E.A. Sports Today

Cubs march on

Alexandria uses several big plays to score Homecoming victory, remain undefeated; Piedmont uses big rally to turn back Jacksonville

By Dean Harrell
For East Alabama Sports Today

It was homecoming in the valley, and Alexandria was determined to put on a show for its fans against Cleburne County. 

The home crowd was easily satisfied with their team’s performance Friday, as the Cubs cruised to a 38-14 victory over the Tigers. 

This win for the Cubs continues their perfect season to 5-0 (3-0 in Class 5A Region 6).

Momentum shifts were a major factor of the game for the both teams. After a scoreless first quarter, Javais McGhee connected with Austin Jeffers for a huge 65-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. Following the big play, the Cubs were able to score to more touchdowns in the quarter. Cleburne County also scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, one following a Devante Cantrell interception midway through the quarter.

“We thought we’d have a good chance offensively with our athleticism against them, and we got some big plays out of it,” said Cubs head coach Todd Ginn.

McGhee was certainly the centerpiece, finishing with four total touchdowns. He delivered through the air with 71 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also returned a kick 80 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

He finished with 38 yards rushing, 71 yards passing and 100 yards receiving.

“Our defense was able to set the tone for us and we used that momentum to drive the ball down the field,” said McGhee. “Games like this will prepare us well for the playoffs and other big games.”

The Valley Cubs defense was everywhere, blocking a punt in the second quarter and forcing three turnovers by the Tigers. The defense also added some points on the board with a 90-yard fumble return by Antonio Ross in the quarter. Along with forcing several turnovers, the Cubs shut out the Tigers in the second half.

They held the Tigers to 138 yards rushing and 119 yards passing in the game. Cantrell had 55 yards rushing, and quarterback Kyler McGrinn had 83 yards rushing and 119 yards passing.

“That’s the beautiful part about halftime,” Ginn said. “When you have good assistant coaches like we have, we can go and make adjustments on defense to limit them in the second half.”

“I think the speeches the coaches gave at halftime gave us motivation to keep fighting and keep our record good,” said McGhee.

Cleburne County is looking forward to their upcoming bye week to prepare for Jacksonville in two weeks. The Tigers are now 4-2 (2-1 in 4A Region 4) after dropping their last two games.

“We got to get better with taking advantage of big opportunities,” Tigers coach Joby Burns said. “Our special teams needs to clean up a little bit also.”

Alexandria 38, Cleburne Co. 14

Cleburne Co. (4-2)01400 —14
Alexandria (5-0)021710 —38

A – Austin Jeffers 65 pass from Javais McGhee (Cleat Forrest kick), 10:59 2Q
C – Devante Cantrell 30 run (Noah Morgan kick), 6:32 2Q
A – Javais McGhee 80 kick return (Cleat Forrest made PAT), 6:20 2Q
A – Austin Jeffers 6 pass from Javais McGhee 6 yard pass to Austin Jeffers (Forrest made PAT), 3:58 2Q
C – Kyler McGrinn 4 run (Noah Morgan kick), 0:43 2Q
A – Antonio Ross 90 fumble recovery (Cleat Forrest kick), 1:52 3Q
A – Cleat Forrest 27 FG, 8:18 4Q
A – Javais McGhee 1 run (Cleat Forrest made PAT), 3:01 4Q

Alex (38)Cleb (14)
36 – 111Rushing40 – 138
9 – 16 – 1C-A-I13 – 26 – 1
8-85Penalties3 – 15

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