E.A. Sports Today

Haynes’ big day

Handley running back enjoys second-best rushing day in AHSAA history, goes for 476 yards in Tigers’ 54-41 shootout with Jacksonville

Handley running back Jay Haynes (4) puts a stiff-arm on Jacksonville’s Will Phillips to get free for some of his 476 rushing yards Friday night. (Photos by Greg Warren).

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Even the top coaches in the SEC know if Handley running back Jay Haynes gets a crease he can run a long way.

Jacksonville saw that first-hand Friday night as Haynes erupted for one of the best single-game rushing performances in state history.

Haynes rushed for 476 yards and five long touchdowns on 30 carries and accounted for more than 500 yards of offense as the second-ranked Tigers outgunned the fourth-ranked Golden Eagles 54-41 to kick off their Class 4A Region 4 schedule.

It was a night for offense. In addition to the 95 points, the teams combined for 1,248 yards of offense, 48 first downs and 14 touchdowns. Ten of the offensive touchdowns covered at least 30 yards.

Haynes’ 476 yards was the second-best single game rushing mark in state history, and a lot of it was after contact. It was 55 yards shy of the all-time single-game mark set by Parrish’s Tony Dixon in 2003. Haynes also caught a pass for 29 yards late in the second quarter giving him 505 total yards.

He had almost as many yards rushing as Jacksonville had total yards in the game. His five touchdown runs alone totaled 322 yards — 86, 58, 52, 72, 54. He had more yards in the first half (270) than he had in the Tigers’ first two games combined (243).

“I can’t believe it; it was a great night, great night,” Haynes said after giving props to his teammates for blocking so well. “It feels good to know you’re a good player. My father (Timothy Haynes) was a good running back himself; he played at Wadley. His genes helped me out a lot.”

At various times it reminded Handley coach Larry Strain of a game Alexandria’s Mac Campbell had against the Tigers during his first stint there as an assistant. At times it reminded Jacksonville coach Clint Smith of his own No. 4 a few years back, Ron Wiggins.

Yet for all the yardage Haynes gained in the game, it was a two-touchdown game in the fourth quarter and that’s why he stayed in as long as he did. It wasn’t about chasing any state record as far as Strain was concerned, it was trying to finally get control of a game he knew had region championship implications.

Jacksonville quarterback Jim Ogle was equally impressive through the air. He completed 23 of 44 for 372 yards and three touchdowns. His counterpart, Cannon Kyles, went 7-of-10 for 190 yards and three touchdowns, including two over 50 yards.

“We knew what kind of game it was going to be, it wasn’t a shocker,” Smith said. “We also put 41 points up on the second-ranked team in the state. There was good, there was bad and we didn’t play a complete enough game to beat a team the caliber of Handley.”

Handley 54, Jacksonville 41

HAND (54)JAX (41)
231st Downs25
190Passing yards372
Handley (3-0)1214226 —54
Jacksonville (2-1)77621 —41

J: Dee Prothro 1 run (Mason Terrell kick), 7:35 1Q
H: Jay Haynes 86 run (kick failed), 7:16 1Q
H: Jay Haynes 58 run (pass failed), 1:59 1Q
J: Drew Pridgen 54 pass from Jim Ogle (Mason Terrell kick), 5:56 2Q
H: Jay Haynes 52 run (run failed), 5:37 2Q
H: Jordan West 4 pass from Cannon Kyles (Jay Haynes run), 0:36 2Q
H: Jay Haynes 72 yards (Jay Haynes run), 9:59 3Q
J: Xzavier English 6 run (kick failed), 7:07 3Q
J: Jay Haynes 54 run (Jay Haynes run), 5:07 3Q
H: Devontae Higgins 60 pass from Cannon Kyles (kick failed), 2:31 3Q
J: Kydric Fisher 48 pass from Him Ogle (Mason Terrell kick), 8:34 4Q
J: Dee Prothro 27 fumble return (Mason Terrell kick), 6:04 4Q
H: Jamerqui Lewis 54 pass from Cannon Kyles (kick failed), 5:13 4Q
J: Kydric Fisher 31 pass from Jim Ogle (Mason Terrell kick), 0:13 4Q

531Tony Dixon, ParrishHubbertville2003
476Jay Haynes, HandleyJacksonville2022
470Jerry Stancil, GaylesvilleSpring Garden2004
465Jalen White, DalevilleGeneva County2019

Jacksonville offensive line coach Jimmy Ogle (L), a former college coach, shares some words of encouragement with Handley’s Jay Haynes in the handshake line after the Tigers’ back had one of the best nights rushing in state history Friday night.

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