of the regular season earns a first-round bye in the NCAA Playoffs that get underway Nov. 18.

West Alabama closes it season Saturday against region opponent North Greenville (4-5) at Tiger Stadium. The Crusaders defeated UWA by one point in the 2016 season opener, and one school of thought is that loss may have cost the Tigers a berth in the 2016 playoffs.

Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for 2 p.m. It will be Military Appreciation Day at Tiger Stadium with veterans and active military being honored and also admitted to the game for just $5.

Following is this week’s Super Region Two poll, which includes four reams from the Gulf South Conference.

SUPER REGION TWO Reg D2
1 Wingate 9-0 9-0
2 West Ala. 8-1 8-1
3 Virginia St. 8-0 8-0
4 West Ga. 8-2 8-2
5 Bowie St. 9-1 9-1
6 Catawba 7-2 7-2
7 Delta St. 7-3 7-3
8 Carson-Newman 6-3 6-3
9 Tuskegee 6-2 6-2
10 West Fla. 5-3 6-3

Rotarians hosting food drive, collecting at DHS playoff game

Not everyone in Demopolis is assured of a bountiful Thanksgiving. Stepping in to fill the food shortage gap for those in need is the Demopolis Rotary Club.

Again this year the club is sponsoring a food drive to benefit the Demopolis Food Bank. First begun in 2013, Rotarians and their partners have raised at least $4,500 in cash donations. The first year the club also brought in some two tons of food. Since then the club has counted another 2,500 items donated to the Food Bank.

Rotarians will be collecting non-perishable foods at the ticket gate before the Demopolis High School game on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. They also will have a site set up at Vowell’s on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Westside Elementary School is having a competition among classes, with the class bringing in the most earning a wing party.

Buckets for donations are at all Parr’s Chevron locations as well as Langley Shell and Malone Texaco.

Several area churches are joining in the food drive. Each church is deciding its own way how to collect food.

Joining with the Rotarians in their annual effort are the cadets with the JROTC at DHS. They will be helping with the donations at Vowell’s and at the DHS game as well as assisting in delivering the food for distribution.

UWA soccer wins GSC title on penalty kicks

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For the fourth year in a row, the West Alabama Tigers have captured the Gulf South Conference Men’s Soccer Championship crown. This time the win comes over the University of Alabama -Huntsville 1-1 (5-4) in penalty kicks on Sunday at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex.

UWA’s record moves to 15-2-1 overall after advancing on penalty kicks. UAH most likely ends the season at 9-6-3.

“No matter what happened there today, we never broke,” said UWA Head coach Matthew Thorne. “. Getting 1-0 down to a quality UAH, they caused all sorts of problems. We stepped up. Even on the penalties, we really believed no matter what situation we were going to win. Credit to all those seniors and credit to all those players not just on the field, but on the squad.”

In the penalty kick portion, the Tigers had goals from Keegan McQueen, Jamie Cox, Alvaro Macias, Jean-Baptiste Meyniel and finally Harrison Roberts. Brad Louis blocked the shot of Tucker Watts to give UWA the edge needed for victory.

UAH found the back of the net first at the 30:28 mark when Clennett Guy scored on an assist from Khalil Bell.

It would take over 30 more minutes for UWA to find the back of the net, but the freshman Cole Webster scored his third goal of the year off an assist from Gaspard Voituriez-Donnelly with 69:22 remaining in regulation.

Both teams played each other evenly in the physical matchup as UWA and UAH both finished with three shots-on-goal throughout the match.

Meyniel was named GSC Men’s Soccer Championship MVP and Louis, Cox and Roberts were named to the All-Tournament team.

The Tigers advance to the NCAA South Regional due to claiming the GSC’s automatic berth with the tournament championship victory. The NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Tournament Selection Show is Monday at 5:30 p.m. and there the Tigers will discover their next destination.