E.A. Sports Today

Wellborn well-stocked

[corner-ad id=2]Panthers overwhelm White Plains in Wildcats coach White’s on-field debut

Somewhere in that sea of humanity, Wellborn quarterback Austin McQueen (11) is scoring his second touchdown of the game. On the cover, D.J. Rhoden (25) is stacked up by White Plains' Jordan Giddens (50). Below, Jordan Montgomery is pulled down by Lawrence Jackson (1) and Nathan Harding (26).

Somewhere in that sea of humanity, Wellborn quarterback Austin McQueen (11) is scoring his second touchdown of the game. On the cover, D.J. Rhoden (25) is stacked up by White Plains’ Jordan Giddens (50). Below, Jordan Montgomery is pulled down by Lawrence Jackson (1) and Nathan Harding (26).

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Wellborn football coach Jeff Smith stood in the corner of the end zone and ran through a litany of weapons he had at his disposal Thursday night.

It doesn’t appear as if the Panthers will have any lack of options.

The Panthers used nine players to rush for more than 350 yards during the three-quarter varsity segment of their 62-14 rout of White Plains in the Calhoun County Spring Jam that spoiled the on-field debut of Wildcats’ coach Chris White.

The majority of the reps went to Pat Harris, D.J. Rhoden and Jordan Montgomery at JSU Stadium. The game was so well in hand, Smith plugged in the B-teamers late in the third quarter – earlier than required by the rules – and Javian Thomas ran for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

“You’ve got Pat, you’ve got D.J., you’ve got Jordan, you’ve got Kedrick (Harris), you’ve got Jamayron (Curry), (Austin) McQueen, Walker (Hayes), Thomas; we’ve got a lot of good backs,” Smith said. “Pat had a great night. Pat’s uncles and daddy played out here; he’s got a lot to live up to, so he really wants to do good.”

Harris, a sophomore, ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns and picked off a pass in the end zone early in the second quarter to help the Panthers maintain their 14-6 lead. He went 51 yards for a score the first time he touched the ball.

Rhoden rushed for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Montgomery split 62 yards spevenly between rushing and receiving. And quarterback Austin McQueen rushed for 53 yards and two scores.

“We’ve got many people running the ball, we don’t get tired; it’s a very good strategy,” Harris said. “Today was excellent.”

The lineup Wellborn put on the field Thursday night was essential the same one that faced Madison Academy in the third round of the Class 3A playoffs last season after six veterans were suspended for their involvement in a post-game fracus the week before.

“They’re hungry,” Smith said. “They’re working real hard. They want to do good. Finishing spring with a game with a win is something positive.

“We’ve had a great spring training. I thought our spring from the first day to this day was really good. Now, we still have some work to do. We have continue on. Now, we have to have a good summer.”

The Wildcats certainly have to get some business done between now and their season opener. They did some good things – Drew Hudson threw for more than 230 yards – but they didn’t react well to adversity.

They made it 7-6 late in the first quarter on Hudson’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Carr, but Wellborn’s Quanderious Moore brought the ensuing kickoff back inside the White Plains 10. Two plays later Montgomery scored from three yards out and it sent the Panthers to 35 straight points before Smith inserted the second team well before they were scheduled to play in the fourth.

“I felt like we started out real good, but they had a big play and I felt like we reverted back like we always have,” White said. “We just put our head down, we had bad body language, we didn’t want to compete any more.

“That’s the big issue we have to overcome. When something bad happens, we have to respond back with something positive. We’re going to have to go in and instill that bad things are going to happen, it’s how we respond to something bad (that’ll be the key to success). We don’t know how to respond to bad things right now; that’s what we’ve got to overcome.

“The good thing is we’ve got some talent. We’ve got a lot of good skill players, but we’ve got to get the offensive line and defensive line corrected because we’re getting pushed around way too much; we’ve got to get a lot stronger. The big thing is after tonight are we going to buy in and compete or are we just going to fold it up? I feel like we’ve got guys who are going to buy in.”

Alexandria 30, Talladega 14

The running game was on point for the Valley Cubs. Jamal Tucker and Keenan Woodruff teamed for 202 yards rushing.

Tucker led the way with 104 yards on four carries including a 70-yard break down field. Woodruff found the end zone three times.

Tucker and Woodruff are a big part of this Valley Cubs team as well as returning rising senior quarterback Luke Tucker and Jacob Heathcock who put some yards and made a reception.

Wellborn 62, White Plains 14

White Plains 6 0 8 0 — 14
Wellborn 14 21 15 12 — 62

W – Pat Harris 51 run (Jordan Montgomery kick)
WP – Kevin Carr 70 pass from Drew Hudson (PAT failed)
W – Montgomery 3 run (Montgomery kick)
W – Austin McQueen 12 run (Montgomery kick)
W – Harris 8 run (Montgomery kick)
W – D.J. Rhoden 2 run (Montgomery kick)
W – McQueen 1 run (Montgomery kick)
W – Kedd Harris 4 run (Javian Thomas run)
WP – Jamond Jackson 4 run (Jackson run)
W – Thomas 15 run (run failed)
W – Thomas 13 run (fun failed)

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