E.A. Sports Today

Kicked in the gut

White Plains comes closest to ending losing streak yet, but falls on final play; Alexandria wins big, Randolph County finds a way

Randolph County’s Aaron Knight gets around Wellborn’s Kentrez Hunt (3) on his way to a 39-yard gain. On the cover, Wellborn’s Ked Harris looks for room to run. (Photos by Jeremy Wortham/TigerDen Media)

By East Alabama Sports Today

ASHVILLE — White Plains has come close to ending its long losing streak so many times this season, but this one hurt.

The Wildcats seemed poised to go into overtime in search of their first win since September 2015, but instead had their hearts ripped out when Ashville completed a Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game to win 26-20.

The losing streak is now 24 games, third-longest in the state. Their losing streak in region play is 22 games.

It’s the fourth game this season they have either led or been tied with less than eight minutes to play.

“It’s a big kick in the gut,” White Plains coach Chris White said. “It’s like I told the guys: We played very, very hard in the second half; it still boils down to the team that makes the least amount of mistakes will win and we made two big ones.”

The first came when they mishandled the snap on a fourth-and-2 driving with their last possession of the game. The second came when they failed to bat down the Bulldogs’ last-second pass in the end zone.

The Bulldogs (3-6, 2-5) lined up for a potential game-winning field goal with one second left in regulation, but prior to the snap they jumped offsides and by rule they got one last play. Landon Cornutt heaved it towards the end zone and Nathan Phillips came down with it to win the game.

The Wildcats rallied from 20-6 down to tie the game at 20 on two Ethan Bozarth touchdowns and a Mac Young two-point conversion. They almost had it tied at halftime, but Jaden Harris was pulled down inside the 5 on his interception on the last play of the second quarter.

The Wildcats will be looking to avoid a second straight winless season Thursday when they host Wellborn in their season finale.

“We want to get over the hump,” White said. “A lot of people don’t understand the amount of ground we made up this year, but we’ve till got that much more ground to work.”

ALEXANDRIA 60, CROSSVILLE 14: The Valley Cubs closed out their regular season with a bang, scoring 37 points in the second quarter, 53 in the first half – one week after being shut out — and locking up the third playoff spot in Class 5A Region 7.

The Valley Cubs (8-2, 5-2) had 280 yards – all on the ground – in the first half, then put it in the hands of the reserves. Keenan Woodruff ran for 158 yards and three touchdowns, while Grayson Chaffin had 130 yards and two scores. The Lions had 169 yards of offense at halftime, but found the end zone only once.

Both of the Valley Cubs’ losses this season have been by shutout, but they’ve come back the following week to score 51 and 60 points.

They are open this week before going on the road to face Region 5 runner-up Wenonah (8-1) in their playoff opener.

[table id=85 /]

Crossville 6 0 0 8 — 14
Alexandria 16 37 7 0 — 60

A – Grayson Chaffin 9 run (Romeo Dye pass from Jacob Wells), 7:45 1Q
A – Samuel Shaw 41 interception return (Grayson Chaffin pass from Jacob Wells), 5:59 1Q
C – Andrew Driskill 14 pass from Blanton Jones (pass failed), 3:10 1Q
A – Keenan Woodruff 7 run (Jacob Wells run), 10:24 2Q
A – Keenan Woodruff 89 run (pass failed), 8:18 2Q
A – Keenan Woodruff 4 run (Grayson Chaffin run), 8:05 2Q
A – Grayson Chaffin 67 run (Romeo Dye run), 5:07 2Q
A – Jacob Wells 4 run (Landon Primm kick), 0:46 2Q
A – Romeo Dye 65 run (Landon Primm kick), 10:03 3Q
C – Blanton Jones 22 run (Andrew Driskill pass from Blanton Jones), 10:49 4Q

RANDOLPH COUNTY 28, WELLBORN 7: Sometimes the sign of a great team is for it to play a less than perfect game and still find a way to win. It helps when you’ve got an Aaron Knight to bolster the offense.

Knight rushed for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Tigers (8-1, 5-1) clinched the second playoff spot in Class 3A Region 5.

Things started well for the Tigers (8-1, 5-1). Aaron Knight took the first play of the game 90 yards for a touchdown and Damarcus Davis ended the Panthers’ second drive with an interception.

Then it got as sloppy as the weather. The Tigers were plagued with penalties and two lost fumbles. One of the fumbles gave Wellborn great field position and the Panthers (2-7, 2-4) scored on JaMyron Curry’s 10-yard run to tie the game.

Trent Lane answered for the Tigers on a 13-yard run, but the extra point was blocked, leaving them with only a 13-7 halftime lead. Lane rushed for 97 yards on five carries.

The Tigers seemed finally to seize control of the game against the young Panthers when Knight scored his second touchdown early in the third quarter and minutes later Brody Wortham scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.

Randolph County, the No. 2 team from Region 5, opens its playoff drive at home against North Sand Mountain (7-2), the No. 3 team from Region 7. –Jeremy Wortham

[table id=86 /]

Wellborn 0 7 0 0 — 7
Randolph Co. 7 6 15 0 — 28

R – Aaron Knight 90 run (kick good), 4:43 1Q
W – JaMyron Curry 10 run (kick good), 8:21 2Q
R – Trent Lane 13 run (PAT failed), 5:50 2Q
R – Aaron Knight 15 run (Trent Lane run), 10:52 3Q
R – Brody Wortham 1 run (kick good), 9:08 3Q

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