E.A. Sports Today

The Wright stuff

Alexandria takes to the air and Wright throws for 189 yards in 57-20 rout of Moody; Cubs play Leeds Friday for region championship

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

When teams game plan for Alexandria these days it usually starts with trying to devise a way to slow down its speedy stable of running backs and the Valley Cubs are never shy about giving them the ball. So, in those rare times the quarterback gets to show off his arm, it’s nothing short of eye-opening. 

Valley Cubs coach Todd Ginn gave quarterback Wesley Wright a chance to air it out a bit Friday night and senior took full advantage of it.

He threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-19 passing and with a little help from his receivers could have had a lot more as the Cubs swamped Moody 57-20 to remain on track for a region championship game next week at Leeds.

“We’ve been seeing here lately a lot of people really stacking the box,” Ginn said. “When we see them bring their safety up … This year I’ve told people we’ve got a little more speed and some athletes, so we may do that. We’ve got the option of throwing it, which makes Ronnie (Royal) and (Antonio) Ross and Javais (McGhee) that much more potent. I thought Wesley had a pretty good game.”

The first ball Wright threw in the game went for a 41-yard touchdown to McGhee. He had a 17-yard completion in the next series. In fact, six of the Cubs’ first 11 plays were passes (he completed four and two were dropped). He later threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Royal. He also had a 45-yard completion and four others of 15 yards or more.

Wright was so much around his receivers he truly could have been 17-of-19 in the first half. All of his throws were in or at the hands of his receivers. He literally threw only two bad passes that had no chance of being caught.

The Cubs lead 48-6 at halftime. They scored on their first five possessions and seven of their first eight.

“Wesley threw the ball great tonight,” Ginn said. “I thought we had some drops that were uncharacteristic of us; I know we dropped six passes we should have caught. He put the ball on the money most of the night. One thing Will (Ginn) talks about all the time is how catchable of a ball that Wesley throws. He throws a ball that is very, very catchable and that’s why it was surprising. We don’t drop balls in practice.”

It was a departure of sorts. Wright had thrown only 20 passes in the Cubs’ previous three games combined. It beat the Center Point game as his best one of the year. He threw for 135 yards in that one with three touchdowns of 40 yards or more.

“I was excited,” he said. “I just think about it as any other game. I had faith in my line that they were going to block for me and I had faith in my receivers they were going to catch the ball, and they did more the most part. I enjoyed it.”

Don’t worry, the running backs did their thing. The Valley Cubs rushed for 241 yards. Royal ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns. McGhee and Wright also had rushing touchdowns.

The defense even got in on the scoring when Grady Trantham stepped in front of an A.J. Wallace pass and returned it 32 yards for his first touchdown of the year. Trantham had a pick-six in the second round of the playoffs last year, too.

“Getting the touchdown, I wasn’t dying to get that, I care more about winning more as a team, but it felt great, the team celebrating me and everything,” he said. “I saw the lineman drop back to my zone, they had a hook come in and I kind of slanted in, baited him, seen it through, jumped on it, saw the hole outside, hit the hole and I was gone.”

He nearly had one earlier in the game when he took a Wright pass down the sideline before stepping out of bounds.

The Valley Cubs will play for their first region championship since 2015 next week at Leeds. Both teams are 6-0 in Class 5A Region 6 and regardless of the outcome both will have a first-round home playoff game.

“Either way that first game is at home, but we really, really want to win next Friday,” Ginn said.

Alexandria 57, Moody 20
Moody              6    0   7    7   –   20
Alexandria     28  20  6   3   –   57
A – Javais McGhee 41 pass from Wesley Wright (kick failed), 10:52 1Q
A – Ronnie Royal 6 run (Ronnie Royal run), 8:00 1Q
M – Logan Cole 3 pass from A.J. Wallace (kick failed), 7:35 1Q
A – Ronnie Royal 5 run (Cleat Forrest kick), 5:19 1Q
A – Wesley Wright 3 run (Cleat Forrest kick), 1:05 1Q
A – Javais McGhee 33 run (Cleat Forrest kick), 10:29 2Q
A – Ronnie Royal 12 run (kick failed), 2:55 2Q
A – Ronnie Royal 8 pass from Wesley Wright (Luis Torres kick), 0:41 2Q
A – Grady Trantham 32 interception return (kick failed), 11:00 3Q
M – Davion Dozier 40 pass from A.J. Wallace (Cristian Sierra kick), 6:07 3Q
A – Luis Torres 35 FG, 9:44 4Q
M – Davion Dozier 6 pass from A.J. Wallace (Cristian Sierra kick), 3:16 4Q

Mood (0-7, 0-5)Alex (8-0, 6-0)
71st Downs19
306Passing yds191

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