E.A. Sports Today

Spreading it around

Indians give linemen a chance to flex their muscles and one turns it into a touchdown

By East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE – The Ohatchee Indians tuned up for their playoff opener with an otherwise forgettable one-sided season-finale victory and brought some joy into a lineman’s life along the way.

The seventh-ranked Indians blanked Pisgah 37-0 Thursday night. It was their last game before traveling to Sylvania (9-1) for their Class 3A playoff opener next week.

Once they had the game in hand, head coach Scott Martin fulfilled a promise he made to one of his offensive linemen – and it couldn’t have turned out better.

The Indians (8-2) were leading 23-0 in the final five minutes of the half and threatening again when Martin literally put the offense in the hands of his linemen. He sent in a jumbo package in which the quarterback and two tight ends were the only eligible numbers in the lineup.

The call from the 2 went to Aaric Goode and the Indians’ 240-pound regular starting left guard got it in the end zone for the first touchdown of his career. This was no fumble-rooskie gadget play. It was a straight handoff and a lifetime memory.

“Everybody went crazy; it was kind of exciting,” Martin said. “I probably told him at some point last year or even first of this year I would guarantee him he could carry the ball one time his senior year. It came in the last game of the season … and it couldn’t have worked out better.

“We had an opportunity to give the big boys a little glory. I would not have done it if he weren’t a senior; he paid his dues. That’s his dream to carry the ball – how about a carry and scoring a touchdown.

“They spend their whole career blocking for people to get there name in the paper and linemen rarely get credit. Now, it’s on the other side of the coin. Sometimes the timing doesn’t work out for that to happen, but it did tonight.”

Now that the play has proven to work is it something that could show up again in the playoffs?

“It’s in the playbook, all right?” Martin said.

The rest of the game was pretty conventional. Quarterback Grayson Alward ran for two touchdowns, one on the Indians’ first offensive snap. Ryker Lambert, who moved into the offense after Jesse Sellers’ season-ending leg injury, ran for a touchdown, Gage Harrell kicked a field goal and Domonique Thomas added to his 1,000-yard rushing season.

Once the Indians had a comfortable lead, Martin turned it over to the reserves and the preserved the shutout by holding the Eagles (4-6)

The game took less than two hours to play, and that included a 20-minute halftime.

“I thought our kids came out and took care of business,” Martin said. “You don’t want to go into the playoffs on a down note. We were out there to get the win and move on and get ready for next week against Sylvania.”

Pisgah 0 0 0 0 — 0
Ohatchee 9 21 7 0 — 37

O – Grayson Alward 46 run (kick failed), 1Q
O – Gage Harrell 20 FG, 1Q
O – Ryker Lambright 7 run (Gage Harrell kick), 10:45 2Q
O – Aaric Goode 2 run (Gage Harrell kick), 4:04 2Q
O – Grayson Alward 30 run (Gage Harrell kick), 3:15 3Q

On the cover: Ohatchee coach Scott Martin gave senior guard Aaric Goode (59) a once-in-a-lineman’s-lifetime chance to carry the football and Goode scored a touchdown with it. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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