E.A. Sports Today

Indians, Cubs spring winners

Ohatchee uses powerful running game, defense to stand up to Wellborn; Alexandria’s Chafin runs past Weaver

Ohatchee linemen Caleb Montgomery (62) and Jacob Lowe clear a wide path for Jessie Sellers to run through in the Indians' spring game with Wellborn. (All photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

Ohatchee linemen Caleb Montgomery (62) and Jacob Lowe clear a wide path for Jessie Sellers to run through in the Indians’ spring game with Wellborn. (All photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Coach Scott Martin and his Ohatchee Indians used a punishing running game and three goal-line stands to knock off Class 3A Area 5 rivals Wellborn 19-13 in a jamboree at JSU Stadium Thursday night.

Martin is starting his third year at Ohatchee and has made steady progress in rebuilding the Indians’ program. They were 1-9 in his first year and improved to 4-6 in 2015, scoring 100 more points than the year before and giving up 100 points fewer.

There was no doubt there will be significant improvement in 2016 as the new Ohatchee offensive line manhandled the Wellborn defense with 91- and 58-yard scoring drives in the first half to battle to a 13-13 halftime tie.

Chase Widgeon then returned the second half kickoff 85 yards to put the Indians up six. The defense then came up with a goal line stand, the offense grinded out a few yards and then Grayson Alward intercepted a pass in the end zone to end the three quarter game and give the Indians a varsity victory.

The reserves played the fourth quarter and the final combined score was 27-27.

“It was a physical game,” Martin said. “They are a physical team and so are we. We are trying to play a physical game. Our run game is our strength. We did a good job of controlling the football and had two 12-play drives for touchdowns.

“We have 4 new guys on the line and we liked what we saw out there tonight. I felt like we needed to adapt our offense to the type kids we had at Ohatchee and we have been doing that. We have some cornbread-fed kids that fit this style of offense to a tee and I was so proud of them tonight.”

After stopping Wellborn early in the game on a goalline stand, the Indians drove it 91 yards in 12 plays capped by Jesse Sellers’ 6-yard touchdown run.

Wellborn responded with a touchdown drive of its own, scoring on Kent Harris’ 3-yard dive to tie the game.

Sellers scored from 11 yards out to put the Indians back on top 13-6 late in the second quarter. Wellborn quarterback Austin McQueen connected with receiver Jordan Montgomery for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds to go in the half to retie the game.

“We have had a good spring,” Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said. “We did not play well tonight, but our hats are off to Ohatchee. They outplayed us and had more intensity.

“We did not finish drives and that really hurt as it left two touchdowns out there. I thought we threw the ball well tonight. I was pleases with the fact that we brought 51 players with us and all of them got to play.”

The Panthers actually outgained Ohatchee in the varsity portion of the game, 288 yards to 220 with one more offensive possession.

Wellborn will be looking for its eighth straight playoff trip this fall, while Ohatchee will be looking to start a playoff streak.

Ohatchee's Chase Widgeon (5) and Grayson Alward wrap up Wellborn's Jordan Montgomery close to the goal line.

Ohatchee’s Chase Widgeon (5) and Grayson Alward wrap up Wellborn’s Jordan Montgomery close to the goal line.

Alexandria rolls past Weaver

Greyson Chafin is trying to make Alexandria Valley Cubs fans forget that their entire backfield graduated from last year’s 5A state semifinal team. He ripped off two touchdowns and 198 yards on nine carries in the first half of a 32-21 three-quarter win over 3A Weaver.

Chafin had no carries in the second half as the Valley Cubs held off a Weaver spread offense that showed no quit on the night. The Cubs rolled out their typical 320 yards on the ground with no passing attempts, while Weaver had 309 yards of total offense.

The Valley Cubs opened play with a 55-yard drive to the 10 that ended a defensive stop by the Bearcats. Two plays later Weaver quarterback Dalton Hamby fumbled to set up the Valley Cubs on the Bearcats 9.

Chafin scampered in on the next play to give the Valley Cubs a 6-0 lead with 5:08 to go in the first quarter.

A Hamby pass was picked off the Valley Cubs 18 late in the first quarter and moments later Chafin was off again on a tackle-breaking 73-yard touchdown run for a 12-0 Alexandria lead.

A.J. Martin added a third Valley Cubs touchdown after another Weaver drive stalled deep in Alexandria territory. He scored on a 23-yard run 6:16 before halftime, one play after Chafin broke off a 71-yard run.

Fullback Chase Smitherman exploded from 45 yards out to put the Valley Cubs ahead 24-0 late in the second quarter.

“We had too many missed opportunities,” Weaver coach Daryl Hamby said. “We turned it over twice inside the 20 and you cannot do this against a team that is as good as Alexandria is. We (also) had too many penalties, but I was proud of our kids and the way they kept on fighting.”

Weaver’s Paul Hubbard fired an 8-yard scoring pass to Kyle Klapper to chop the margin to 24-7 at the half and he threw a 24-yarder to Hamby early in the third quarter.

Quentin Bowie got the touchdown back for Alexandria with a 12-yard scoring run to put the Valley Cubs up 32-14, but the Bearcats came back with an 18-yard scoring pass from Hubbard to Klapper.

The reserves traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the total score a 40-29 team win for the Valley Cubs.

“We played hard and played good,” Alexandria coach Frank Tucker said. “Nobody got injured and that was good. Our defense played well and got some turnovers. Our offensive line did well and I was pleased with the effort. … We have a long way to go; you can only get so much done in nine days of spring practice.”

Enjoy this photo gallery from the Ohatchee-Wellborn game (click to enlarge):

Wellborn's Pat Harris (26) fights for yardage.

Wellborn’s Pat Harris (26) fights for yardage.

Wellborn quarterback Austin McQueen puts a play in motion.

Wellborn quarterback Austin McQueen puts a play in motion.

Wellborn's Jordan Montgomery (6) draws the attention of Ohatchee's defense.

Wellborn’s Jordan Montgomery (6) draws the attention of Ohatchee’s defense.

Linemen Jamesio Elston of Wellborn (76) and Garrett Young of Ohatchee (69) wage war up front.

Linemen Jamesio Elston of Wellborn (76) and Garrett Young of Ohatchee (69) wage war up front.

Ohatchee quarterback Taylor Eubanks (14) hands to Austin Tucker.

Ohatchee quarterback Taylor Eubanks (14) hands to Austin Tucker.


Throwing over the middle.

Throwing over the middle.

Chase Widgeon returns the second half kickoff for a touchdown.

Chase Widgeon returns the second half kickoff for a touchdown.



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