E.A. Sports Today

Golden Eagles 7-0

Third-ranked Jacksonville pulls away from Anniston to stay atop Class 4A Region 6 standings; No. 2 Hokes Bluff keeps pace

Omarion Adams (1) leads a host of Jacksonville tacklers in bringing down an Anniston ballcarrier Friday night. On the cover, Jacksonville’s Ron Wiggins looks for yardage. (Photos by Brody Stanfield)

By Matthew Fuller
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The Anniston Bulldogs came to town looking for an upset, unfazed by Jacksonville’s lofty ranking and undefeated record.

The Bulldogs gave the third-ranked Golden Eagles all they wanted in the first half, but Jacksonville pulled away after halftime and scored a 40-20 victory.

“Anniston gave us a heck of a game,” Jacksonville senior lineman Cole Gaddy said.

The Golden Eagles (7-0, 4-0), riding a 14-game regular-season winning streak, remained tied with second-ranked Hokes Bluff for first place in Class 4A Region 6. The Bulldogs (2-4, 2-2) sit alone in fourth after their third consecutive loss.

The teams traded touchdowns on their first possessions. Jacksonville’s Jewels Gray scored the first touchdown on a 52-yard pass from Luke Jackson. Anniston, spurred the loss of a key player on the drive, matched the score less than a minute later when Ladreka Hall scored on an 82-yard pass from Tyree Carmichael.

Both teams’ point-after attempts failed and it remained tied at 6.

Carmichael threw two touchdown passes to Hall in the game and ran for the Bulldogs’ other touchdown.

Anniston’s Maliq Myles sustained a knee injury on Jacksonville’s scoring drive and was transported from the field. Bulldogs defensive end Tyrome Brock said Myles’ loss “pushed us to play harder.”

In the second quarter the Bulldogs battled with the Golden Eagles for ground, making many attempts to break through Jacksonville’s defense and often being set back. Omarion Adams was a big factor in the Golden Eagles’ defense. The versatile sophomore had nine tackles in the game, six for loss and three sacks.

Jacksonville finally broke through when Ron Wiggins scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 23-yard to give the Golden Eagles a 12-6 lead. Wiggins rushed for 170 yards on 27 carries.

Jacksonville’s kickoff went out of bounds, giving Anniston good field position, but the Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize and remained a 12-6 game at the half.

“We came ready to play,” Brock said. “We didn’t think about them being undefeated.”

The Golden Eagles scored the next three touchdowns to take control of the game. Wiggins ran for two scores and Jackson threw his second touchdown pass in the stretch. Jackson was 11-of-17 passing for 114 yards and rushed for 24 yards. Jewels Gray caught six passes for 65 yards.

The Bulldogs knew a final push was needed in the fourth quarter to secure an upset, but Jacksonville didn’t let up. The Bulldogs scored twice in the final five minutes, but all it was doing was matching Jacksonville scores.

Matthew Fuller and Brody Stanfield both cover Jacksonville High School sports for the Jacksonville Journal.

Jacksonville 40, Anniston 20
Scoring summary
Anniston 6 0 0 14 — 20
Jacksonville 6 6 14 14 — 40

J – Jewels Gray 52 pass from Luke Jackson (kick failed), 8:53 1Q
A – Ladreka Hall 82 pass from Tyree Carmichael (kick failed), 8:02 1Q
J – Ron Wiggins 23 run (run failed), 7:41 2Q
J – Ron Wiggins 5 run (Jewels Gray pass from Luke Jackson), 6:02 3Q
J – Omarion Adams 22 pass from Luke Jackson (run failed), 0:13 3Q
J – Ron Wiggins 35 run (Noah Sawyer kick), 8:15 4Q
A – Ladreka Hall 3 pass from Tyree Carmichael (pass failed), 4:20 4Q
J – Jae-Taj Morris 3 run (Noah Sawyer kick), 0:53 4Q
A – Tyree Carmichael 25 run (Ladreka Hall pass from Tyree Carmichael), 0:15 4Q

Hokes Bluff keeps pace

HOKES BLUFF – Braydon Hill caught two touchdown passes from Ashton Gulledge and ran for another and Darrian Meads rushed for 169 yards and a score as the second-ranked Eagles (6-0, 4-0) kept a share of the region lead with Jacksonville with a 52-0 rout of Ashville.

Gulledge completed 7 of 13 passes for 148 yards. His touchdown passes to Hill covered 34 and 65 yards. He also ran 47 yards for another score.

Meads had the Eagles’ longest touchdown, a 79-yard run in the third quarter. Tucker Griffin had a 74-yard touchdown run in the fourth. The Eagles rushed for 326 yards on 25 carries.

Hokes Bluff 52, Ashville 0
Team stats Ash HB

First downs 12 13
Rushes-yds 53-155 25-326
Passes 8-11-1 7-13-0
Passing yds 73 148
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Punts-avg 7-24.3 3-24.3
Penalties-yds 2-15 3-25

Scoring summary
Ashville 0 0 0 0 – 0
Hokes Bluff 0 17 21 14 – 52

H – Braydon Hill 1 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 7:12 2Q
H – Braydon Hill 34 pass from Ashton Gulledge (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 4:54 2Q
H – Ethan Whitcomb 39 FG, 0:01 2Q
H – Darrian Meads 79 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 11:41 3Q
H – Braydon Hill 65 pass from Ashton Gulledge (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 7:01 3Q
H – Hunter Burke 1 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 2:55 3Q
H – Ashton Gulledge 47 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 11:48 4Q
H – Tucker Griffin 74 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 4:07 4Q

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