E.A. Sports Today

Local players highlighted

Several Calhoun County prep players spotlighted by AHSAA

Saks quarterback Devin Harris was one of several players recognized by the AHSAA for their efforts last week. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

Saks quarterback Devin Harris was one of several players recognized by the AHSAA for their efforts last week.
(Photo by Greg McWilliams)

By East Alabama Sports Today

Several Calhoun County high school football players were recognized by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for their performances last week:

Saks quarterback Devin Harris, whose speed has helped the Wildcats’ transition from Tre Smith, rushed for 205 yards on 12 carries and scored five touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 38-16 win at Cherokee County.

Piedmont’s Dreek Thompson rushed for 197 yards on just 10 carries and scored two touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat Ohatchee 49-12.

From around the area, Glencoe’s Thomas Ozmint rushed for 244 yards — 139 and four TDs — in a 56-0 rout of Westbrook Christian; a fifth TD was called back by a penalty; Etowah’s Paul Ruiz rushed 26 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns and caught another touchdown in a 37-23 come-from-behind win over Randolph; Gadsden City’s Ahmad DeRamus was 12-of-15 passing for 275 yards and four touchdowns — all in the first half — in a 48-14 win over Grissom; Gaston’s Albert Douglas had two interceptions, returning one 80 yards for a touchdown, in a 21-12 win over Ider.

The top statewide highlight was Vestavia Hills’ coach Buddy Anderson becoming the state’s all-time wins leader with a 14-3 victory over Hewitt-Trussville. Anderson is 310-126-0 — all at Vestavia.

The milestone edged a tremendous defensive performance by Opelika linebacker Roy Yancey in the unbeaten Bulldogs’ 53-0 win over Pell City. Yancey had 21 tackles — four for loss — two sacks and two fumble recoveries in two and a half quarters of play. Opelika plays at Oxford this week.

One performance the state group missed was Alexandria freshman Keenan Woodruff’s 220-yard, two-touchdown effort in a loss to Lincoln. Woodruff broke off several big runs, including a dazzling, gravity-defying, 46-yard run through the Lincoln defense for one of his touchdowns.

“I go at it the same perspective every time,” Woodruff said. “I look at it like I’m one of them, the seniors, running; do my best. I’ve run it like that before but I was on the junior high (team), a whole ‘nother level, so maybe I can keep it up.”

After a game like that, it would be easy to put Woodruff on a fast track to become the Valley Cubs’ next great running back, but Alexandria coach Frank Tucker said that continuation is crucial.

“I was very happy with the way Keenan ran and the way the line blocked for him,” he said. “Longevity is the key. I think you judge a player after two or three years. After two good games it would be unfair to him. He got us back in the game with some good runs and hopefully he’ll continue to do that.”

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