Marengo varsity teams sweep Thomasville

Marengo High opened its basketball season Thursday night with a pair of varsity wins over Thomasville.

The Lady Panthers downed their Tiger counterparts 42-39 behind a trio of double-doubles. J’Mya Hall finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Scottianna Harris had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Angela Bouler notched 10 points and 11 rebounds. Tiyanna Blanks led the Lady Panthers with 14 points.

The varsity boys game saw Marengo pull out a 49-43 win. Keshawn Fountain led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds. Roosevelt Thompson had 14 points. Dominique Harris finished with 10 points. Braxton Williams paced Thomasville with 18 points.

Sweet As Ever: Bulldogs grab first state title since 2010

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Jacory Brown cuts through a gaping hole in the Pickens County defense during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Tornadoes.

TUSCALOOSA – Sweet Water reclaimed its once-familiar place atop Class 1A Thursday night with a 20-6 state championship game win over Pickens County. The Bulldogs utilized their trademark bludgeoning ground game and ball-hawking defense to walk away with the 10th state championship in school history.

“It’s just a super effort on our guys’ part. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys that come to work every day. I’ve said the last couple weeks how resilient they are,” Sweet Water head coach Pat Thompson said. “We’ve been behind in our last few playoff games. These guys just keep fighting and I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys.”

The pivotal moment of the contest came with a little more than eight minutes to play. Pickens appeared poised to tie the game, trailing 14-6 with 8:28 left and the ball at the Bulldog 23. AlJaron Edwards danced around and through the Sweet Water pass rush for a 25-yard completion to Jacaurian Washington earlier in the the drive. Edwards looked to recreate that magic when Jacory Brown popped him and jarred the ball free. Shamar Lewis fielded the bouncing oblong and returned it 64 yards for his second scoop-and-score in the last two rounds of the state playoffs.

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Jaylon Williamson races toward the end zone during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Pickens County Tornadoes.

“Nothing but green. Touchdown,” Lewis said of what he saw when he gained possession of the ball.

“That’s a huge play. I saw the ball come loose and it just so happened our best football player was waiting for it to bounce up to him so he could take it in. He’s been around the ball all year long,” Thompson said of Lewis, who has finishes the season with three defensive touchdowns. “We got great pressure.”

The play moved the Sweet Water lead to 20-6 with 7:55 to play.

Pickens backup quarterback Clifford Morton came off the bench after Edwards was injured on the previous snap. Morton quickly went 3 of 4 passing for 59 yards before Sweet Water jarred the ball loose from a Tornado receiver and it fortuitously bounced into the arms of Luke Davis for the fumble recovery to all but seal the game with just over five minutes to play.

Sweet Water moved the lead to 14-3 with 7:12 to go in the third quarter when Jaylon Williamson punched it in from three yards out to punctuate the 11-play, 68-yard march that opened the second half of play.

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Chance Broussard (48), De’Shawnterion Blanks (52) and Kaleb Greene (13) take down Pickens County’s Ta’Darien McIntosh during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Tornadoes.

After pounding the ball deep into Tornado territory on each of its first half possessions, Sweet Water cashed in and wrested control of the game on a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Brown with two minutes remaining in the second quarter. The drive lasted 10 plays and covered 60 yards.

With the 7-3 lead, the Sweet Water defense held despite a flurry from Pickens as Jonah Smith intercepted a pass at the Bulldog 2 in the closing seconds of the second quarter to preserve the advantage.

“It’s just a super effort on our guys’ part. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys that come to work every day,” Thompson said. “I’ve said the last couple weeks how resilient they are. We’ve been behind in our last few playoff games. These guys just keep fighting and I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys.”

Pickens took a 3-0 lead with a 26-yard field goal from Jermaine Hill with 5:40 left in the half. The Tornadoes’ final points came on a Hill field goal from 28 yards out with 4:10 left in the third.

The state championship is the first for Sweet Water since 2010 when Thompson was the defensive coordinator. Thompson earned state titles as the Sweet Water DC in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Shamar Lewis runs in the open field during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Pickens County Tornadoes.

“It’s unreal to be the head coach of these guys. I’ve been in on three at Sweet Water,” Thompson said. “I never realized what (Coach Stacy) Luker went through getting us ready for that. It has been a crazy week. But these guys stayed focused”

Brown led all rushers with 103 yards on 25 carries. Williamson finished with 95 yards on 12 carries. Lewis had 95 yards 16 rushes. Jah’Darius McIntosh led the team with 10 tackles. Luke Davis recovered a fumble in the game.

The state championship is the second of the 2017 calendar year for Sweet Water, which saw its baseball team bring home the Class 1A crown in dramatic fashion in May. The two accomplishments were not disconnected according to Smith, the Bulldogs quarterback and MVP of the 1A baseball series.

“I think it had a ton (of impact). It helped us a lot,” Smith said. “It helped us know that it’s going to be a big stage, a lot of people are going to be there. Just stay calm.”

Lewis earned Most Valuable Player honors Thursday night with 95 yards rushing, a fumble return touchdown and an interception, the 28th Bulldog INT of the season. Sweet Water finished the year with 41 forced turnovers on defense.

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Jacory Brown strip sacks Pickens County’s AlJaron Edwards during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Tornadoes. Shamar Lewis would pick up the fumble and run it in for the Bulldogs’ final touchdown of the game.

Sweet Water scores in closing minutes to move to state title game

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
With 3:31 to play, Sasha Smith celebrates the go-ahead touchdown catch that proved to be the game winner.

Sweet Water is headed back to the Class 1A state championship for the first time since 2010 after beating Wadley 27-21 in a wild one Friday night. The teams combined for 21 points in the fourth quarter that saw three lead changes.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Trent Sams pins the ball against his helmet to help secure a touchdown catch in the first half against Wadley.

Sweet Water trailed 14-13 to open the frame with Wadley threatening again. With 10:38 to go in the game, Wadley ran the ball to the Sweet Water 29 before Shamar Lewis scooped a fumble and returned it 71 yards for a touchdown and the 19-14 lead.

Undaunted, Wadley fired right back as Trevor Cameron ran 18 yards for a touchdown and the 21-19 lead. The turning point for the Bulldogs came when Jonah Smith hit his younger brother Sasha for a 27-yard touchdown pass on a throw that saw the Sweet Water receiver go over the top and the take the ball away from a Wadley defensive back. Lewis punched in the conversion run for the 27-21 advantage with 3:31 to play.

Wadley opened the scoring with 8:20 left in the first quarter as Jamichael Angel scored from a yard out. The Bulldogs needed only 61 seconds to tie it when Jonah Smith hit Braylone Kidd for a 78-yard touchdown strike.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Sweet Water quarterback Jonah Smith threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ semifinal win over Wadley.

“He did great tonight. He made some big throws when he had to,” Sweet Water head coach Pat Thompson said of his quarterback. “Of course our receivers made some great catches.”

Sweet Water took the lead with 1:25 left in the opening half as Jonah Smith found Trent Sams for a 36-yard touchdown and the 13-7 advantage. The lead was short-lived as Wadley’s Connor Fordham hit Jonathan Poole for a 44-yard scoring pass and the 14-13 lead.

The final marks the second time in as many seasons that the Bulldogs have ended Wadley’s season. Sweet Water won the second round meeting between the two schools 21-20 in 2016.

Friday’s game saw a feisty Wadley defense commit to limiting the Sweet Water ground game. SWHS managed 148 yards on 38 carries. Wadley countered with 158 yards on 38 carries.

“They’re linebackers were very active. We couldn’t get to their linebackers to block them enough. They did a few things that gave us some trouble, but our passes were there,” Thompson said. “There were nine definitely in the box and the 10th player was sitting six or eight yards over the top of our tight end. They were going to make us throw to beat them. They had seen us run over the last couple of weeks and do what we do.”

Sweet Water found its greatest offensive success in the passing game. Jonah Smith completed 11 of 18 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns.

Sweet Water advances to the Class 1A state championship Thursday at 3 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa where it will play Pickens County.

Demopolis comeback attempt falls just short in semis

12-1-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — As the fog settles near the end zone, Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson (4) lowers his shoulders to take on several Saints to score the Tigers’ first touchdown against Saint Paul’s Episcopal.

Demopolis finished three yards shy of a trip to the Class 5A state championship game Friday night. The Tigers lost a thriller to St. Paul’s 20-19 as their two-point conversion pass fell incomplete with 43.9 seconds remaining in the game.

“It was my call and I just didn’t want to put it on the freshman kicker,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “I felt like that was an opportunity right there. It comes down to execution. They made the play and we didn’t.”

“It’s a little bit of numbness when you think about it and you’ve got nearly 47 and a half minutes of a game that comes down to one play,” St. Paul’s coach Steve Mask said. “It’s not just coach speak, but a lot of credit goes to Brian and his staff and his players. He absolutely did the right thing. I would’ve done the same thing. We were just there to make the play and fortunate to make a play.”

12-1-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Antonio Besteder runs around the outstretched arm of a Saint Paul’s defender during the Tigers game against the Saints.

Demopolis trailed 13-0 until A.J. Jackson scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 10:55 left in the game to cap an 11-play, 56-yard drive and cut the deficit to 13-6. St. Paul’s responded in kind as Jordon Ingram broke a 40-yard scoring run to move the lead to 20-6.

After an Andrew Patterson four-yard run on fourth down fell short, St. Paul’s took over with less than six minutes to play. Demopolis forced the only turnover of the night when Keionte Whitfield recovered a fumble at the Saints’ 48. Andrew Patterson connected with DeDe Davis on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 3:28 to play in the game to cut it to 20-13.

The Tigers then recovered an onside kick and embarked upon a 12-play, 48-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Antonio Besteder with 43.9 to play.

Demopolis then ran a two-point conversion play, but the pass fell incomplete to all but seal the game for St. Paul’s.

“I’m so proud of these seniors. They’ve had three coaches in their career and they really bought into what we were doing,” Seymore said. “Nobody really gave us a shot tonight. But I just felt like our kids were going to show up and play hard.”

The Tigers end their first season under Seymore at 11-3.

12-1-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Derrick Birl (24) and Russ Logan (43) take down a Sanit Paul’s runner during the Tigers game against the Saints.

AHSAA 1A re-classification shifts Marengo County teams

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

The latest round of AHSAA re-classification will draw a line clear across Marengo County for the next two years. The state’s governing body for high school athletics released its new groupings Thursday morning, a plan that divides the four Class 1A member schools located in Marengo County.

Sweet Water and Marengo High will remain in Region 1, where they resided for each of the last two seasons. Joining them in that group will be Fruitdale, McIntosh, Millry, J.F. Shields and St. Luke’s.

11-9-17 — Dixon Mills, Ala. — Marengo High QB Quandaris Ausbon. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Linden and A.L. Johnson each move to Region 3 where they will compete with the likes of Ellwood Christian, Francis Marion, Holy Spirit, Isabella, Keith, and Maplesville.

Perhaps most notable for Class 1A is the fact that Class 2A power Elba has moved down a classification. Elba is now a member of Region 2 along with mainstays Brantley and Georgiana.

The new football groupings, surprisingly, do not result in drastically different basketball areas for all four Class 1A schools in Marengo County. Linden, Marengo, Sweet Water, A.L. Johnson and Keith will all comprise Area 4.

Linden and Sweet Water volleyball will both compete in Area 4 with Keith and Ellwood Christian. Sweet Water baseball will be in Area 4 along with Ellwood Christian and Keith. Linden track moves to Section 2. Marengo and Sweet Water track will each be Section 1.

The new region alignment for Class 1A football appears below in its entirety.

REGION 1 REGION 2
Fruitdale Brantley
Marengo Elba
McIntosh Florala
Millry Georgiana
J.F. Shields Kinston
St. Luke’s McKenzie
Sweet Water Pleasant Home
Red Level
REGION 3 REGION 4
Ellwood Christian Autaugaville
Francis Marion Billingsley
Holy Spirit Lanett
Isabella Loachapoka
A.L. Johnson Notasulga
Keith Verbena
Linden Wadley
Maplesville
REGION 5 REGION 6
Appalachian Berry
Donoho Brilliant
Ragland Hubbertville
Spring Garden Lynn
Talladega County Central Marion County
Victory Christian Meek
Winterboro Pickens County
South Lamar
REGION 7 REGION 8
Coosa Christian Cherokee
Decatur Heritage Hackleburg
Falkville Mars Hill
Gaylesville Phillips
R.A. Hubbard Shoals Christian
Valley Head Vina
Woodville Waterloo

 

AHSAA re-classification pits Demopolis against new set of foes

11-24-17 — Prichard, Ala. — Demopolis’ C.J. Williams picks off a pass on Vigor’s first play from scrimmage. Williams would return the interception for a touchdown for the first points of the game of the Tigers’ win over the Wolves.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association released its latest round of re-classifications Thursday morning, setting the stage for its 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 competition years.

Among numerous other changes, the re-classification means a much different look for Demopolis’s region and area foes between August 2018 and May 2020.

The new look Class 5A, Region 3 football grouping sees Demopolis bid farewell to mainstays Sumter Central and Dallas County, both of which drop to Class 4A. Additionally, Calera jumps to Class 6A. Central-Tuscaloosa, Jemison and Marbury remain in Region 3 along with Demopolis. Joining that quartet are Shelby County, Chilton County (down from Class 6A) and Bibb County (up from Class 4A).

11-28-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Aniya Johnson brings the ball up the floor for Demopolis.

“The travel definitely,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said of the biggest change to his team’s region slate the next two seasons. “When we meet and draw for the schedule, you hope you get a good draw. You hope you don’t play a lot of these games on the road because that’s a lot more time on the bus. You’ve got to play the cards you’re dealt.”

In terms of driving distance, Demopolis loses its closest two region compatriots in Sumter-Central (30.3 miles) and Dallas County (67.1 miles). The Tigers also lose their second-farthest counterpart in Calera (89.8 miles). Replacing those schools will be Bibb County (66 miles), Chilton County (89.9 miles) and Shelby County (101.3 miles).

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the new region for Demopolis is the addition of Bibb County, a school whose head coach is former Demopolis defensive coordinator Matt Geohagan.

“I’m excited because of having Coach Geohagan there and that relationship. They have a very good program and are very consistent in what they do. They’re going to take the place of Calera as one of the top teams in our region,” Seymore said. “That’s definitely one you’ll have to circle as a huge region game and having a little more to it with Coach Geohagan being so familiar with some of our kids at Demopolis.”

The new-look region will also result in revamped areas for all of Demopolis athletics. The basketball, baseball and softball teams will now be part of a three-team Area 5 that includes Bibb County and Central-Tuscaloosa. Demopolis soccer moves to Area 5 and will compete against American Christian, Central-Tuscaloosa and Sipsey Valley. Girls soccer will be in Area 5 against ACA and Sipsey Valley.

Demopolis cross country is now a member of Section 1. That grouping includes Bibb County, Brewbaker Tech, Charles Henderson, Citronelle, Faith Academy, Jackson, LeFlore, Satsuma, Tallassee and Vigor. Demopolis track will also be part of Section 1. That grouping consists of Carroll-Ozark, Charles Henderson, Citronelle, Faith Academy, Greenville, LeFlore, Satsuma, UMS-Wright, Vigor and Wilcox-Central.

Other notable changes in 5A football include the move of St. Paul’s and Calera to Class 6A. Perhaps the biggest changes come in Region 4 where Briarwood, Fairfield, John Carroll Catholic, Parker, Pleasant Grove, Ramsay, Wenonah and Woodlawn all make up the group. Those teams, many of which competed in the northern part of the state for the last round of classification, will now be in the south.

The new Class 5A football region alignment appears below in its entirety.

 

REGION 1 REGION 2
Citronelle Beauregard
Faith Academy Caroll-Ozark
Jackson Charles Henderson
LeFlore Magnet Greenville
Satsuma Rehobeth
Vigor Tallassee
Wilcox Central Valley
REGION 3 REGION 4
Bibb County Briarwood Christian
Central-Tuscaloosa Fairfield
Chilton County John Carroll Catholic
Demopolis Parker
Jemison Pleasant Grove
Marbury Ramsay
Shelby County Wenonah
Woodlawn
REGION 5 REGION 6
Center Point Alexandria
Central-Clay Boaz
Moody Crossville
Mortimer Jordan Douglas
Munford Etowah
St. Clair County Sardis
Springville Southside-Gadsden
Sylacauga
REGION 7 REGION 8
Corner Arab
Dora Ardmore
Hamilton Brewer
Hayden East Limeston
Jasper Guntersville
Lawrence County Madison Academy
Russellville Madison County
West Point Scottsboro

 

Demopolis boys basketball ranked for first time in 20 years

The initial Alabama Sports Writers Association basketball rankings of the 2017-2018 season are out and a pair of Marengo County teams are getting some early shine. Demopolis’s boys team is ranked for the first time since 1997 after it went 2-0 in the Hamptonality Bracket of the Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Bash at Wallace State Community College last week. The Tigers, ranked No. 6 in Class 5A, sit at 3-0 on the young season, their first under coach Norvie Womack.

The Linden High girls have yet to tip off their season but a recent run of success (state finals in 2015 and regional finals in 2016) as well as the return of a core of players led by Amber Richardson and Dajia Miller has Teressa Bolden’s squad with high hopes for 2017-2018.

This week’s rankings appear below in their entirety.

BOYS
CLASS 7A
1. Mountain Brook (7-0)
2. Hoover (8-0)
3. Sparkman (6-1)
4. Buckhorn (6-1)
5. McGill-Toolen (6-3)
6. James Clemens (4-1)
7. Grissom (4-3)
8. Lee-Montgomery (3-1)
9. Oak Mountain (5-1)
10. Gadsden City (4-4)
Others nominated: Alma Bryant (4-2), Baker (5-6), Murphy (3-4).

CLASS 6A
1. LeFlore (4-0)
2. Carver-Montgomery (3-2)
3. Ramsay (7-1)
4. Blount (7-2)
5. Paul Bryant (3-2)
6. Helena (5-0)
7. Hazel Green (4-4)
8. Daphne (5-1)
9. Homewood (3-2)
10. Muscle Shoals (1-0)
Others nominated: Albertville (4-1), B.C. Rain (5-1), Chelsea (3-3), Hartselle (5-2), McAdory (5-2), Pelham (3-3).

CLASS 5A
1. Sumter Central (8-0)
2. Faith-Mobile (8-2)
3. Eufaula (6-2)
4. Lee-Huntsville (1-4)
5. Guntersville (4-1)
6. Demopolis (3-0)
7. Jemison-Huntsville (4-3)
8. Scottsboro (5-1)
9. Briarwood (3-1)
10. Etowah (3-1)
Others nominated: Alexandria (2-0), Brewbaker Tech (2-4), Central-Tuscaloosa (5-1), Hayden (4-1), Lawrence Co. (4-1), Mortimer Jordan (3-3).

CLASS 4A
1. Oneonta (5-0)
2. Westminster-Huntsville (3-2)
3. Escambia Co. (5-0)
4. Cordova (2-1)
5. Madison Academy (3-2)
6. Monroe Co. (0-0)
7. Catholic-Montgomery (3-0)
8. UMS-Wright (5-2)
9. Haleyville (4-1)
10. Andalusia (0-0)
Others nominated: Cherokee Co. (2-2), Deshler (1-0).

CLASS 3A
1. Plainview (4-0)
2. Houston Academy (6-0)
3. Piedmont (0-0)
4. East Lawrence (2-0)
5. Mobile Christian (3-1)
9. Prattville Christian (3-3)
6. Geneva (4-2)
7. American Christian (3-2)
8. Lauderdale Co. (3-2)
10. Glencoe (2-2)
Others nominated: Montgomery Academy (0-0), Straughn (1-2).

CLASS 2A
1. Vincent (4-1)
2. Westbrook Christian (4-1)
3. Abbeville (2-0)
4. Barbour Co. (4-2)
5. Section (1-3)
6. Mars Hill Bible (2-0)
7. Collinsville (1-1)
8. Chickasaw (2-2)
9. Horseshoe Bend (2-2)
10. Tarrant (1-2)
Others nominated: None.

CLASS 1A
1. Sacred Heart (3-4)
2. Decatur Heritage (5-1)
3. Lindsay Lane (8-0)
4. Georgiana (1-0)
5. Skyline (4-2)
6. R.A. Hubbard (2-3)
7. Whitesburg Christian (2-2)
8. Spring Garden (0-0)
9. Linden (0-0)
10. Coosa Christian (2-2)
Others nominated: Belgreen (2-0), Pleasant Home (1-4).

AISA
1. Lee-Scott (4-2)
2. Lakeside (4-3)
3. East Memorial (5-0)
4. Macon-East (2-1)
5. Evangel Christian (7-1)
6. Restoration (1-3)
7. Tuscaloosa Academy (1-1)
8. Fort Dale Academy (3-0)
9. Pike Liberal Arts (2-1)
10. Northside Methodist (3-2)
Others nominated: Abbeville Christian (1-1), Bessemer Academy (0-1), Eastwood (2-1).

GIRLS
CLASS 7A
1. Hoover (5-0)
2. Sparkman (9-1)
3. Spain Park (5-1)
4. Huffman (5-1)
5. Hewitt-Trussville (7-1)
6. James Clemens (5-1)
7. Davidson (7-3)
8. McGill-Toolen (5-4)
9. Gadsden City (5-3)
10. Lee-Montgomery (3-3)
Others nominated: Buckhorn (6-4); Mountain Brook (6-1); Murphy (5-3); Oak Mountain (6-2); Tuscaloosa County (5-2).

CLASS 6A
1. Hazel Green (9-1)
2. LeFlore (8-0)
3. Ramsay (4-2)
4. Brewer (7-1)
5. Homewood (3-3)
6. Athens (5-1)
7. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (6-2)
8. Austin (6-0)
9. Blount (7-1)
10. Northview (6-2)
Others nominated: Carver-Birmingham (9-1); Clay-Chalkville (7-2); Florence (5-1); Hartselle (6-2); Muscle Shoals (3-3); Opelika (6-3); Oxford (5-1); Southside-Gadsden (4-0).

CLASS 5A
1. Charles Henderson (5-0)
2. Eufaula (7-0)
3. Wenonah (3-2)
4. Faith Academy (5-2)
5. Central-Tuscaloosa (8-1)
6. Lee-Huntsville (6-5)
7. West Point (7-0)
8. Brewbaker Tech (3-2)
9. Talladega (1-0)
10. St. Paul’s (5-0)
Others nominated: Calera (3-0); Fairview (5-3); Pleasant Grove (2-2); Scottsboro (4-1).

CLASS 4A
1. Deshler (1-1)
2. Madison Academy (4-1)
3. Anniston (2-0)
4. Hokes Bluff (3-1)
5. Sipsey Valley (4-0)
6. Danville (5-0)
7. Madison County (5-2)
8. Greensboro (2-1)
9. Cherokee County (3-0)
10. Jacksonville (3-0)
Others nominated: DAR (3-3); Dora (3-0); Montgomery Catholic (1-1); Priceville (2-1); Rogers (4-0); St. James (2-2).

CLASS 3A
1. Lauderdale County (4-0)
2. Pisgah (3-0)
3. Hillcrest-Evergreen (1-1)
4. Plainview (5-0)
5. Midfield (5-4)
6. Locust Fork (2-0)
7. Clarke County (6-0)
8. Geneva (6-2))
9. Montevallo (4-0)
10. Susan Moore (5-0)
Others nominated: Colbert County (4-1); Daleville (5-1); Glencoe (3-1); Lexington (3-1); North Sand Mountain (1-3); Pleasant Valley (4-2); Prattville Christian (5-1); Weaver (2-1).

CLASS 2A
1. Geneva County (6-0)
2. Samson (5-1)
3. Tanner (3-1)
4. Collinsville (4-2)
5. Section (2-1)
6. Fyffe (3-1)
7. Central-Hayneville (2-1)
8. Abbeville (2-0)
9. Cold Springs (3-3)
10. Sand Rock (2-1)
Others nominated: Asbury (6-2); Chickasaw (4-0); Hatton (4-4); LaFayette (2-0); Red Bay (1-4); Winston County (5-2).

CLASS 1A
1. Spring Garden (4-0)
2. R.A. Hubbard (1-1)
3. Loachapoka (4-1)
4. Pleasant Home (4-1)
5. Linden (0-0)
6. Holy Spirit (3-0)
7. Skyline (5-1)
8. Phillips (1-0)
9. Vina (7-1)
10. Westminster-OM (2-2)
Others nominated: Addison (2-2); Brantley (1-2); Cedar Bluff (0-0); Coosa Christian (5-2); Covenant Christian (5-2); Decatur Heritage (4-5); Isabella (2-2).

AISA
1. Glenwood (4-1)
2. Tuscaloosa Academy (6-0)
3. Lee-Scott (5-1)
4. Springwood (5-1)
5. Macon-East (5-2)
6. South Choctaw Academy (2-0)
7. Fort Dale Academy (2-1)
8. Wilcox Academy (4-0)
9. Lakeside (5-3)
10. Northside Methodist (8-2)
Others nominated: None

Demopolis rolls in home opener; Haskin notches triple-double

11-28-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Taylor Herelle goes up for the first bucket of the night for the Tigers during their first home game of the season against the Keith Bears.

Demopolis took a few minutes to get started Tuesday night in its home opener against Keith. Once the Tigers got the ball rolling down hill, they never looked back en route to a 51-31 win.

Demopolis trailed 5-0 early as Keith started off hot. The flurry faded quickly and the Tigers embarked upon a 16-3 run to close the first quarter. The game never got close again.

“We kind of got nervous. This was our first home game and we tried to do stuff we couldn’t do,” Demopolis coach Norvie Womack said. “As the game went on, we played well. We won every quarter. We just got better and better and we kind of wore them down.”

Demopolis stretched the lead to 10 by halftime and continued to add to that total with a quickened pace and constant ball movement.

“We try to get balanced scoring. Last year, you kind of just had one person scoring. We’re trying to balance them out so it will be easier for our leading scorer,” Womack said. “We emphasize passing and cutting, that kind of stuff.”

With last season’s leading scorer Shakari Williams playing under the weather and the Tigers’ current leading scorer Melvin Childers in early foul trouble, Taylor Herelle stepped in to light up the scoreboard. Herelle finished his night with 15 points.

Nelson Haskin controlled the paint at both ends of the floor for Demopolis, finishing with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks for his first career triple-double. Nine different Tigers scored in the game and all 10 players that dressed logged significant minutes.

“If you plan on going deep in the playoffs, you have to be deep on the bench,” Womack said. “The season is just starting, so we’re going to play everybody. We get a good rotation in, so if someone goes down it’s just the next man up because he has been playing the whole season.”

Demopolis (3-0) is set to travel to Class 6A Bessemer City Thursday night.

“They’re fast. They’re quick. They can handle the ball. We’re going to win with numbers. That’s how we’re going to play,” Womack said.

11-28-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Nelson Haskin (34) blocks a shot during the Tigers home opener against the Keith Bears.

Youthful Lady Tigers battle for season-opening win over Keith

11-28-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Aniya Johnson brings the ball up the floor for Demopolis. The sophomore guard had six points, six rebounds, and six assists Tuesday night.

Tony Pittman knew before his team took to the floor Tuesday night for its home opener that inexperience would be a key theme in season’s early going. That inexperience showed itself for stretches as the Lady Tigers worked their way to an uneven 38-23 win over Keith.

“The first game jitters, rushing a lot of things instead of being patient and taking what the defense gives you,” Demopolis coach Tony Pittman said. “We didn’t do that the first half, primarily because of first game jitters.”

Demopolis closed the first quarter with an offensive flurry, carrying a 12-3 lead after the game’s first eight minutes. The offense sputtered soon thereafter as Demopolis managed only 15 points over the next two quarters of play.

“Every year you have a different team and you have to play to your strengths. Right now our strength is ball handling and bringing our post game along,” Pittman said. “Hopefully, after Christmas, you’ll see that start to gel and we’ll be a different team.”

Demopolis found consistency with the ball in the hands of Aniya Johnson. The sophomore guard calmed a frenetic and, occasionally, frantic group while scoring six points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists.

Johnson found her greatest success as a passer on inlet passes to Samia Jackson, who finished with eight points and five rebounds in the post. Shakesaney Bell contributed eight points in the victory while A’Miracle Jones had six.

“A’Miracle did an outstanding job of doing work in the post. Samia did a good job,” Pittman said. “Shug Billingsley came off the bench and gave us some good, solid minutes. She didn’t do a lot in the scorebook, but it didn’t matter. She’s gaining that experience and I think she’s really going to help us in the season.”

Demopolis is set to travel to Class 6A Bessemer City Thursday night.
“We’re going back to the laboratory tomorrow and we’re playing again Thursday,” Pittman said. “Hopefully we’ll get better each and every ball game we go out.”

UWA drops Delta State to move on in D2 playoffs

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – West Alabama fell behind early and then rallied back to take care of business and defeat Delta State, 27-20, in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division II Football Playoffs Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

The win advances West Alabama into the third round of the playoffs against yet another Gulf South Conference opponent. The Tigers will host West Florida (9-3) next Saturday at noon. The Argonauts eliminated West Georgia, 17-14, in the second round. Delta State ends its season 9-4.

The Tigers improved to 10-2 with the win, making this UWA team the first to notch 10 victories since the 1975 team finished 10-3 and lost in the Division II Semi-finals to Northern Michigan.

“Coach (Todd) Cooley runs a great program and Delta State is a heck of a football team,” UWA head coach Brett Gilliland said. “We knew it was going to be a challenge and we definitely didn’t come out firing on all cylinders, but we buckled down in the second quarter.”

Delta State jumped to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Breck Ruddick and a 36-yard field goal by Vince Sciorrotta. The Statesmen outgained the Tigers 167 to 27 yard in the first 15 minutes of the game.

West Alabama returned the favor in the second period, putting up 20 points and 182 yards while limiting Delta State to just 35 yards and no points to take a 20-10 lead into the half.

“That was two good football teams. That second quarter felt like it lasted forever,” Delta State head coach Todd Cooley said. “I am so proud of the fight in our kids. We lost to a good football team today. They deserved it.”

Harry Satterwhite and Donta Armstrong hooked up for the first of two touchdown passes, this one a 27-yarder. Tyler Rogers and Lakenderic Thomas tacked on 1-yard TD runs for the Tigers, who scored three times in the last 7:32 of the first half.

“That was a big play to get us on the board and get us rolling,” Satterwhite said. “Once we get rolling we can be hard to stop, but Delta State is a really good football team and you are not going to score every time you get the ball against them.”

Satterwhite and Armstrong connected again from 15 yards out with 11:05 left in the third quarter to stretch the UWA lead to 27-10.

A 6-yard completion to Corey Davis late in the first quarter made Satterwhite the West Alabama single-season record holder for completions. Finishing the day 25-of-37 for 275 yards and two TDs gives the junior from Mobile 303 completions this season, shattering his head coaches’ record from 2002 when Gilliland completed 280.

Satterwhite needs just 117 yards passing against West Florida next week to pass current UWA running backs coach Deon Williams for the single season passing yards record. Williams passed for 3,392 yards in 2010.

“I’m not sure about the receivers that Coach G had, but the ones I have are great,” Satterwhite said. “When I throw a 50-50 ball I know they are going to go get it, and of course what a job by our offensive line every week. I didn’t sacked at all today.”

Delta State scored the final 10 points of the game. Chris Robinson had a 5-yard touchdown run and Sciorrotta nailed a 30-yard field goal with 8:41 left to end all scoring.

West Alabama knelt on the ball twice from the DSU 8-yard line to run out the clock and end the game.

UWA finished with 406 total yards and allowed Delta State 371, outgaining the Statesmen 379-204 over the final three quarters of the game. The Statesmen had 276 yards rushing and the Tigers 275 passing.

Ruddick was 17-of-27 passing for 95 yards, but rushed 16 times for 71 yards. Robinson led all ball carriers with 105 yards on 23 carries. LeDarion Peterson carried eight times for 82 yards. Kam Mayers caught eight passes for 30 yards.

Thomas led West Alabama ball carriers with 95 yards on 20 carries, with 33 of those coming on third-and-10 with less than a minute to play to ice the game away. He moved past Tony Truelove (1982-85) into eighth all-time at UWA with 1,732.

Armstrong and Barnard McGhee had six receptions each, Armstrong for 71 yards and McGhee for 45. Corey Davis caught four balls for 72 yards. And Broc Malcom four for 43.

Armstrong now has 172 career receptions, tied for second on the UWA all-time list with Matt Carman (1990-93). Gerald Worsham holds that record with 241 receptions from 2008-11.

“Their quarterback makes the throws and they have two of the best receivers in the nation, and I’m talking about all of Division I and II,” Delta State linebacker Landry Tullo said. “They are a great football team. If they don’t win the national championship I will be surprised.”

Taderion Myhand led West Alabama with 12 total tackles and a forced fumble that led to Tiger points. Jordan Jones racked up 10 stops, Devante Davis nine and Khalia Hackett eight tackles plus three quarterback hurries. Terrence Jones recorded a sack.

Tevin Madison, Nico Peterson and Robert Myers each recovered a fumble, while Madison also forced one and broke up a pass.

Johnquavious McBride had 10 tackles to lead Delta State and Chandler Ector added eight.