E.A. Sports Today

Valley Cubs reach semifinals

Woodruff scores touchdown in final minute to lift Alexandria to road victory over Russellville

By East Alabama Sports Today

RUSSELLVILLE – Frank Tucker had a word for the way Alexandria went about taking down Russellville in the Class 5A state quarterfinals Friday night.


Keenan Woodruff rumbled 53 yards for the winning touchdown with 53 seconds to play to lift the Valley Cubs over Russellville 22-14 to earn their first trip to state semifinals since 2006.

The Cubs (11-1) will host region rival Mortimer Jordan Friday for the right to play for the state title. They beat the Blue Devils on the road 39-36 on Oct. 2 to take the upper hand in Region 6.

The Valley Cubs trailed 7-0 and 14-6, but scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to win.

They started their winning drive from the 16 with 5:11 to play and went the necessary 84 yards on 11 plays. Quarterback Luke Tucker kept the drive alive with a 15-yard run on third-and-6.

“The key word is persistent,” Frank Tucker said. “They kept pounding and pounding and he broke one at the end.”

After the touchdown, Russellville got near midfield, but Chase Smitherman ended the threat when he intercepted the Golden Tigers’ desperation pass.

“The worst case scenario is we were going to overtime, but I wanted to win it in regulation,” Frank Tucker said. ” It wasn’t a special play. It was a play we’ve run 100 times. We happened to break out.”

The Cubs rushed for 224 yards as a team. Woodruff finished with 139 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Jamal Tucker had 52 yards on 11 carries and Luke Tucker gained 27 yards on three carries.

“It’s great for those kids to be in the fourth round,” Frank Tucker said. “I’m glad to see them feel that sense of accomplishment.”

The Cubs last played in the state championship game in 1997.

Alexandria 22, Russellville 14

Alexandria 0 6 0 16 — 22
Russellville 7 0 7 0 — 14

R – Deyon Hill 5 run (Marvin Betancourt kick), 4:07 1Q
A – Keenan Woodruff 8 run (run failed), 4:07 2Q
R – Hill 6 run (Betancourt kick), 7:01 3Q
A – Luke Tucker 8 run (L. Tucker run), 9:35 4Q 14-14
A – Woodruff 53 run (Chase Smitherman pass from L. Tucker), 0:53 4Q

Team stats Alex Russ
First downs 13 10
Rushes-yds 45-224 31-78
C-A-I 4-7-0 10-15-1
Passing yds 56 115
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-0
Punt-avg 3-28.3 NA
Penalties 3-35 5-50

You must be logged in to post a comment Login