E.A. Sports Today

Friday Roundup

Ohatchee, Piedmont, PV, Randolph County win their season openers; Saks, Wellborn improve to 2-0

White Plains’ Ethan Bozarth (2) brings down Ohatchee’s Domonique Thomas during their game Friday night. Thomas scored two touchdowns in the game. (Photos by B.J. Franklin)

By East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE – Ohatchee football coach Scott Martin was proud of the way his team handled its business in the face of a difficult situation.

The Indians took down White Plains in their season opener 41-8 Friday night, less than 30 hours after learning of the death of their coach’s stepson in a job-related accident Thursday in Tennessee.

The Indians, who beat Piedmont by a point and tied Fyffe in their two jamboree halves last week, had already completed their preparation for the game when the news came, but given the emotions of the day it was still wasn’t easy to play.

Once the game started, they had five possessions in the first half and scored on four of them to open a 27-0 halftime lead.

Domonique Thomas scored the first touchdown, then quarterback Grayson Alward was responsible for the other three in the second quarter with two runs and a pass with 28 seconds left in the half – their only pass of the game – to Larry Noah.

Thomas answered White Plains’ only touchdown with his second score in the final minute of the third quarter and Noah Fuller scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“This was our first four-quarter game,” Martin said. “They had had one under their belt and I was concerned about that, but our kids came out and I thought they did a good job. It was a workman’s type night. We made some mistakes, we didn’t look as polished as I’d like for us to look, but, heck, it’s been a tough 30 hours.

“I was really proud of the way our kids were able to handle adversity and move on. I was really proud we were able to do what we did, able to get a solid win out.”

As prolific as the Indiana’ offense looked in building the big early lead, Martin couldn’t say enough about his defense. It stopped the Wildcats on four three-and-out possessions in the first half.

“That was phenominal,” Martin said. “People can talk all about our offense, but I brag on our defense all the time. For us to be as good as we are it has to be because we have a great defense. Even though I have an offensive mind, defense is foremost for me. You win championships with great defenses and I thought we played really well.”

Ohatchee’s Grayson Alward (11) wraps up a White Plains ballcarrier. The Indians’ defense didn’t give up much in their season opener. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

Piedmont 32, Addison 20

ADDISON – Piedmont rallied from a two-touchdown deficit late in the second quarter to draw even at halftime, then controlled the second half to pull out a season-opening road victory over Addison.

The Bulldogs trailed 14-0 early in the second quarter and then 20-6 with 3:31 left in the half, but earned a 20-20 tie at halftime on long touchdown runs by Mason Mohon (43 yards) and T.J. Fairs (70 yards).

Fairs was the Bulldogs leading rusher with 126 yards on five carries. Kaedon Jenkins, who scored Piedmont’s first touchdown, had 100 yards rushing. Mohon rushed for 76 yards on seven carries. The Bulldogs rushed for 353 yards as a team.

Piedmont’s defense kept Addison off the scoreboard in the second half. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game on Mohon’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Delo Foster with 2:43 left in the third quarter. Mohon added an insurance touchdown on a 9-yard run with 8:38 to play.

It was the Bulldogs’ first season-opening win on the road since 2015.

“They took it to us in the first half,” Piedmont coach Steve Smith said. “We battled to get two scores in the last 2:30 of the half to tie it. I thought our depth played a key factor in the game as (Addison) played 13-14 players and we played 25-27.”

The Bulldogs next week play a Pleasant Valley team that set a school record with its 68-28 win over West End.

“We’ve got our hands full in next week’s home opener versus the team I was most impressed with at the spring jamboree,” Smith said. “They (PV) are continuing their upward trend and Coach (Jonathan) Nix is doing a remarkable job with them.”

Piedmont 32, Addison 20
Team stats Pied Add
First downs 16 18
Rushing yds 353 274
Passes 4-8-0 4-16-1
Passing yds 43 83
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Punts-avg 3-33.0 4-25.0
Penalties-yds 7-55 4-20

Scoring summary
Piedmont 0 20 6 6 — 32
Addison 6 14 0 0 — 20

A – William Guthrie 1 run (PAT good), 5:26 1Q
A – William Guthrie 4 run (PAT good), 10:21 2Q
P – Kaedon Jenkins 4 run (Mason Mohon run), 8:33 2Q
A – Weston Smith 15 run (PAT failed), 3:31 2Q
P – Mason Mohon 43 run (kick failed), 2:24 2Q
P – T.J. Fairs 70 run (PAT failed), 1:09 2Q
P – Delo Foster 18 pass from Mason Mohon (PAT failed), 2:43 3Q
P – Mason Mohon 9 run (PAT failed), 8:38 4Q

Saks 55, Cleburne County 14

HEFLIN – Roilan Torres has been coming up big for Saks since the first play of the season and he continued his inspired play against the Tigers, rushing for 234 yards and three touchdowns.

Torres had a 75-yard touchdown burst on Saks’ first offensive play of the season and now has 423 yards and six touchdowns on 23 carries this season. He scored Friday on runs of 62, 20 and 32 yards and now had five touchdown runs of at least 20 yards this season.

Jonathan Cobb came through with 112 yards rushing as the Wildcats ran for 468 yards as a team. Cobb scored a touchdown on a 43-yard punt return.

Saks kicker Anthony Cornejo nailed the extra point on all seven of the Wildcats’ touchdowns, kicked field goals of 23 and 28 yards, and hit a 61-yard punt.

Reese Morrison had another big game for Cleburne County. The Tigers quarterback threw for 172 yards on 7-of-13 passing. He threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Richard Cantrell that gave the Tigers a 7-3 first-quarter lead. He also had a 62-yard completion to Isavia Brown.

Cleburne County coach Michael Shortt missed the game after undergoing a surgical procedure earlier in the week. It was the first game he missed in 33 years, he said, but anticipated being back next week when the Tigers open region play against Oneonta.

“I don’t plan on missing another one,” he said.

Saks 55, Cleburne County 14
Team stats Saks Cleb
First downs 21 12
Rushes-yds 43-468 33-100
Passes 1-3-0 7-13-0
Passing yds 4 172
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-2
Punts-avg 1-61.0 6-33.0
Penalties-yds 9-74 5-32

Scoring summary
Saks 10 14 17 14 — 55
Heflin 7 7 0 0 — 14

S – Anthony Cornejo 23 FG
H – Richard Cantrell 53 pass from Reese Morrison (Joseph Stephens kick)
S – T.J. Gibbs 16 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Roilan Torres 62 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
H – Arcavius Brown 3 run (Joseph Stephens kick)
S – Roilan Torres 20 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Anthony Cornejo 28 FG
S – Jonathan Cobb 43 punt return (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Roilan Torres 32 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Tony Hunley 23 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Jalen McCants 13 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)

Randolph County 28, Notasulga 14

WEDOWEE – The Tigers performance can be summed up by Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will, and that’s exactly how it went for four quarters.

There were five fumbles – three lost, one of which was returned 26 yards for a

Touchdowns and another stopping a Tigers drive inside the 10 that was recovered by defender in the end zone – and 12 penalties for 95 yards that placed the Tigers in long down situations. But somehow it wasn’t enough to knockoff Class 3A’s top-ranked team.

“It goes back to self discipline, not a lot of focus at practice, concentration,” Tigers coach Pat Prestridge said. “We were lucky tonight. Notasulga is an outstanding team, they’re going to compete well in 1A, but we’ve got to be more self-discplined for ourselves.”

Randolph County’s Demarcus Davis stopped Notasulga’s second possession with an interception that would eventually lead to the Tigers’ first score – Atario Hester’s 15-yard run with 3:02 left in the first.

Hester also scored on runs of 6 and 4 yards in the second half; he finished with 120 yards rushing on 16 carries. DaMarcus Davis also connected with Trey McFarland on a 67-yard touchdown pass. Davis was 6-of-7 for 121 through the air and rushed for 59 yards on five carries.

“We’re looking for that guy who wants to be that alpha dog; we’ve still got to find some alpha dogs,” Prestridge said. “We’ve got guys who’ve been playing two and three years, and yeah they’re playing good, but they’re not playing great. We’ve just go to back and work and correct our mistakes. A lot of it is just focus, there’s not a lot of focus.” – Jeremy Wortham

Other games

Wellborn 41, Lincoln 22: Kentrez Hunt rushed for four touchdowns and the Panthers came from behind and pulled away in the second half.

Lincoln opened leads of 9-0, 15-6 early in the second quarter and 15-13 at halftime, but Wellborn outscored the Golden Bears 28-7 in the second half to pull away.

The Panthers are 2-0 for the first time since 2016. They won only two games all last season.

Hunt scored on runs of 3, 15, 4 and 10 yards. His 4-yard run midway through the third quarter gave the Panthers their first lead of the game.

Donoho 35, Horseshoe Bend 12: Rod Elston rushed for 144 yards to lead the Panthers to their first victory of the season.

Pleasant Valley 68, West End 28: The Raiders rushed for 646 yards as a team and set a single-game school record for points in winning their season opener for the second time in three years. The Raiders won their first two games in 2016.

“It was a big night for us, especially on offense,” PV coach Jonathan Nix said. “Hats off to the O-line and the running backs. All that hard work kind of paid off tonight.”

Colton East, Alex Parris and Jacob Ball all scored two touchdowns for the Raiders.

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