E.A. Sports Today

Cubs clinch crown

Royal runs for 156 yards, defense holds Leeds to 134 yards total, Alexandria wins region championship

By East Alabama Sports Today

The Alexandria football team knew beforehand they would be leaving here Friday night with a first-round home playoff game in hand, but the Valley Cubs wanted so much more.

They hadn’t won a region championship since 2015 and had the opportunity right at their fingertips. All they had to do was close on the road and knock off Leeds.

The Valley Cubs scored on their first three possessions of the game, then turned things over to their defense and came out with a 24-9 victory that gave them the Class 5A Region 6 crown. It was their 17th region title overall.

“That’s your first goal you talk about from the beginning, putting yourself in a position to have a chance to win the region,” Alexandria coach Todd Ginn said. “We kind of knew what their game plan was – they were going to try to keep it out of our hands.

“We knew their defense was really good. We knew they had some athletes, some size and some capable players. We got up the first three possessions in the first half and held them. We gave up a 70-yard touchdown where we just kind of fell asleep, but other than that one play we played pretty well tonight.”

Ronnie Royal again led the offense with 156 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 25 carries. He had another 50-yard touchdown run called back by aa penalty of he would’ve had even more yardage and another score. Javais McGhee had 27 yards rushing and he completed his first three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown to Antonio Ross.

Royal had 115 yards in the first half, then, Ginn admitted, he got a little conservative in the second half so not to make a mistake because the defense was playing exceptionally well.

The defense held Leeds to 134 total net yards, almost half of it on that one touchdown pass.

The Valley Cubs (9-0) are lined up to host West Point in their opening-round playoff game, but before that they will host Piedmont in a battle of region champions Friday. They haven’t played the Bulldogs since 1993. They haven’t been 9-0 since 2006.

It may seem like an overly ambitious game in the final week of the regular season with the playoffs looming on the horizon, but Ginn’s not backing down. He’s all about playing.

“In a year where everything was up in the air and you didn’t know how many you’d get to play, let’s go play it,” Ginn said. “Anybody who wants to compete, especially in a year like this, if you love to compete, every chance you get to is a great day.

“We’ll approach it like any other week. (Rest) it just not us. We’re going to get out there and compete. It should be a fun matchup.”

Alexandria             7   14  0   3   –   24
Leeds                        0   0    9   0   –    9
A – Ronnie Royal 9 yards (Cleat Forrest kick), 2:03 1Q
A – Antonio Ross 16 pass from Javais McGhee (Cleat Forrest kick), 8:49 2Q
A – Ronnie Royal 43 run (Cleat Forrest kick), 3:21 2Q
L – Safety, 8:07 3Q
L – Jeremiah Felder 70 pass from Jarod Latta (kick good), 2:25 3Q
A – Cleat Forrest 31 FG, 5:55 4Q

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