E.A. Sports Today

Road warriors

Area roundup: White Plains, Alexandria, Wellborn, Saks all go on the road to pick up wins

Alexandria 49, Cleburne County 7
Center Point 24, Anniston 22
Evangel 28, Faith Temple (JCA) 22
Oxford 49, Gadsden City 14
Piedmont 26, Grissom 17 (non-counter)
Pleasant Valley 30, Donoho 29
Saks 46, Geraldine 14
Wellborn 55, Hamilton 7
White Plains 21, Elmore County 0

By Gregory Kirby
Special to East Alabama Sports Today

ECLECTIC – White Plains added a new element to its offense Friday and the defense made a stand with its first shutout in three years as the Wildcats blanked Elmore County 21-0 to spoil the Panthers’ homecoming.

What was new was the Wildcats inserting receiver Quin Wilson into the running game and he responded with a 120 yards rushing on 14 carries. He also caught two passes for 23 yards.

“Man, what about that,” White Plains coach Chandler Tyree said. “All 5-foot-6, 140 of him ran his tail off tonight. Two years ago he wasn’t even playing football. Now, he’s coming back and he’s sticking his nose down and running people over and getting hard yardage. I’m just super proud of that kid.”

“I was a little nervous because I usually play receiver, but Coach put me in that position so I had to do whatever I had to do to help the team win. It feels good to have a good game, but I couldn’t have done it without the O-line. I tip my hat to those guys.”

Quarterback Jaden Chatman ran for two touchdowns and threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Walker O’Steen. Chatman was 7-of-14 for 128 yards passing and rushed for 48 yards. O’Steen rushed for 101 yards on 15 carries and caught two passes for 73 yards.

Adding Wilson to the mix “was huge,” Chatman said.

“It was a triple threat kind of thing, but none of us could’ve done anything without the offensive line,” he continued. “They worked their butts off. We got all the touchdowns and we got all the yardage, but we couldn’t have done any of that without the O-line, so they get all the props.”

Freshman defensive back Dylan Barksdale led the defense with an interception, fumble recovery and several pass break-ups. The Wildcats’ last shutout came in the final game of the 2017 season, 18-0 over Wellborn that snapped a 24-game losing streak. Friday night’s shutout snapped a three-game losing streak in which the Wildcats had given up 115 points.

It was the first time Elmore County had been shut out since Oct. 26, 2018, a 27-0 loss to Lincoln. The Panthers (1-5) have now lost five straight.

“Man, coach (Clay) Sprayberry had an unbelievable game plan defensively; our kids executed and tackled,” Tyree said. “Coach (Tanner) Nelson had a great game plan offensively. We were able to, for the first time I feel like in a while, impose our will on both sides of the football. We preached physicality all week and our kids answered the call. It’s been a rough few weeks and we needed a positive outcome.”

Wellborn 55, Hamilton 7

HAMILTON – Wellborn rushed for 492 yards as a team, with sophomore Jesse Lewis picking up 178 yards and two touchdowns late in the game, as the third-ranked Panthers scored their fifth straight victory in their longest road trip of the season.

Five runners rushed for at least 66 yards and one score for the Panthers. TiQuan Thomas had 93 yards and two scores, while Jett Smith had 82 yards and Logan Brooks and Calvin Spinks each had 66 yards while each scoring one touchdown.

Lewis’ night was highlighted by touchdown runs of 57 and 70 yards.

“Last year he played well for us when he came in, but he’s just gotten better and better,” Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said.

The Panthers’ defense held Hamilton to 147 yards of net offense, losing the shutout in the fourth quarter. Wellborn hasn’t allowed more than 14 points in a game this season and has given up only 42 points all season.

“We thought coming into the game we were better than that team, but we didn’t know we were that much better,” Smith said. “We’re just trying to get better every day.”

Well (55)Ham (7)
171st Downs6
492Rushing yds141
19Passing yds1

Alexandria 49, Cleburne Co. 7

HEFLIN – Alexandria’s latest win, just like most of them have been this year, was as easy a 1-2-3 – as in Javais McGhee (No. 1), Ronnie Royal (No. 2) and Antonio Ross (No. 3).

The three speedy backs combined for 165 yards rushing, all 110 of the Valley Cubs’ yards receiving and accounted for all seven of their touchdowns.

McGhee caught a 45-yard touchdown pass on Wesley Wright’s first throw of the game and had a 42-yarrd touchdown run. Royal had touchdown runs of 1 and 2 yards and a 50-yard interception return for a score. Ross had a 45-yard pick-six and a 33-yard touchdown run.

If you want to continue going down the line, Chaning Orr (No. 4) had 64 yards rushing and Nick Merriweather (No. 5) had 35.

Defensively, the Valley Cubs allowed only 168 yards. Cleburne County quarterback Beau Clay threw for 121 yards on 8-of-13 passing, but the Valley Cubs intercepted him three times.

Alexandria          28  7  14  0  –  49
Cleburne Co.       0    7  0    0  –   7

A – Javais McGhee 45 pass from Wesley Wright (Grayson Forrest kick), 9:54 1Q
A – Ronnie Royal 2 run (Grayson Forrest kick), 8:04 1Q
A – Antonio Ross 45 interception return (Grayson Forrest kick), 7:00 1Q
A – Ronnie Royal 1 run (Grayson Forrest kick), 0:01 1Q
A – Javais McGhee 42 run (Grayson Forrest kick), 7:58 2QC – Devante Cantrell 7 run (kick good), 4:36 2Q
A – Ronnie Royal 50 interception return (Grayson Forrest kick), 10:47 3Q
A – Antonio Ross 33 run (Grayson Forrest kick), 4:53 3Q

Hokes Bluff 42, Spring Garden 28

HOKES BLUFF – Tucker Griffin rushed for 93 yards and scored two touchdowns in the second half to give Hokes Bluff a comfortable margin after Spring Garden had cut an early 21-point deficit to one by halftime.

The Eagles had a 21-0 lead 10 seconds into the second quarter before the Panthers rallied behind quarterback Ryley Kirk. Kirk threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to get his team back to 21-20 at halftime.

Tucker then scored on an 11-yard run late in the third quarter and gave the Eagles a two-score cushion with a 1-yard plunge in the fourth. Kirk closed the gap with a 1-yard run on the next possession, but Noah Sprayberry closed out the game with a 16-yard scoring run with two minutes to play.

Kirk threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns on 26-of-40 passing. He also rushed for 23 yards. Cooper Austin caught seven passes for 145 yards and two scores. Cameron Welsh also caught seven passes, while Weston Kirk and Andrew Floyd caught six each.

Griffin was the game’s leading rusher. He also had a team-high 10.5 tackles on defense. Will Wellingham had two of the Eagles’ seven sacks.

Spring Garden     0    20   0   8    –   28
Hokes Bluff           14  7     7  14  –   42

HB – Hunter Burke 11 fumble return (Jaden Burns kick), 11:36 1Q
HB – Connor Faulkner 1 run (Jaden Burns kick), 5:55 1Q
HB – Hunter Burke 44 pass from Connor Faulkner (Jaden Burns kick), 11:49 2Q
SG – Cooper Austin 15 pass from Ryley Kirk (kick failed), 8:29 2Q
SG – Ryley Kirk 13 run (Cooper Austin pass from Ryley Kirk), 2:06 2Q
SG – Cooper Austin 34 pass from Ryley Kirk (pass failed), 0:02 2Q
HB – Tucker Griffin 11 run (Jaden Burns kick), 4:27 3Q
HB – Tucker Griffin 1 run (Jaden Burns kick), 9:32 4Q
SG – Ryley Kirk 1 run (Andrew Floyd pass from Ryley Kirk), 7:51 4Q
HB – Noah Sprayberry 16 run (Jaden Burns kick), 1:59 4Q

SG (28)HB (42)
261st Downs16
301Passing yds105

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