E.A. Sports Today

Football notebook

Hokes Bluff back had 400-yard game, Saks’ game bigger than you think, UMS-Wright coach ties all-time winningest coach atop active region wins list, McCallum update

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Hokes Bluff junior running back Darrian Meads did all he could and then some to make Eagles head coach Mike Robertson’s special night even more memorable last Friday.

Meads needed only 17 carries to set a school record with 401 yards rushing as the Eagles beat Cleburne County 49-10 for the first win in their newly christened Mike Robertson Stadium. The victory also was the 150th of Robertson’s head coaching career.

Meads made his impact felt immediately racing 89 yards on Hokes Bluff’s second offensive play of the game. He added touchdown runs of 1 and 60 yards and caught a 42-yard touchdown pass, finishing the night with 443 total yards and four scores despite playing very little in the second half. He had 336 yards rushing in the first half.

Meads’ outburst means when Hokes Bluff and Jacksonville meet next week for their region championship, the game will feature two backs who have rushed for 409 yards in a game this season. Jacksonville’s Ron Wiggins did it a couple weeks ago against Cleburne County.

Here are some other highlights reported to the AHSAA:

Oxford defensive standouts Keon Fomby and Denico Tanner teamed up for a pair of blocked punt return touchdowns against Shades Valley. Fomby blocked both punts and Tanner returned them both for scores … Montevallo quarterback Inabinette (23-of-39 for 433 yards, 4 TDs) and Falkville quarterback Aaron Dove (23-of-32 for 442 yards, 7 TDs) both passed for more than 400 yards … Hartselle’s Luke Godsey ran for 165 yards and passed for 136 to help his coach-dad Bob Godsey move into a tie on the school’s all-time wins list (137-50) … Pinson Valley QB Bo Nix became the fourth player in AHSAA history to go over 10,000 career yards (10,310). His next TD pass will be his 100th … North Jackson’s Lee Witherspoon became the first player in AHSAA history to score eight TDs in consecutive games. He has 1,721 yards and 34 TDs on 78 carries this season.

BIG GAMES: This week’s Saks-Randolph County game is more of a must-win for the Wildcats than you know.

If the top-ranked Wildcats win their first meeting with Randolph County since 1963, they will be Class 3A Region 6 champions and likely play most of their playoffs game at home.

It’s what happens if they don’t win that makes the difference. If the Tigers win, Saks likely will fall to No. 3 in the region and play most of their playoff games on the road.

Huh? A Randolph County win would throw the region into a three-way tie for first and because the Wildcats play only two non-region games this year they would lose out on the beaten opponent wins’ tiebreaker.

Provided, of course, everyone holds serve in their final region games, Piedmont would be the region’s 1, Randolph County the 2 and Saks the 3. If Saks wins Friday, it would be Saks, Piedmont and Randolph County.

Ohatchee also will be playing for a region title Friday, at home against Ranburne. It would be the Indians’ first region title since 2002 and would give coach Scott Martin a winning overall region record for the first time in his tenure there (16-15).

The Indians (6-0, 4-0) haven’t played Ranburne (6-1, 5-0) since 2013, haven’t beaten the Bulldogs since 1996 and have lost nine straight in the all-time series.

The Indians have had a week to prepare and are coming off a 70-22 pasting of West End.

COACHING MILESTONE: UMS-Wright coach Terry Curtis has tied Vestavia Hill’s Buddy Anderson for all-time region wins among active coaches. Both are currently listed with 144 region wins.

Curtis’ Class 4A Region 1 Bulldogs (7-0, 5-0) close their region season with Escambia County (5-2, 4-1) and W.S. Neal (1-5, 1-4) while Anderson’s Rebels (4-3, 2-3) finish their 7A Region 3 region schedule with Hoover (5-2, 4-1) and Oak Mountain (1-6, 0-5).

Following them are Paul Benefield, Fyffe (139); Paul Yancy, Briarwood Christian (135); Danny Horn, Clay Central (129) and Steve Smith, Piedmont (128).

Mike Griffith of Sylacauga has two regular-season games left to hit the century milestone in career coaching victories. He is 98-90. The Aggies are home this week against Horn’s Clay Central team, then close the regular season at Munford on Oct. 26.

McCALLUM UPDATE: Oxford linebacker and LSU commitment Kendall McCallum underwent a procedure Monday to check the health of his heart and reported he’ll return to the field sooner than later.

McCallum underwent a heart catheterization after two asthmatic episodes two weeks ago. He said before the procedure doctors told him there was a “50-50 chance” of playing this week, but he was confident he’d be back in time for the playoffs.

The Yellow Jackets play at Clay-Chalkville in a key region game Friday, but they are making plans not to play the 6-3, 230-pound senior.

“Everything is good,” McCallum told East Alabama Sports Today Monday night. “I’ll be back playing soon.”

The AHSAA and EA Sports Today contributor Kurt Duryea contributed to this report

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