E.A. Sports Today

PV finishes strong

Area roundup: Raiders beat Spring Garden in season finale, Piedmont rolls into playoff with victory, Randolph County blanks Ranburne

Randolph County’s Antonio Morgan tries to get through Ranburne’s Jake Burson (3) and Spencer Jordan (51). Morgan was the Tigers’ workhorse with 109 yards on 11 carries. (Photo by Jeremy Wortham/TigerDen Media)

By East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Pleasant Valley should have a lot of forward momentum going into the spring after wrapping up its winningest season since 2012 Friday night with a 40-20 victory over 1A playoff-bound Spring Garden.

It was the first time the Raiders (4-6) have won their last game of the season since 2012 and the first time in three meetings since 1985 they have beaten the Panthers.

The Raiders enjoyed one of their best offensive games ever under coach Jonathan Nix. They outgained the Panthers 453 yards to 160 and the 40 points were the most they’d scored since putting 42 on Vincent in the 2016 season opener.

Colton East rushed for 119 yards on 13 carries and a touchdowns. Reagan King had 102 yards on nine carries and caught a pass for 57 more. Ethan Borders had 61 yards and touchdown, while Ashton King had 26 yards and two scores.

Alex Parris led the defensive effort with 10 tackles. Adam Pritchett had seven tackles, Ashton King had six, Wes Harrell five and East four. Pritchett and Harrell both had sacks and Caden Turner had an interception.

“We are so excited about sending this senior group out with a win,” Nix said. “We are in a brutal region. You can embraced it or use it as an excuse. This group is embracing the challenge.

“We were one game away from grabbing a playoff spot. The future of Pleasant Valley is bright. Our kids are getting strong and faster and playing with more confidence.”

For the second straight week, Spring Garden’s offense struggled, and Panthers coach Jason Howard knows that has to change by next Friday’s home Class 1A playoff opener against Phillips.

“We didn’t execute very well tonight,” Howard said. “We didn’t do a good job executing on the offensive line tonight, and that’s where it all starts. If we’re going to do anything [in the playoffs], then we’ve got to get that corrected.”

Despite the low note to end the regular season, however, Howard was pleased with his team’s 2017 campaign.

“As a whole, I think we’ve come light years from where anyone thought we would come. No one gave us a chance to even make the playoffs after what we lost last year. We could’ve finished even better, but now none of that matters. We’ve just got to take the playoffs one week at a time.”

Pleasant Valley, meanwhile, finished its season winning three of its last five games after their open date. They hadn’t won four games in a season since going 4-6 in 2012.

The Raiders finished the year averaging nearly 280 yards a game of offense, 204 on the ground.

Friday night’s game was a close bout in the first half, with Pleasant Valley getting on the board first with a 1-yard run from Ethan Borders.

Spring Garden took a 7-6 lead in the second quarter after an interception by Austin Slayton. A 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Luke Ivey to Dylan Rogers and a successful PAT from Colby Slayton gave the Panthers the 7-6 lead. Ivey finished with 83 passing yards on 4-for-9 passing while Rogers had three receptions for 37 yards.

PV took regained the lead right before halftime on a 55-yard Brody Phillips touchdown pass to Reagan King. Another missed extra point made it 12-7 at the break.

The Raiders came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, scoring 22 unanswered points. Spring Garden reached the end zone twice in the second half on a 40-yard rush from Weston Kirk and a 10-yard rush by Luke Welsh. –Grant Benefield, Herald Sports Correspondent

Piedmont 40, Oneonta 19

ONEONTA – Cardavion Myers and Lee Stanley, one of the most prolific two-man backfield combinations in the state, rushed for more than 300 of the 501 yards top-ranked Piedmont gained on the ground in their final regular-season game.

Stanley rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries to wrap up his regular season with 1,373 yards and 16 touchdowns. He scored on runs of 30, 24 and 20 yards.

Myers rushed for 163 yards on 16 carries and now has 1,468 yards and 20 touchdowns in his first chance to become a prominent runner in the offense. He got more than half his yards Friday on an 83-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring.

Piedmont (9-1) scored all of its touchdowns on the ground. T.J. Fairs and Elijah Johnson both had 17-yard touchdown runs.

Myers and Stanley gave the Bulldogs a 21-0 halftime lead. The Redskins (3-7) got as close as 27-13 in the third quarter, but Stanley’s third touchdown returned them to a three-touchdown lead.

The Bulldogs’ defense, meanwhile, held Oneonta to four yards net rushing in the game.

It was their fourth straight win over the Redskins and 33rd in a row over in-state competition. — East Alabama Sports Today

[table id=90 /]

Piedmont 7 14 12 7 — 40
Oneonta 0 0 13 6 — 19

P – Cardavion Myers 83 run (Brant Deerman kick), 4:12 1Q
P – Lee Stanley 30 run (Brant Deerman kick), 9:15 2Q
P – Lee Stanley 24 run (Brant Deerman kick), 2:55 2Q
O – Jaden Kent 58 pass from Brody Pinyan (kick good), 10:20 3Q
P – T.J. Fairs 17 run (kick failed), 7:15 3Q
O – Brandon Howard 34 pass from Brody Pinyan (PAT failed), 3Q
P – Lee Stanley 20 run (PAT failed), 3:04 3Q
P – Elijah Johnson 17 run (Brant Deerman kick) 3:55 4Q
O – Kevin Crim 40 fumble recovery (PAT failed), 0:00 4Q

Randolph County 35, Ranburne 0

RANBURNE – It wasn’t the usual Class 2A Region 5 matchup that it has been in years past, but it may have been even more important as a playoff tune-up for both teams.

This rivalry doesn’t need any extra incentive. The Tigers (9-1) won for the third straight time in the series and extended their wining streak to seven games.

Randolph County jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Ranburne muffed the opening kickoff and the Tigers recovered to set up Trent Lane’s 2-yard touchdown run. Brody Wortham capped the next possession with an 18-yard TD pass to Tre Terrell and Aaron Knight scored on a 40-yard run four minutes later.

Early in the second quarter backup quarterback Damarcus Davis threw his first touchdown pass of the season. Antonio Morgan got the majority of carries for the Tigers and scored the final touchdown of the game on a 35-yard run with less than two minutes left in the half.

Morgan ran for 109 yards on 11 carries. Knight had 58 yards on four carries. Wortham completed three of four passes for 48 yards.

Ranburne was unable to muster much against the Randolph County defense. The Bulldogs (4-6) had only 24 yards rushing and 40 yards total.

Randolph County opens the playoffs at home against North Sand Mountain. Ranburne opens on the road against Region 7 champion Tarrant.

“It’s a different ballgame now, a different demeanor,” Randolph County coach Pat Prestridge said. “It’s like dog-eat-dog now; you’ve got to have your A-game on every week. We’re going to have to play harder than we have been.” –Jeremy Wortham

[table id=91 /]

Randolph Co. 21 14 0 0 — 35
Ranburne 0 0 0 0 — 0

RC – Trent Lane 2 run (PAT failed), 10:37 1Q
RC – Tre Terrell 16 pass from Brody Wortham (Brody Wortham run), 6:04 1Q
RC – Aaron Knight 40 run (PAT good), 4:12 1Q
RC – E.J. Clark 2 pass from Damarcus Davis (PAT good), 11:21 2Q
RC – Antonio Morgan 35 run (PAT good), 1:38 2Q

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