E.A. Sports Today

Crazy comeback

Roundup: Ohatchee rallies from 18-point deficit in the first half to beat 4A Leeds; Alexandria, Weaver win big

Cameron Reynolds (12) broke the heart of Munford’s Lance Smith (14) and the rest of his Lions teammates when he raced the final 90 yards to complete a hook-and-lateral from the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:12 to play. (Photo by Darren Parker)

By East Alabama Sports Today
Scott Martin has been part of some crazy comebacks during his coaching career, but there may have been none bigger than the one his Ohatchee football team pulled off Friday night.

The Indians, ranked fourth in Class 2A, came back from 18 points down with 3:09 left in the first half and scored the next 29 points to beat playoff-quality 4A Leeds on the road 35-24.

Domonique Thomas and Grayson Alward each scored two touchdowns in the comeback and the defense made several stops, including a fourth-and-1 stop deep in their own territory, after the Indians (5-0) fell behind 24-6.

“That’s probably as good a comeback as I’ve ever been associated with,” Martin said. “You’re always preaching to your players about playing 48 minutes and football games aren’t one half long, they’re not 24 minutes long or we’d have lost. You’ve got to play all 48 minutes.”

The Green Wave (1-4) got three touchdowns from Jakobi Hunter out of the wildcat and a 35-yard field goal to build its big lead. All Ohatchee had in answer at the time was Ryker Lambright’s touchdown run 21 seconds after Hunter’s first score.

“I thought our coaches did a great job making some adjustments early in the game, at 24-12, knowing we’d get it back coming out of halftime,” Martin said. “I thought the game changed from a conditioning standpoint and a physical standpoint.

“The first quarter and a half we were very passive and to the speed of the game we were off. I told our guys at halftime don’t worry about what the clock says, what the score says, go out and play hard every play and enjoy the game. You work too hard all week practice to not enjoy what you’re doing.

“Go out and enjoy it. There’s no pressure on you. I’m not holding this game over you – it’s not a region game – but I want to see you play with some enthusiasm. The game changed in the second half. We played with a lot of emotion. We wore them down.”

The comeback actually started when Alward got loose for a touchdown with 2:32 left before halftime. Thomas inched the Indians closer with a touchdown run with 4:52 left in the third quarter and then gave them their first lead of the game on a 1-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Alward’s conversion pass to Lambright made it a three-point game.

The Green Wave missed a potential game-tying 42-yard field goal attempt with 5:19 to play and a minute later Alward got loose for a 70-yard touchdown run.

Martin recalled a game during his second season at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa when his team came back from a 42-17 deficit against Demopolis to take a 45-42 lead, but lost the game in double overtime (60-59, Oct. 31, 2013). This time his team rallied and held on for the win.

“I can’t say enough about our kids keep playing, playing, playing,” Martin said. “They were able to shut us down, but kept pounding away and finally broke the ice. It was pretty amazing.

“We’ve had some big wins, but this one was probably one of the most special because who it was, who we were playing and the size of the school. I’ve had people all year saying I cannot believe you’re playing Leeds, who made that schedule. I’m really proud of our kids and coaches to not back down from that challenge.”

Valley Cubs erupt again

HEFLIN – Romeo Dye rushed for 134 yards and Nate McCallum ran for 95 yards and three first-half touchdowns as Alexandria routed Cleburne County 56-25.

The Valley Cubs (3-2) scored 66 points last week at Crossville. The last time they scored 50 points or more in back-to-back games was Oct. 9/16, 2015, against St. Clark County (50) and Moody (56).

McCallum scored on runs of 10, 6 and 13 yards. Dye scored on a 32-yard burst and a 1-yard run. Sam Shaw and Jacob Wells also ran for touchdowns and Wells threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Joe Tucker.

Shaw had a team-high eight tackles. McCallum had seven tackles, three for loss.

Bears break long one

LINCOLN – Cameron Reynolds raced the final 90 yards on a hook-and-lateral pass on fourth-and-18 from the 1 with 2:12 left as Lincoln stunned Munford 28-27 in their rivalry game..

With quarterback Javion Surles calling signals from the end zone, he threw a pass to the flat at the 10. Reynolds raced around to get the toss, then beat or made six Munford players miss him on the way to the end zone. Lincoln’s defense then held Munford on downs to seal it.

Weaver wallops Warriors

WEAVER – Senior quarterback Robert Gaines ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns and completed 7 of 10 passes for 99 yards and two more scores as Weaver rolled over Cherokee County 41-14.

Gaines scored on runs of 3 and 41 yards and threw touchdown passes of 24 and 7 yards to Caleb Allison – all in the first half – as the Bearcats (4-1) opened a 34-7 lead. Senior tailback Shamar Spinks had a 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Spinks finished with 135 yards on 20 carries.

The Warriors (2-3) scored in the first half on a 1-yard run by K’Von Stubbs. All-purpose back Slade Alexander tossed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Chance Latty for the lone score of the third quarter. Alexander completed 3 of 8 pass attempts for 59 yards and the score. He was also the Warriors’ top rusher with 50 yards on eight carries.

Cherokee County quarterback Caden Hubbard completed 3 of his 9 pass attempts for 44 yards. He also ran for 29 yards on five carries and caught a 23-yard pass.

Allison capped the scoring with his 14-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He finished with 39 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 31 yards.

Weaver 41, Cherokee County 14
Team stats CC Wea

First downs 9 19
Rushes-yds 26-100 41-315
Passes 6-17-1 7-10-0
Passing yds 103 99
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Punts-avg 5-39.6 2-43.0
Penalties-yds 2-15 7-60

Scoring summary
Cherokee Co. 0 7 7 0 – 14
Weaver 15 19 0 7 – 41

W – Caleb Allison 24 pass from Robert Gaines (Jadon Calhoun kick)
W – Robert Gaines 3 run (Robert Gaines run)
W – Shamar Spinks 7 run (kick failed)
W – Caleb Allison 7 pass from Robert Gaines (Jadon Calhoun kick)
CC – K’Von Stubbs 1 run (Thomas Richard kick)
W – Robert Gaines 41 run (kick failed)
CC – Chance Latty 26 pass from Slade Alexander (Thomas Richard kick)
W – Caleb Allison 1 run (Jadon Calhoun kick)

Hokes Bluff dominates

HOKES BLUFF – Darrian Meads rushed for 164 yards and scored the first four touchdowns of the game as 4A No. 2 Hokes Bluff overwhelmed 3A Glencoe 47-7.

Meads scored on runs of 48, 37, 1 and 6 yards – all in the first half – as the Eagles (5-0) opened a 34-0 halftime lead on the way to scoring the first 47 points of the game. Tucker Griffin, who scored the Eagles final touchdown, rushed for 52 yards.

It’s the third time this year the Eagles have scored at least 40 in a game. It was their third win in a row over the Yellow Jackets (0-5). It was Glencoe’s 13th straight loss.

Andrew Massaro, who scored Glencoe’s only touchdown, netted 70 yards rushing for the game – the length of his third-quarter touchdown run.

Hokes Bluff 47, Glencoe 7
Team stats Glen HB

First downs 8 15
Rushes-yds 36-151 38-264
Passes 1-4-1 2-4-0
Passing yds 19 42
Fumbles-lost 3-2 0-0
Punts-avg 6-33.3 3-35.3
Penalties-yds 5-55 3-35

Scoring summary
Glencoe 0 0 7 0 – 7
Hokes Bluff 7 27 13 0 – 47

HB – Darrian Meads 48 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 1:09 1Q
HB – Darrian Meads 37 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 11:13 2Q
HB – Darrian Meads 1 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 7:16 2Q
HB – Darrian Meads 6 run (kick failed), 6:39 2Q
HB – Tristin Billingsley 31 pass from Ashton Gulledge (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 4:58 2Q
HB – Ashton Gulledge 1 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 7:54 3Q
HB – Tucker Griffin 6 run (kick failed), 4:55 3Q
G – Andrew Massaro 70 run (Patrick Johnson kick), 3:17 3Q

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