E.A. Sports Today

Bulldogs take one for the teams

Anniston accepts big challenge, falls to 4A champion Leeds 28-0

Anniston quarterback Tae Miller eludes a Leeds defender during Saturday's spring game. On the cover, Bulldogs coach Eddie Bullock watches the action. (Photos by Greg McWilliams)

Anniston quarterback Tae Miller eludes a Leeds defender during Saturday’s spring game. On the cover, Bulldogs coach Eddie Bullock watches the action. (Photos by Greg McWilliams)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Eddie Bullock took one for the teams Saturday and used it as an opportunity to make his team better.

As the host team for the Gridiron Challenge, Anniston took on the challenge of playing reigning Class 4A state champion Leeds so other teams would commit to playing in the event.

The still-loaded Green Wave scored on its first four possessions and held the Bulldogs to 22 net yards in winning 28-0.

“We were the host team and basically the team everybody else won’t play we have to play,” Bullock said. “We had to accept the challenge. I’ll play anybody, anywhere, anytime.

“I knew they were good coming in, but the thing about it is you’ve got to have guys who’ll compete and I think we competed. We made a few mistakes and those mistakes cost us, but overall we played pretty good.”

The Bulldogs made Leeds work to score. Behind headliners Tadarryl Marshall and Tre Nation, the Green Wave did break off several big plays and scored its first touchdown on a 22-yard run by Miles Evans. But the next two scores came after multiple snaps inside the 5 and the Bulldogs did force a fumble that Dominique Bell recovered on Leeds’ final possession.

Marshall, a Tennessee commitment, completed three of six passes for 55 yards and ran six times for 66 yards a touchdown and Nation rushed for 56 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, had three plays that gained 10 yards.

“I think it helped us become a better team, to do more than an average team,” lineman Tyquavious Coleman said. “I think we came together as a team. I think we could’ve done better.”

Tae Miller is taking one for the team as well. He is a highly prized prospect as a receiver and slot back, but has accepted the role of quarterback this spring to give the Bulldogs the best chance of moving the ball.

He had one of the Bulldogs’ 10-yard runs, but he also was chased down for two big losses.

“I liked the decision of playing the defending state champions,” Miller said. “Knowing they have a lot of D-I players, I wanted to see how good we could do against them and prove we could be a good team, too.

“If you go into the season playing somebody that’s not as good as you are, better than you are, then you think you’re big time and then you get against a good team and get beat down you’re like ‘whoa.’ You don’t know how much work you need to put in over the summer if you don’t have that. It was a good effort, but we have a lot of stuff we can work on.”

Miller has a big summer of prospect camps planned. Next week he is scheduled to participate in the Football University Combine in Atlanta with hopes of landing a spot in the Under Armor All-American Game. He also has invitations to camps in Michigan and Utah.

One of the neatest decisions he has to make is which of the Blue-Gray super combine camps to attend – Daytona Beach or Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Leeds 28, Anniston 0

Leeds 21 7 — 28
Anniston 0 0 — 0

L – Miles Evans 22 run (kick failed)
L – Tadarryl Marshall 3 run (Koi Freeman pass from Marshall)
L – Tre Nation 1 run (Alex Nickell kick)
L – Nation 2 run (kick good)

Anniston's Elijah Jackson (51) gets the drop on Leeds' Tyler Rose. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

Anniston’s Elijah Jackson (51) gets the drop on Leeds’ Tyler Rose. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

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