E.A. Sports Today

Cubs blank Wellborn

Alexandria converts three turnovers into short touchdown drives, while defense doesn’t yield much in nightcap of Thursday’s spring jamboree

Alexandria’s Skyler Payne (67) stays with his block to open a hole for Keenan Woodruff. On the cover, Peyton Thrasher (65) lets everyone know Grayson Chaffin in headed for the end zone. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Alexandria converted three turnovers into short touchdown drives in the first half and its defense didn’t yield much all game as the Valley Cubs blanked Wellborn 30-0 in the second game of Thursday’s spring jamboree doubleheader at Jacksonville State.

The game renewed a longtime rivalry that hadn’t been played in the regular season since 2009 and matched teams that didn’t make the playoff despite posting 5-4 records last season.

A Wellborn or Alexandria team had been in the playoffs every year since 1982.

All the points in the game were scored in the first half. The Valley Cubs had three short touchdown drives after a fumble recovery by Romeo Dye at the Panthers 12 and two fumbled snaps on punts. Grayson Chaffin scored twice on 4-yard runs and quarterback Jacob Wells scored on a quarterback sneak.

Late in the second quarter Joseph Tucker took the snap from center and fooled everyone on a run around the right end that went for a 62-yard touchdown to put the Valley Cubs up 30-0 at intermission.

“We did what we had to do tonight; I was proud of that,” said Valley Cubs coach Frank Tucker. “Wellborn has a good football team and they hit us in the mouth a few times and we needed that.

“However, we cannot be content. We had a good spring game last year and got content and got off to a slow start. We have to continue to work hard and get better.”

Keenan Woodruff, Chaffin, Wells and Dye combined for 169 yards on 20 carries in the first half as the Valley Cub offensive line was opening up some holes in the Panther defense. Chiffon finished with 41 yards on seven carries, Woodruff had 61 yards on seven carries and Fletcher Swindall had 46 yards on two carries. The Valley Cubs also had 43 passing yards.

“I think our line blocked well and we had some explosive plays,” Tucker said. “It is kind of hard to get a lot of things done in just nine days, but we played well.”

Wellborn, meanwhile, had trouble moving the ball until it collected 43 yards on the last four plays of the first half. The Panthers had only managed 27 yards on 13 carries prior to that as the Valley Cubs defensive line was getting great penetration. The Panthers only had 96 yards of offense in the first half.

“Alexandria has a really good football team and they are going to be tough to beat in their class next year,” Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said. “We made some mistakes tonight mainly to playing a lot of younger players that are sophomores and freshman.

“It was good to get them out here under the lights. We had a good spring, but until you get them on the field playing somebody good you do not where you are at. It will take some time, but playing here at JSU really helped us. We have been getting better each day in the spring. I would much rather play a tough team like Alexandria in the spring and get better from it than doing anything else.”

The Panthers will open their fall season against North Jackson at JSU, so it was a beneficial night for his young football team.

Alexandria 30, Wellborn 0
Wellborn 0 0 0 0 — 0
Alexandria 8 22 0 0 — 30

A — Grayson Chaffin 4 run (Joseph Tucker pass from Jacob Wells)
A — Grayson Chaffin 4 run (Romeo Dye run)
A — Jacob Wells 1 run (Joseph Tucker pass from Jacob Wells)
A — Josseph Tucker 62 run (kick failed)

Wellborn’s Javian Thomas (7) wraps up Alexandria quarterback Jacob Wells. To see more B.J. Franklin photos from the game, go to www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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