E.A. Sports Today

Indians uprising

Ohatchee erupts for 70 points; Thomas returns two punts for scores, Harrell kicks 10 PATs; also, Alexandria rallies for third straight

By East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE – Domonique Thomas scored five touchdowns – two on punt returns – and Gage Harrell put his foot in the state record book with 10 extra points as Ohatchee had its way with West End, setting two school scoring records in a 70-22 rout – the 400th win in school history.

The Indians (6-0, 4-0), co-leaders in Class 2A Region 6 with Ranburne, set the school record for points and combined points. Their old scoring record was 68 points in a 2016 victory over White Plains (68-14) and the old combined record was 91 in a 52-39 win over Westbrook Christian in 2001.

They led 42-7 one minute into the second quarter and ran just 21 plays in the first half.

“I thought our guys were sharp early,” Indians coach Scott Martin said. “As we started to substitute we had some breakdowns. The mood of the game changed and it got sloppy. I brought them back out after halftime when they closed the gap, put the 1s back in and they dominated the third quarter.”

Thomas scored on three runs from scrimmage, but his biggest contributions might have been on the special teams. He returned one punt 65 yards for a touchdown and another 77 yards for a score. And he had another 50-yard return that was stopped at the 2.

“He always wants to do punt return and kickoff return, and he has lobbied himself into the position to be able to do that,” Martin said, noting Thomas returned a kickoff for a score against Leeds. “Frankly, I was tired of seeing punts hit the ground and roll 20 yards and dad-gum he almost returns three in one game. He’s just fun to coach.”

Ryker Lambright and Grayson Alward each scored two touchdowns and Gavin Williams had the final score. The Indians have scored at least 35 points in every game this season and are averaging a fraction under 46 points a game. The team that played in the state semifinals in 2016 averaged 42 points a game.

All those touchdowns Friday night gave Harrell a chance to make some history. His 10 extra points tie the fifth-most in state history. Madison Academy’s Nathan Geis went 10-for-10 in the 2014 Class 3A state title game. Although not listed in the state record book, but documented in an East Alabama Sports Today scoring summary of the game, Donoho’s Mitchell Baker also kicked 10 earlier that season in a 79-point game against Victory Christian.

The state record is 14, by Clarke County’s Grant Gillis in 1921. Three others are tied with 11.

“Gage does a good job,” Martin said. “Of course he had to play guard tonight, too, so he had to tie his shoe up and kick extra points after helping us on some of the touchdown drives.

“Two years ago as a sophomore he kicked almost 60 extra points. He’s just a consistent kicker, one of those old-time square-toed guys and he just knocks them through. Kicking 10 extra points in a game is hard to do. I kicked in college. It’s tough to kick back to back to back. Eventually the odds catch up to you. That’s a heck of a job.”

According to the Alabama high school football history website, the Indians are now 400-383-22 in 94 seasons of football, and they’re guaranteed a 47th winning season.

Alexandria 33, Sardis 15

Alexandria used a big second half to rally past Sardis 33-15 and win its third in a row.

The Valley Cubs (4-2, 2-1), now tied for third in the Class 5A Region 6 standings, trailed 15-13 at halftime, but scored three touchdowns and kept the Lions out of the end zone in the second half..

Romeo Dye rushed for 163 yards on 22 carries and scored touchdowns on runs of 6 and 12 yards. He also scored on a fumble recovery.

Nate McCallum had a 14-yard touchdown run and quarterback Jacob Wells scored on a 13-yard run.

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