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Local Sports Stories Archives for 2022-10

Westminster Christian Academy Captures 5A State Volleyball Championship

Westminster Christian 3, Arab 0
     BIRMINGHAM – Senior Meg Paparella opened strong with six of her match-high 19 kills in the first set as Westminster Christian downed a fierce Arab team 25-23, 26-24, 25-13 to claim the AHSAA 2022 Class 5A state volleyball championship at the Birmingham CrossPlex Bill Harris Arena Wednesday.
    For Coach Holly Richards and her Wildcats, it was the second state title in a row. Westminster (47-9) won the 4A crown in 2021, moved to Class 5A this season and closed strong to claim the state crown in their new classification.
    Paparella was named the Class 5A state tourney MVP finishing with nine digs. Callie Tanielu added 13 kills and five digs, and setter Paislee Shelton distributed 34 assists. Brianna Tinsley also served three aces.
    Arab (49-14) was playing in the school’s first-ever state volleyball championship match. The Lady Knights of Coach Amy Hudson played toe-to-toe with the Wildcats in the first set but found themselves down 21-10 in the second set. Arab then reeled off nine straight points to cut the margin to 21-19. Westminster persevered the rally to win 26-24 and found off another Arab rally in the final set to claim the title.
    Laney Kelley had 16 kills and Karli Walker had eight for Arab. Setter Amy McFerrin had 37 assists, Sami Kate Hudson had a match high 13 digs, andSydney Ferguson served two aces.
   The AHSAA State Volleyball Championships continue today with the Class 1A, 2A, and 4A title matches at Bill Harris Arena. Classes 3A, 6A and 7A opened play today at the CrossPlex arena with quarterfinal and semifinal matches. The 52nd annual state tournament closes out Thursday with state finals in those three classes at Bill Harris Arena.
    All the matches in both sites are being live streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-Based platform with veteran broadcaster Jerry Young handling the play-by-play.
2022 Class 5A All-State Tourney Team
Meg Paparella, Westminster (MVP); Calli Tanielu, Westminster; Paislee Shelton, Westminster; Anna McFerrin, Arab; Laney Kelley, Arab; Addi Vinson, Montgomery Academy.

Westminster Christian (47-9) 3, vs. Arab (49-14) (25-23, 26-24, 25-13 -) – Westminster is 5A State Champs

Addison (45-10) vs. Covenant Christian (36-18) or Meek (22-23), Wed., 12:30 p.m.

Donoho (42-14) vs. Pleasant Valley (35-15), Bill Harris Arena, Wed., 2:30 p.m.

Trinity Presbyterian (43-10) vs. Montgomery Catholic (29-10), Bill Harris ArenaWed., 4:30 p.m.



AHSAA Elite 8 State Volleyball Champoionships: Finals Set for 4 Classes as 52nd Elite 8 State Championships Complete First Day's Action

Class 1A, 2A, 4A, 5A Semifinals
Finals Set for 4 Classes as 52nd Elite 8 State Championships Complete First Day’s Action 
BIRMINGHAM – Arab High School toppled Montgomery Academy in one semifinal game Tuesday, and Westminster Christian beat Gulf Shores in the other semifinal as both teams advance to the 52nd annual AHSAA Elite 8 Class 5A State Volleyball Championship game, which will be played at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bill Harris Arena adjacent to the Birmingham CrossPlex.
     In Class 1A, Addison and Covenant Christian posted semifinal victories over Spring Garden and Meek, respectively, Tuesday to advance to Wednesday’s Class 1A championship game at 12:30 p.m.
    The Class 2A and Class 4A finals were set Tuesday. Two schools from Calhoun County, Donoho and Pleasant Valley, emerged with semifinal wins over G.W. Long and Bayshore Christian, respectively. The two rivals will meet in the 2A finals at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. And in Class 4A, a rematch between last year’s Class 3A finalists came to fruition when Montgomery Catholic downed Orange Beach and Trinity Presbyterian beat Deshler. That final, set for 4:30 p.m., will also set up a husband-wife final for the second straight year. Sarah Dubberley is the Trinity head coach, and her husband Sellers Dubberley coaches Catholic.
     Class 3A, 6A and 7A open play Wednesday at the CrossPlex with those finals set for Bill Harris Arena Thursday. All matches are being live streamed over the NFHS Network’s school broadcast platform. Veteran announcer Jerry Young will be handling the play-by-play for all championship games. For more information, go to www.nfhsnetwork.com.

The Wildcats (46-9), last year’s Class 4A state champs, earned the chance for a repeat, albeit in Class 5A this year. The powerful front line of Coach Holly Richards dominated the semifinal straight-set 25-19, 25-13, 25-17 win over Gulf Shores.
     Calli Tanielu totaled 18 kills and Meg Paparella had 15 to lead Westminster. The duo also combined for seven blocked shots, 24 digs and five service aces. Setter Paislee Shelton dished out 37 assists and had eight digs, and libero Rylee Sexton had 16 digs.
    Gulf Shores (39-18), coached by Karen Atkins, was led by Lily Zlab with 13 kills and eight blocks. Julia Fisher added five kills and five blocks, and Macey Moore also had an outstanding game at setter.

The Knights (49-13) advanced to the state finals with the 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23 win over Montgomery Academy Tuesday at the CrossPlex. Laney Kelley and Karli Walker had 15 and 13 kills, respectively, for Arab, coached by Amy Hudson.
    Sami Kate Hudson 
had 19 digs and eight kills, Sydney Ferguson added six digs and eight kills, and setter Anna McFerrin had 42 assists, two aces and six digs. Libero Marisa Pope managed 21 digs.
    Caroline McDaniel had 22 kills and 12 digs to lead Montgomery Academy (44-7), coached by Julie GordonElle McBride also had 12 kills, libero Parker Shegon totaled 29 digs and setter Addi Vinson had 46 assists, 18 digs and a team-high four blocks.

The Knights (29-10) were paced by setter Maria Schwarz. She had 35 assists and six service aces in the 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 win over Orange Beach.Allyse Rudolph totaled 14 kills, five blocks, four digs and four aces, and Lennon McAnnally had eight kills and eight digs. Libero Mally Barranco had three aces, four assists and 10 digs.
     Orange Beach (33-11), coached by Sunne Young, closed out its first season in Class 4A in the semifinals. Outside hitter Amelia Edgeworth had 15 kills, libero Leyni Young had 15 digs, and Ensley Keel had 28 assists at setter.

Setter Addison Cherry had 39 assists as the Wildcats (43-10), last year’s Class 3A state champs, moved into the 4A championship match with a 28-26, 25-10, 25-15 victory over Deshler (45-6). Emma Moody had 17 kills and four blocks, Reese Patterson had nine kills, Holland Williams added six kills and three blocks, and Isabel Hill had 12 digs and three aces for Trinity, coached by Sarah Dubberley.
    Chloe Siegal 
had 10 kills, seven digs and 10 assists to lead Deshler, coached by Jana Killen. Outside hitters Ava Siegal and Cooper Thompson added eight and seven kills, respectively. Haley Goodloe contributed three blocks, six digs and six assists.

The Raiders (35-15), coached by Dana Bryant, advanced to the finals to take on Calhoun County rival Donoho Wednesday at Bill Harris Arena with a straight-set25-21, 25-17, 25-14 win over Bayshore Christian. It will be the sixth match this season between Donoho and Pleasant Valley Wednesday. Donoho is 4-1 in the previous five meetings.
    Outside hitter Allie Bryant had 22 kills and 17 digs for Pleasant Valley, coached by her mother Dana Bryant. Middle hitter Lily Henry totaled 13 kills, three blocks and 10 digs, Maddie Schwabe contributed 31 assists and 11 digs, and her sister Madison Schwabe had 15 digs and four kills.
    Bayshore Christian (22-22) was led by senior Ashlyn Whiteside’s seven kills and two blocks. The Eagles of Coach Dave Omtvfedt, playing in Class 2A for the first time, won the 1A state title in 2020 and finished runner-up in 2021 – playing Donoho each time.

Setter Samantha Wakefield had 32 assists, 13 digs and three kills in the 25-17, 25-7, 25-19 win over G.W. Long (29-11). Teammate Lily Grace Draper had 13 kills, Mary Marshall Perry had nine kills and Ansley Simmons had seven. Estella Connell chipped in six kills and four blocks.
   The Falcons will be vying for their 13th state title overall in Wednesday’s finals. Donoho, coached by Anna Taylor, won the Class 1A state crown in 2021 and moved up to 2A this season.
    G.W. Long (42-13), coached by Craig Long, was led by Emma Claire Long. She finished with 12 kills and 12 digs. Libero Ainsley Watts had 14 digs andSawyer Hughes, an eighth grader, managed 15 assists and nine digs. Maleah Long added 10 assists and three kills.

The Eagles (35-18) of Coach Allyson Estave won a hard-fought 21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-21) semifinal match over Meek to advanced to Wednesday’s state finals.
    Ashlee Gann had 29 kills to lead Covenant Christian. Ella Estave added 13 digs and Zoe Griffin had nine kills.
    Meek finished its season 21-24. No Meek statistics were available from the semifinals.

The Bulldogs (45-10) of Coach Kaydi Woodard downed Spring Garden 25-19, 25-18, 25-13) to move into the finals Wednesday. Senior setter Gracie Manley had 37 assists to lead Addison. Dacey Baker also had 11 kills, Abby Waldrep had nine, Katie Barrett had seven plus five aces, and Bailey Ory had 13 digs.
    Spring Garden (41-15), coached by Ricky Austin, was led by Ace Austin’s 13 kills and Avery Steward’s 21 assists. 


Birmingham CrossPlex & Bill Harris Arena

Spring Garden (41-14) 3, Pleasant Home (18-13) (25-8, 25-18, 25-16)
Addison (44-10) 3, Kinston (16-16) (25-3, 25-10, 25-5)
Covenant Christian (35-18) 3, Brantley (25-12) (22-25, 25-13, 25-16, 25-9)
Meek (21-23) 3, University Charter School (25-8) (25-15, 25-20, 25-21)
Addison (45-10) 3, Spring Garden (41-15) (25-19, 25-18, 15-13)
Covenant Christian (35-18) 3, Meek (21-24) (21-25, 25-28, 25-21, 25-21)
Addison (45-10) vs. Covenant Christian (36-18) or Meek (22-23), Wed., 12:30 p.m.

Lindsay Lane (23-25) vs. G.W. Long (28-10)
Washington County (22-5)  vs. Donoho (41-14)
Pleasant Valley (34-15) 3, Tuscaloosa Academy (20-10) (25-9, 25-14, 25-20)
Bayshore Christian (22-21) 3, Fyffe (21-28) (25-22, 25-11, 25-16)
Donoho (42-14) 3, G.W. Long (28-12) (25-17, 25-7, 25-19)
Pleasant Valley (35-15) 3, Bayshore Christian (22-22) (25-21, 25-17, 25-14)
Donoho (42-14) vs. Pleasant Valley (35-15), Bill Harris Arena, Wed., 2:30 p.m.


Trinity Presbyterian (42-10) 3, Madison County (32-20) 0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-23)
Deshler (45-5) 3, Satsuma (22-14) 0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-23)
Orange Beach (33-10) 3, Priceville (28-14) 0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-19)
Montgomery Catholic (29-10) 3, West Morgan (40-15) 0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-16)
Trinity Presbyterian (43-10) 3, Deshler (45-6) 0 (28-26, 25-10, 25-10)
Montgomery Catholic (29-10) 3, Orange Beach (33-11) (25-13, 25-17, 25-17)
Trinity Presbyterian (43-10) vs. Montgomery Catholic (29-10), Bill Harris ArenaWed., 4:30 p.m.


Gulf Shores (39-17) 3, Jasper (52-11) (19-25, 25-21, 16-25, 25-17, 15-11)
Westminster Christian (45-9) 3, Providence Christian (20-26) (25-15, 25-9, 25-12)
Arab (48-13) 3, Faith Academy (27-19) (25-15, 25-14, 25-14)
Montgomery Academy (44-6) 3, Lawrence County (35-24) (23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21)
Westminster Christian (46-9) 3, Gulf Shores (39-18) (25-19, 25-13), 25-17)
Arab (49-13) 3, Montgomery Academy (44-7) (25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23)
Westminster Christian (46-9) vs. Arab (49-13), Bill Harris Arena, Wednesday., 10 a.m.

at CrossPlex


Geraldine (32-16) vs. Prattville Christian (35-19), 9 a.m.
Opp (13-17)  vs. Ohatchee (32-16), 9 a.m.
Houston Academy (23-14) vs. Plainview (61-11)9 a.m.
Susan Moore (48-10) vs. St. Luke’s Episcopal (40-12), 9 a.m.

Wednesday,  p.m.
Bill Harris Arena, Wed., 2:30 p.m.

Hazel Green (39-21) vs. Bayside Academy (50-13) , Wed., 10:30 a.m.
Northridge (36-14) vs. Mountain Brook (49-12) , Wed., 10:30 a.m.
Pelham (38-16) vs. Hartselle (34-13) , Wed., 10:30 a.m.  
Oxford (24-2) vs. Spanish Fort (44-16), Wed., 10:30 a.m. 
Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Bill Harris Arena, Wed., 2:30 p.m.


Sparkman (45-12) vs. St. Paul’s Episcopal (34-12), Wed., noon
Auburn (22-15) vs. Bob Jones (46-10) , Wed., noon 
Enterprise (41-8) vs. Hoover (35-16) , Wed., noon
Huntsville (34-13) vs. McGill-Toolen Catholic (48-8) , Wed., noon
CrossPlex, Wednesday, 5 p.m.

Bill Harris Arena, Thursday, 2 p.m.

DrewD's Key Performers For Alabama vs Texas A&M


Photo Courtesy SEC Media Portal

MVP: RB Jahmyr Gibbs


The junior transfer from Georgia Tech had his second straight huge game for the Crimson Tide. Gibbs finished the night with 21 rushes for 154 yards and added another 13 yards on 3 receptions to finish with 24 touches for 167 total offensive yards. Much like Jameson Williams around this time a year ago, the 5-11, 200-pounder is hitting his stride with his new squad toward midseason. The Dalton, Georgia, native is AVERAGING 8.3 yards per carry the University of Alabama during the 2022 season: 64 carries 532 yards 2 TDs. As a receiver: 22 catches 220 yards 3 TDs. IMPACT.


Photo Courtesy of Getty Images 

Newcomer Game Ball: WR Jermaine Burton


The portal addition from Georgia finished the contest with three catches for 48 yards & a score. The touchdown, from 35 yards on a slant thrown by Milroe on a perfectly executed RPO, turned out to be the most explosive pass play of the night for the Crimson Tide. The native of Calabasas, California, made the big play catch-and-run at the 5:33 mark of the 2nd quarter to help Alabama reclaim the lead for good 14-7 inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.


Photo courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

Unsung Hero: Center Seth McLaughlin 


The Redshirt junior from Buford, Georgia, made his 2nd straight SEC start vs Texas A&M this past Saturday in Tuscaloosa for the banged up Darion Dalcourt. Even though the offense struggled with 4 turnovers (3 lost fumbles & an INT), once again the offensive line showed improvement. In the last two SEC games on the road at Arkansas and at home against Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide OL has gained 603 yards rushing on 93 attempts with 5 TDs averaging nearly 6.5 yards per carry with McLaughlin in the pivot. Much of this running game has developed with Bryce Young out of the lineup. This could be a silver lining that could make this offense even more dangerous and have the balance that will be difficult for the rest of the SEC to stop.



Photo Courtesy of 247Sports

Co-MVP: Jack Linebacker Will Anderson


For Anderson modest stat line of only 2 tackles, (1 solo) and 1 TFL. But here is the real statistic to tell you how he impacted the game: 8 Quarterback pressures which is one off the school record of nine by the legendary Derrick Thomas. The junior’s late pressure vs. Haynes King definitely contributed to the 24-20 Crimson Tide victory & no question helped the secondary hold up in coverage (Terrion Arnold).


Photo courtesy of SEC Media Portal

Co-MVPs: Dallas Turner & Chris Braswell 


The sophomore Turner and Junior Braswell

combined for 5 tackles (4 solo), 3 sacks, & 3 TFL. The “Cheetah” package was very effective against the Aggies on Saturday night. This helped create 14 total pressures on Haynes King & led to the 3 sacks & 1 INT by Terrion Arnold. At several points during the game on third down Anderson and Braswell lined up on the same side to rush the passer with Dallas Turner lined up on the opposite side. Not sure how much of a factor this will be against Tennessee due to their tempo but it is something to watch for Saturday, especially on 3rd down.



Photo Courtesy of Alabama Athletics

Newcomer Game Ball: Will Linebacker Deontae Lawson


The redshirt freshman from Mobile got his first start in Crimson this past Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Jaylen Moody was out with a bruised kidney. Lawson responded with 5 tackles (3 solo) providing quality production due to the loss of the senior Moody.


Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics

Unsung Hero: Nickel Brian Branch


The junior led the team in tackles with 9 (5 solo) with two TFL & two passes defensed from his star position in the nickel package. He was called for interference in the end zone late to set up the final snap but our other unsung hero read the lips of the head coach and was ready for the last play. 


Photo courtesy of 247Sports

Unsung Hero: Cornerback Terrion Arnold


As mentioned above the redshirt freshman played extremely well for Alabama against the Aggies on Saturday night inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Florida native finished with eight tackles (second on the team to Branch above), 4 solo stops & 1 pass defensed along with the first interception of his career. Arnold held up in coverage on the last snap of the game as Haynes King targeted Evan Stewart near the goal line. Coverage was tight and the past fell incomplete to give the Crimson Tide the hard fought victory.


Special Teams:

Photo Courtesy of Alabama Athletics

MVP: Punter James Burnip


The redshirt sophomore from Australia had a very solid night averaging nearly 42 yards per boot on 4 punts with a long of 48 with two downed inside the 20 yard line. Special mention for the kick coverage units who were also very solid and did not allow Devon Achane much, if any, room to return the football. The explosive Junior, who took a kickoff back for a key touchdown in the upset at Kyle Field last year, was held to 13 yards on his only return on the night.


Photo courtesy of Arion Carter (Twitter)


Two of the top linebacker targets left on the Alabama recruiting board visited Tuscaloosa for the night matchup with Texas A&M. One was Arion Carter of Smyrna, Tennessee. The Memphis commitment has been one of the fastest rising seniors in the country and Alabama has a need for 2-3 prospects to join Juco product Justin Jefferson. Check out Carter’s outstanding senior film here:




Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated 


The other top target to visit is the #1 prospect in the Magnolia State: Suntarine Perkins of Raleigh, Mississippi. The versatile athlete plays both sides of the ball much like Carter but ultimately projects at linebacker. Perkins admitted during this visit that he & his family grew up Alabama fans. But he has been committed to Ole Miss for many months and has family ties to the Rebels in former WR Donte Moncrief. It was speculated heavily that he almost flipped to Alabama during the summer. Lane Kiffin and his staff seemed to firm him up and many around that program still believe the elite athlete signs with Ole Miss. This is definitely a situation to monitor until December. 



Next Up For 3rd-ranked Alabama: The Crimson Tide and Bryce Young are on the road (with ESPN College Gameday in town) at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN for a 2:30 PM kickoff on CBS Sports.


Prediction: Alabama 45 Tennessee 27

Bob Jones Quarterback Ray Hardy Delivers in a Big Way as Battle of Coaching Brothers Grabs AHSAA Spotlight

Bob Jones Quarterback Ray Hardy Delivers in a Big Way 
as Battle of Coaching Brothers Grabs AHSAA Spotlight 

     MONTGOMERY – Bob Jones High School senior quarterback Rayshawn Hardy accounted for 392 total yards and six touchdowns as the Patriots downed Sparkman 48-40 in a key Class 7A, Region 8 football clash played last Friday in Madison County that featured brothers serving as head coaches on the opposite sidelines.
     Hardy, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior, ran for 157 yards and five touchdowns on 22 carries and completed 18- of-21 passes for 235 yards and a TD asCoach Kelvis White got the coaching win over his brother LaRon White. The brothers are the sons of retired AHSAA Hall of Fame Courtland football coach Louis White and the nephew of Central-Courtland coaching legend Hoover White, also a member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The current coaches have met four times in their head-coaching careers with Kelvis holding a 3-1 edge. His Patriots are 2-1 in three meetings between Sparkman and Bob Jones, and he on the only meeting Mae Jemison and Tanner (2016) with the brothers served as head coaches at those two schools.
    Laron White owns 181-58 career record in 20 seasons with back-to-back state titles at Tanner in 2012 and 2013. Kelvis White is 76-81 overall in his 15th year as a head coach. Laron is in his sixth season at Sparkman and Kelvis is in his third year at Bob Jones. Krlvis helped Homewood win back-to-back state titles in 2004 and 2005. The brothers played on the 1991 Courtland state championship team together and were reunited at the University of Alabama in 1996 when Kelvis was a freshman and Laron was a senior. 
    Their uncle Hoover White, now deceased, was a charter member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 1991. Louis Whitewas inducted in the Class of 2003. Another brother Mylun White was a career coach and educator who moved into administration as principal at Courtland High School. He passed away due to COVID in 2020 at the age of 74.
     Hardy’s Spotlight performance came in what was most exciting game in the Bob Jones-Sparkman series history. The Patriots improved to 32-18 in the series with the win as both teams combined for the most points (88) in the 50-game history between the two schools. Sparkman’s 40 points represent the most points scored by the losing team in the series. Both schools still can control their own playoff destinies. With the win over the Senators, Bob Jones (4-3) improved to 3-2 in Region 4 with two region games left – with Region 4 leader Austin (6-2), who is 5-0, at home this Friday and a road game at Albertville (1-6) Oct. 21. Sparkman ((4-3) is 2-3 in region play and takes on Huntsville (4-3) Thursday night in the AHSAA TV Network/WOTM TV Game of the Week. The Panthers are tied in the region standings at 3-2 with Bob Jones. James Clemens is still the playoff watch as well with a 2-3 region record and region games with Albertville and Grissom (2-5) remaining.
     Hardy’s performance also edged out four other outstanding efforts that merged in Week 7 – strong performances by the current AHSAA rushing leaderEli Frost of Fairview; two 400-yar plus passing performances by Westminster Christian’s Brandon Much and G.W. Long’s Bryson Hughes; and an amazing pass-catching effort by two-way player Isaiah Warnick of Falkville.
      Frost ran for 381 yards and seven touchdowns on 28 carries to lead the Class 5A Fairview (6-1) to a 55-13 win over Brewer in Class 5A, Region 8. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior is averaging 274.4 yards per game and 12.0 yards per carry this season compiling 1,924 yards on 160 carries with 33 rushing touchdowns. He has rushed for four or more touchdowns in each of Fairview’s seven games. The Aggies (6-1) are tied with Russellville at 4-0 in Region 8 and are scoring 44.9 points per game. The two teams meet October 21 at Fairview.
     Musch, Westminster Christian’s junior quarterback, was 33-of-53 passing for 406 yards and five touchdowns and rushed 18 times for 166 yards and rushed for four TDs on runs of 37, 8, 5 and 12 yards to lead the Wildcats (5-2) to a 70-42 Class 4A, Region 8 win over Madison County in Class 4A, Region 8. His 572 total yards ranks 12th best all time according to the AHSAA Record Book. He also owns the 11th best single game (577 yards) set in a 70-69 loss to Central-Florence earlier this season. Southside-Selma’s Christopher Thomas set the single-game total offense record last season with 698 yards in a 40-16 win over Class 5A Selma. He had 575 yards passing and 123 yards rushing in that game.
     Hughes, the quarterback for Class 2A G.W. Long (5-2) of Skipperville, complete 23-of-35 passes for a school-record 439 yards and four touchdowns to pace the Rebels to a 35-28 Class 2A, Region 2 win over Cottonwood. 
     Warnick, who is senior at Falkville (4-3), hauled in seven passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns on offense, made five tackles, recovered a fumble, and had three interceptions on defense in a 28-6 win over Red Bay in Class 2A, Region 8.
      Other top performances reported from Week 7 include:

DEMETRIUS JONES, COLBERT COUNTY: Had touchdown runs of 68 and 29 yards and finished with 141 yards on 16 carries as the Indians beat Colbert Heights 28-12 in Class 3A, Region 8. The game was dedicated to the memory of long-time Colbert County head football coach Don Creasy, who passed away last week at the age of 79. The fieldhouse at C.T. Manley Stadium where Colbert County plays its home games is named in honor of Coach Creasy, who played for Manley at Leighton, later worked for Manley as an assistant coach, then directed the football program as head coach from 1978-1989 compiling a 126-26-1 record and winning two state titlesHe was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
ALEX MASON, EAST LIMESTONE: The senior scored four touchdowns, including two kickoff returns 83 and 80 for scores, in a 54-13 win over Lawrence County in Class 5A, Region 8. He also had 12 rush attempts for 62 yards and two TDs. His two kickoff returns for touchdowns earned him a place in the AHSAA Record Book as the 21st player in state history to accomplish that record-setting feat. Evan Taylor of Guntersville became the 20th player to tie the record earlier this season. John Arnett of Coffee Springs in 1971 became the first player on record to score TDs on two kickoff returns in a single game – 51 years ago.
COLE McCONATHY, SPANISH FORT: The 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior defensive end recorded what appears to be a state record seven sacks in last week’s 33-24 win over McGill-Tool3n Catholic in Class 6A, Region 1. The AHSAA Record Book has no previous listing and neither does the NFHS National Record Book. The national record was set in 2014 when Cesar Chavez High School of Laveen (AZ) beat Maryvale (AZ) 61-6. Chavez had 18 sacks in the game, according to published reports and 6-foot-4, 210-pound linebacker Hamilcar Rashed registered 10.
ELIJAH HALL, B.T. WASHINGTON: Was 8-for-11 passing for 165 yards and two passing touchdowns as the junior quarterback directed the Golden Eagles (4-3) to a 36-21 win over Montgomery Academy. He ran 11 times for 159 yards and had five tackles and an interception on defense as BTW (4-3) picked up its fourth region win of the season for the first time in school history. Coach Lawrence Oneal’s team is third in this week’s Class 4A, Region 2 standings at 4-1 – behind Andalusia (8-0) and Montgomery Catholic (8-0), both tied at the top at 4-0. BTW is on the verge of clinching just its second playoff berth in school history.
BRODIE HICKS, FYFFE: Had just three carries but rushed for 104 yards with touchdown runs of 64 and 34 yards as the Red Devils (7-0) of Coach Paul Benefield beat Sand Rock 70-14 in Class 2A, Region 7. Hicks also blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the win. The 70 points scored are the most ever for Fyffe in its school history. The record-setting total came in the school’s 893rd game overall since its first season in 1933 and the 329th coaching win for Benefield, who is now 329-55 overall and 284-44 at Fyffe in 26 seasons. His 284 wins at Fyffe ranks third all-time for most wins at one school. Buddy Anderson set the record with 346 wins in 43 seasons at Vestavia Hills High School, and Jamie Riggs won 293 of his 316 coaching victories at T.R. Miller High School.

ALVIN HENDERSON, ELBA: Amassed 383 yards rushing on 26 carries and scored six touchdowns in the unbeaten Tigers’ 62-28 Class 1A, Region 2 win over Georgiana. His TD runs included two that went for 21, 31 65 and 90 yards. 
KANE LAWSON, WEST END: Rushed for 285 yards on seven carries for a 40.7 yard-per-carry average and scored two touchdowns in a 49-20 Class 2A, Region 6 game versus Holly Pond.
ISAIAH HUTCHERSON, GENEVA COUNTY: Ran for 244 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries on offense and added five tackles on defense in a 34-12 Class 2A, Region 2 win over Zion Chapel.

TERRENCE ROBINSON, BUCKHORN: Lifted the Bucks to a 38-20 win over Lee-Huntsville in Class 6A, Region 8 with 163 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 24 carries. His TD runs covered 1, 7 and 3 yards.
CHRISTIAN MOSE, ALMA BRYANT: Gained 172 yards rushing and scored five touchdowns in a 55-32 Class 7A, Region 1 loss to Foley. He scored on runs of 2, 6, 3, 5 and 42 yards.
COLE GAMBLE, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Had 11 carries for 154 yards and three TDs and caught two passes for 52 yards as the Spartan (6-1) improved to 4-0 in Class 6A, Region 5 with a 35-6 victory over Parker.

His TD runs covered 4, 72 and 6 yards.
J.R. GARDNER, GULF SHORES: Had nine rush attempts for 151 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Dolphins to a 49-3 win over Elberta in Class 5A, Region 1. Gulf Shores’ 7-1 start is the best in school history. 
LANE LAWSON, WEST END: Ran for 285 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-26 Class 2A, Region 6 victory over Holly Pond.

DONALD HARRIS, JEFF DAVIS: Had a career-high 255 yards rushing on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns as the Vols fell to Prattville 38-20 in Class 7A, Region 2.
LAMARRION McCAMMON, HOOVER: Helped the Bucs (7-1) remain undefeated in Class 7A, Region 3 with 253 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 25 carries as Hoover beat Tuscaloosa County 31-13. The Bucs and Thompson are both 5-0 and are tied for the Region 3 lead.
JOSH GRIFFIN, TALLASSEE: Ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries and also had a sack on defense as the streaking Tigers (4-4) improved to 2-2 in Class 5A, Region 4 with a 25-7 win over Valley.
TYILER NELSON, GARDENDALE: Piled up 207 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 22 carries as the Rockets beat Minor 34-3 in 6A, Region 5.
MASON CARTEE, PRICEVILLE: Total 203 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in a 41-14 win over North Jackson in Class 4A, Region 8.

LEGION McCRARY, PISGAH: Ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries in a 41-14 win over North Sand Mountain.

BRADY MOORE, CLEMENTS: Ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries, threw a TD pass, caught a touchdown pass and recorded eight tackles, including two for a loss, in a 46-18 win over Elkmont.

DE’AIR YOUNG, AUSTIN: Recorded five touchdowns -- four rushing and one passing -- in a 41-33 win over James Clemens in Class 7A, Region 4. The Black Bears (6-2) of Coach Jeremy Perkins improved to 5-0 in the region and took over first place in the Region 4 standings with two region games remaining.

JACK HAYES, PIEDMONT: Completed 17-of-25 passes for 345 yards and five touchdowns – to four different receivers – as the defending Class 3A state champion Bulldogs downed Glencoe 45-10 in Region 6. 
GRAY JENNINGS, OPP: Was 19-of-27 passing for 317 yards and three touchdowns as the Bobcats beat Daleville 33-7 in Class 3A, Region 2.
PAUL ANDRZEJEWSKI, ST. JOHN PAUL II CATHOLIC: Connected with receiver Cody Johnson for three touchdown passes in the final quarter to lift the Falcons (2-5) to their first Class 4A, Region 8 win of the season in a come-from-behind 27-20 win over New Hope 27-20. The Indians (4-3) led 20-7 heading into the final quarter. Andrzejewski, who finished 17-of-24 passing for 282 yards, then connected with Johnson for TDs of 4, 70 and 4 yards on three consecutive drives in the final quarter. Johnson finished with seven receptions for 74 yards, and Tyler Sottolano caught passes for 115 yards.
AIDEN COX, ARAB: Passed for 273 yards and four touchdowns on a 14-of-18 passing effort as the Knights downed Boaz 56-17 in Class 5A, Region 7. His TD passes covered 47, 30, 84 and 21 yards.
ACE ASHLEY, SAND ROCK: Was 22-of-38 passing for 259 yards in as 70-14 Class 2A, Region 7 loss to unbeaten Fyffe.
CARSON CREEHAN, MADISON ACADEMY: Completed 10-of-11 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-7 win over Vinemont in Class 3A, Region 7.
TREMELL WASHINGTON, RAMSAY: Making his second start of the season for the Rams, he completed 13-of-15 passes for 239 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half, as Ramsay beat John Carroll Catholic 56-7 in Class 5A, Region 5. Washington also rushed for 81 yards and another score. All the scoring was done in the first half in the contest played at Birmingham’s legendary Legion Field.
JABARI COLLIER, CENTER POINT: Had 311 total yards to led the Eagles (7-1) past Pinon Valley 29-22 in Class 6A, Region 6 with a 9-of-15 passing effort for 131 yards and 16 rush attempts for 180 yards and two  TDs. Central Point improved to 4-1 in the region.
CHRISTIAN JOHNSON, CARVER-MONTGOMERY: Was 13-of-22 for 225 yards and four touchdowns as the Wolverines beat Wetumpka 33-13 in Class 6A, Region 2.
ANDY GARRIS, ARITON: Completed 8-of-18 passes for 224 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-0 win over Abbeville in Class 2A, Region 2.

JARED HOLLINS, MARY MONTGOMERY: Passed for 195 yards and two touchdowns as the Vikings (4-4) snapped a 12-game losing streak to Mobile County rival Baker with a 37-20 win over the Hornets in Class 7A, Region 1. The Vikings won 24-21 in 2009 and Baker reeled off 12 straight wins. Mary Montgomery still holds the edge in the series with a 31-26-2 edge dating back to the series’ first game in 1951.
JAQUES THOMPSON, SIDNEY LANIER: Was a perfect 9-for-9 passing for 169 yards and three touchdowns as the Poets beat Stanhope Elmore 41-17 in Class 6A, Region 2. Mustangs QB Jacob Bryant passed for 265 yards and one  TD in the setback.
JALEN GATES, CHICKASAW: Passed for 224 yards and three touchdowns on a 16-of-23 effort as Chickasaw beat Fruitdale 28-22.
MASON McATEER, COLLINSVILLE: The eighth grader completed 6-of-10 pass attempts for 176 yards and two touchdowns (47 and 80 yards) and rushed for 98 yards on 10 carries and two scores (14 and 7 yards) in the Panthers’ 41-12 homecoming win over Ider in Class 2A, Region 7.

BRAX GARRISON, GORDO: Keyed an important 35-0 Class 3A, Region 5 win over Fayette County with a 12-of-18 passing performance for 138 yards and one TD. He also rushed 13 times for 59 yards and three more scores as the Green  Wave (7-1) won its sixth straight game.
JOHN COLVIN, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Was 11-of-15 passing for 176 yards, including  48-yard TD strike to Clark Sanderson, and the Spartans (7-1) rolled to a 35-6 win over Parker in Class 6A, Region 5. Sanderson had six catches for 94 yards.
A.J. JACKSON, BEAUREGARD: Finished 8-of-10 passing for 173 yards and three touchdowns and ran 11 times for 43 rushing yards and a fourth score as the Hornets (7-0) beat Elmore County 33-7 in Class 5A, Region 4.
WOODS RAY, HOMEWOOD: Completed 10-of-12 passes for 152 yards and one TD, rushed six times for 77 yards and another score as the Patriots posted a 31-10 victory over Chilton County in Class 6A, Region 3.
GUNNER RIVERS, ST. MICHAEL CATHOLIC: Combined with starting quarterback Josh Murphy to lead the Cardinals (5-3) to a 49-6 Class 4A, Region 1 over Wilcox Central on the road. Rivers, the son of head coach and former NFL All-Pro quarterback Philip Rivers, was 11-of-12 passing for 142 yards and one TD in a reserve role. Murphy was 7-of-9 for 83 yards and three TDs in his starting role and the Cardinals were 18-of-21 overall for 225 yards with four TD passes.
PRESTON GODFREY, FAIRHOPE: Subbing for injured starter Qualin McCants, Godfrey ran for 97 yards and two TDs on 18 carries as the Pirates beat Daphne 26-7  to move into a three-way tie at 3-1 at the top of the Class 7A, Region 1 standings. He also caught seven passes for 51 yards and a TD.

JAKIRE REEDING, G.W. LONG: Caught four passes for 190 yards with TD receptions of 44 and 86 yards in the Rebels’ 35-28 Class 2A, Region 2 victory over Cottonwood.

JAYDEN BROWN, DECATUR: The senior receiver had eight receptions for 173 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-28 loss to Muscle Shoals in 6A, Region 8. His touchdowns covered 12, 24, 80 and 7 yards.

HUNTER FREEMAN, WILSON: Led Wilson a 33-21 win over East Lawrence in Class 5A, Region 7 with five pass receptions for 157 yards and three touchdowns. His 62-yard TD catch sealed the win.
DYLAN McCARDLE, COTTONWOOD: Pulled down five pass receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ 35-28 loss to G.W. Long in Class 2A, Region 2.

DADA STOUDEMIRE, OPP: Snagged five passes for 152 yards with two touchdowns in Opp’s 33-7 win over Daleville in 3A, Region 2.
GAVIN SMART, BOAZ: Grabbed 10 pass receptions for 145 yards and a touchdown in the Pirates’ 56-17 loss to Arab.
STEPHON MOSLEY, CHARLES HENDERSON: Caught five passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns in the Trojans’ 34-7 region-clinching win over Eufaula in 5A, Region 2.

SKYLER CODY, FORT PAYNE: Caught four passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns in a 46-14 win over Hazel Green in Class 6A, Region 8.
LUKE HARKLESS, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Caught six passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns in a 64-0 win over Bullock County in 4A, Region 2.
MARQUAN JAMERSON, CARVER-MONTGOMERY: Made eight catches for 127 yards and three touchdowns in the Wolverines’ 33-13 Class 6A, Region 2 win over Wetumpka.
ETHAN BEARD, SAINT JAMES: Caught five passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in a 37-21 win over Trinity Presbyterian.
KAMERAN SHANKS, PRATTVILLE: Caught four passes for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Lions past Jeff Davis 38-20. 
JAVONN COLEMAN, BEAUREGARD: Had three catches for 107 yards and two TDs as Beauregard (7-0) beat Elmore County 33-7 in Class 5A, Region 4.
CAM WELSH, SPRING GARDEN: Accounted for three touchdowns, including two pass receptions covering 11 and 57 yards, and rushed for a 40-yard TD to finish with 78 yards on eight carries as the Panthers beat Pleasant Valley 28-14 in Class 1A, Region 6. He also had four tackles with a sack on defense.


ANQUON FEGANS, THOMPSON: Swiped his seventh pass of the season returning the interception for a touchdown for the second came in row as the defending Class 7A state champion Warriors (6-2) blanked Oak Mountain 51-0 in Region 3 to improve to 5-0 in region play. The Warriors’ defense had five picks on the night with Seth Hampton and Payton Lewis also returned interceptions for TDs in the second quarter. Oak Mountain was limited to 14 yards total offense in the first half and 69 yards for the game.
IAN FOSTER, PIKE COUNTY: Managed two interceptions, returning one 96 yards in the final seconds of the first half for a touchdown, and added nine tackles in a 21-7 Class 3A, Region 2 win over Providence Christian for the Bulldogs.

TYREE HINES, HUEYTOWN: Had nine tackles, five pass breakups and an interception on defense and returned four punts for 85 yards in a hard-fought 32-27 victory over McAdory in Class 6A, Region 4.
YUSEF CLARK, WILLIAMSON: His interception on the third play of the game set the tone as the Lions beat Citronelle 20-0 in Class 5A, Region 1 for their fourth shutout of the season. Clark’s pick was the first of three for Williamson, which led 6-0 at the half and then scored two quick TDs in the third quarter following the picks. 
BRAYDEN WHITEHEAD, G.W. LONG: Had 13 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 10-yard run in the final minute in the Rebels’ 35-28 Class 2A, Region 2 win over Cottonwood. Whitehead caught three passes for 127 yards with one TD in addition to his rushing touchdown on offense.
ELIJAH DUNN, GADSDEN CITY: Returned an interception for a touchdown and teammate Braylen Starkes followed with another pick-six for a TD as the Titans (4-4) improved to 4-0 in Class 6A, Region 8 with 53-0 win over Maw Jemison.
DAMIEN HART, CHARLES HENDERSON: Totaled 13 tackles and a pass break-up in the Trojans’ 34-7 region-clinching win over Eufaula in Class 5A, Region 2.
BLAKE CHANDLER, GORDO: Had 14 tackles and teammate Cameron Lark had 12 as the Green Wave blanked Fayette County 35-0 in a key Class 3A, Region 5win Thursday night. 
MARZAVIOUS REED, ENTERPRISE: Made 12 tackles and Erys Nall had nine with four resulting in lost yardage by the Wolves. Eri Winters also had 10 tackles and a 67-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the Wildcats’ 51-28 win over Dothan. He was among a trio of defenders who shined in the important Class 7A, Region 2 win. 
LUKE GORDON, PRATTVILLE: Managed 12 tackles, including two for loss, and teammate Sam Payne also had 12 stops as the Lions beat Jeff Davis 38-20 in 7A, Region 2.
JADEN JONES, MONTGOMERY-CATHOLIC: Had a team-high 10 tackles, two of them for loss to help the unbeaten Knights (8-0) blank Bullock County 64-0 in Class 4A, Region 2 for their fourth shutout of the season. 
PARKER SANSING, HOMEWOOD: Returned an interception 87 yards for a key TD as the Patriots beat Chilton County 31-10 in Class 6A, Region 3.
DORIAN SMITH, FAITH ACADEMY: Returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown and a punt 40 yards for a score as Class 5A Faith Academy won its sixth straight game beating Class 2A Pike Liberal Arts 41-0.
RANDRIQUIS McCARY, BILLINGSLEY: Recorded 11 tackles on defense and rushed 15 times for 161 yards and a touchdown, and caught two passes on offense in the Bears’ 51-14 loss to Maplesville in 1A, Region 4.
JOE LOTT, UMS-WRIGHT: Scored the first three touchdowns of the game, including a 45-yard interception return for the first score, to help the Bulldogs downed B.C. Rain42-7 in Class 5A, Region 1. He also had TD runs of 7 and 11 yards. 
JARED SMITH, SPAIN PARK: Had 4.5 sacks and three quarterback pressures in the Jags’ 35-21 win over Chelsea in 7A, Region 3.
CODY WHITFORD, MARBURY: Intercepted two passes and made four tackles as the Bulldogs beat Holtville 35-12 in 5A, Region 3 
MAC CEMAN, PIKE ROAD: Intercepted two passes and had six tackles in the Patriots 40-7 win over Russell County in Class 6A, Region 2. 
ZIGGY HOLLOWAY, SAINT JAMES: Picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown on the final play of the game as the Trojans beat Trinity Presbyterian 37-21 in Class 3A, Region 3. He also caught two passes for 43 yards and a touchdown.
HARRISON JOHNSON, TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN: Recorded 14 tackles in the Wildcats’ 37-21 loss to Saint James in 3A, Region 3.


Booted a 27-yard goal in thee third overtime period to lift Calera to a 31-28 win over Briarwood Christian in Class 6A, Region 3. He was carried off the field on the shoulders of his Eagles’ teammates as the team celebrated its first win in school history over the Lions.
CHRIS PEARSON, ORANGE BEACH: Returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown to give his team the lead for good in a 35-29 win over Bayside Academy in 4A, Region 1. 
COREY LANDERS, ALABAMA CHRISTIAN:  The Eagles’ specialty team accounted for three touchdowns with two successful onside kicks to start the game which led to two quick TDs, and Landers returned a kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown later in the first half in ACA’s 40-7 win over Prattville Christian in Class 3A, Region 3. He also rushed six times for 62 yards and caught a 19-yard touchdown pass.
LUKE JONES, NORTHSIDE: Kicked a 47-yard field goal in the Rams’ 20-19 victory over Cordova in Class 4A, Region 5.
JACK AMOS, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the Warriors’ 60-0 win over Fultondale in Class 4A, Region 6.



Scottsboro Captures Week 7 Team of the Week Honors

The Scottsboro Wildcats entered their game with Guntersville having dropped their previous two games and faced starting the region campaign one and two as they welcomed the fourth ranked team in Class 5A.

Scottsboro Head Coach Cris Bell and company had other plans as they put together a fantastic game plan and exectued said game plan to perfection knocking off Guntersville 17-14. 

The win over the WIldcats helped them earn the 97.7 ESPN The Zone/Bryant Bank Team of the Week. 

Scottsboro followed up that win over Guntersville with a region win over Sardis helping them improve to 3-1 in Class 5A Region 7. 

DrewD's Key Performers For Alabama vs Arkansas


Photo courtesy of SEC Media Portal

MVP: Jahmyr Gibbs


The winner of the Doak Walker National Running Back of the Week plus SEC Offensive Player of the Week after his breakout performance of 20 touches for 226 yards & two TDs. Finished with 18 rushes for 206 yards (11.4 YPC) & 2 catches for 20 yards. His two explosive touchdown runs of 72 and 76 yards sealed the game in the fourth quarter. It was Gibbs breakout game since transferring from Georgia Tech at the end of last season via the Transfer Portal.



Photo courtesy of Tuscaloosa News

Newcomer Game Ball: #55 OG Tyler Booker


Nasty true freshman from New Haven, Connecticut, via IMG Academy. The 6 foot five 332 pounder enrolled early and has drawn constant praise from head coach Nick Saban due to his mental toughness & work ethic. Rotated at left guard with Javion Cohen. His physicality helped pave the way for a running game that finished with 42 carries for 317 yards (7.5 per carry). Plus the Crimson Tide passed for 238 passing yards to finish with 555 total offensive yards & 7 TDs (Five rushing & two passing. 



Photo courtesy of UA Athletics

Newcomer Game Ball: WR Kobe Prentice 


The freshman from Calera made two explosive plays in the game. The first was a completion of 41 yards on Alabama’s opening possession. That drive ended in an interception near the goal line but the second possession was a touchdown after Prentice converted a 3rd & 3 slant pass from Bryce Young into a 47 yard TD. It was the first score of Kobe’s Crimson Tide career & staked Bama to a 7-0 lead with 7:41 left in the first quarter. He did all of his work in the first two drives finishing with 3 catches for 92 yards & that opening touchdown.


Photo courtesy of SEC Media Portal

Unsung Hero: QB Jalen Milroe


The redshirt freshman from Katy, Texas, saw the first extensive action of his career following the early 2nd quarter exit due to an AC joint shoulder sprain suffered by starting QB Bryce Young. The sturdy Milroe quickly led two 2nd quarter scoring drives that doubled the Crimson Tide lead to 28-0. The first was a 3-yard TD on a zone read with 8:29 left in the first half and the 2nd was a key 3rd down tunnel screen to JoJo Earle for a 22 yard score (first touchdown pass of his career). Made the game’s biggest play dashing 77 yards on 3rd & 15 with Alabama clinging to a 28-23 third quarter lead: 




Finished the game 4-9 passing for 65 yards 1 TD & 6 rushes for 91 yards with ZERO turnovers.



Photo courtesy of SEC Media Portal

Co-MVP: SAM Linebacker Dallas Turner


After a somewhat quiet start to his sophomore season, Turner turned in a dominant afternoon vs the Hawgs. The St. Thomas Aquinas Alum finished tied for second on the team with 8 tackles, 2 solo & 2.5 tackles for loss. He was extremely disruptive the entire game and pursued relentlessly. Hopefully this will jumpstart Turner and get him going with the heart of the SEC schedule coming up. 


Photo courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

Co-MVP: Safety DeMarcco Hellams


The senior from Washington, D.C., had six tackles, 5 solo with a forced fumble that he also recovered. It was only the second forced turnover of the season for the Crimson Tide. The Dematha catholic product has been a very consistent force in the backend for Alabama as the regular season nears the halfway point.



Photo courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

Newcomer Game Ball: DT Jaheim Oatis


Like a fine wine he just keeps getting better. The massive true freshman from Mississippi had his best game yet in a Crimson Tide uniform. My man Oatis finished tied for 2nd on the squad with 8 tackles, 1 solo, 1 sack, 1 TFL. Truly a dominant effort from the Columbia (MS) High School Alum. This performance was especially impressive due to the fact solid senior starter Justin Eboigbe did not travel due to a neck injury & was missing from the lineup on the DL. This meant Oatis was going to be counted on to play a bigger role, and he was more than ready to take that on.


Photo courtesy of SEC Media Portal

Unsung Hero: Cornerback Terrion Arnold


The redshirt freshman from Tallahassee, Florida, continued his consistent play on Saturday. He also finished with six tackles, five of them solo & a pass defensed. His final solo stop on Arkansas wide receiver Jadon Haselwood closed out the Razorbacks in Fayetteville. His ascension has really been a key for this Crimson Tide Defense being ranked tops in the SEC.


Special Teams:



Photo courtesy SEC Media Portal

MVP: Cornerback/Punt Returner Kool-Aid McKinstry


The sophomore from Pinson Valley High School continued to be a dangerous weapon in the punt return game Saturday in Fayetteville. He averaged 25.7 yards on his 3 returns with a long of 45. McKinstry also had six solo tackles with two passes defensed playing both corner and even star for a series.



Photo courtesy of UA Athletics

Unsung Hero: Punter James Burnip


The native of Mount Macedon, Victoria Australia, has been much more consistent during his second season in Tuscaloosa. The redshirt sophomore was very solid on Saturday averaging 45.7 yards on his three punts with one downed inside the 20 and a long boot of 49.



Photo courtesy of Twitter (Keon Keeley)

Huge recruiting weekend headlined by official visit of top ten national prospect Keon Keeley


The product of Berkeley Prep in Tampa, FL, will be visiting Alabama for the third time since January. It will be his first time since late July for the champions cookout. Many top prospects attended that event before the dead period this summer. Keeley then decommitted from Notre Dame. He had been committed to the Irish for over a calendar year and since that time Alabama along with Ohio State have been considered the favorites. Billy Napier in Florida continues to work him hard but this weekend’s official visit to the Capstone with his family could seal the deal for Alabama. It would go a long way to wrapping up the number one overall class for the Crimson Tide & give their DL class a huge fourth addition. The 6-6 245 pounder is considered the best edge rusher in the 2023 class.



Photo of Keeley courtesy of ONE FOOT DOWN





Photo courtesy The Grueling Truth 


Next Up For top-ranked Alabama: The Crimson Tide return home to Bryant-Denny Stadium as the unranked Texas A&M Aggies come to Tuscaloosa for an SEC nationally televised 7 pm night kickoff on CBS Sports.


Prediction: Alabama 41 Texas A&M 13

Huntsville Middle Hitter Rachel Clarke Records 12 Blocks in a Big Win over City Rival Grissom

MONTGOMERY – Huntsville High School’s Rachel Clarke recorded 12 blocks in a key Class 7A, Area 8 volleyball match last week to lead the Panthers (28-8) to a win over Grissom etching her name in the AHSAA Volleyball Record Book in the process. Her effort placed her fifth all-time in theAHSAA Record Book for blocks in a single match and landed the senior middle hitter for Huntsville Coach Melanie Donahoo in the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight this week.
     The state overall record (15) was set by Hazel Green’s Tierra Porter in a match with Bob Jones in 2016. Three players are listed with 13 in a single match – the most recent being Carley Brown of Brewer in a win over Spring Garden earlier this season. Hazel Green’s Elizabeth Rayhle had 13 in a match with Arab in 2021, and Tori Bradley of Wilson had 13 blocks in 2010 versus Springville.
      Clarke’s record performance could not have come at a better time. The AHSAA volleyball state playoffs start next week with area tournaments. Seeding becomes especially important since all teams advance to the post-season tourney. Area tournaments are set to be played Oct. 12-15. The winner and runner-up from each area will advance to the either the North or South Super Regional Tournaments set for Oct. 19-21 at Huntsville and Montgomery, respectively. The top four teams in each class advancing out of each Super Regional will play in the 52nd AHSAA Elite Eight State Tournament at the Birmingham CrossPlex Oct. 25-27 with all final matches scheduled for the 5,500-seat Bill Harris Arena located at the CrossPlex. 
      Clarke’s performance edged out two strong performances by setters Abby McFerrin of Arab and Kathryn Webb of Southside-Gadsden. 
      McFerrin had 161 assists in nine matches for Class 5A Arab (36-9) to lead the Knights to the Marshall County Tournament championship with a win in the finals over Guntersville. She surpassed 2,500 career assists in the process. Webb led Class 5A Southside (24-19) to six wins last week, including winning three matches to claim the Etowah County Tourney championship. She had 89 assists, upping her career  total to 2,636, and also served 24 aces for the Panthers.
     AHSAA thanks Dennis Victory of al.com and the schools’ head coaches for their weekly contributions to the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight.
Other notable performances from last week’s action include:

Had 197 assists to push hare career total past the 2,000 mark, added 20 aces, and 61 digs in eight matches for Class 4A Central-Florence (31-15). The Wildcats earned a berth in the Lauderdale County tourney versus Brooks – and claimed the 200th career win for Coach Andrew Murphy in the process. He finished the week with 203 career wins.
TRINITY COOTS, DANVILLE: Led the Class 3A Hawks (44-15) to the championship of the Morgan County tourney with 128 assists, 16 digs and 15 aces.
ASHLEE GANN, COVENANT CHRISTIAN: Had 64 kills, 42 digs, 13 blocks and 14 aces in six matches leading the Class 1A Eagles (24-12) to the Colbert County tourney crown.

Managed 92 kills and 47 digs in 12 matches as Class 4A Brooks (27-27) went 11-1.

HANNAH JONES, PRATTVILLE CHRISTIAN: Had 72 kills and 42 digs as Class 3A Prattville Christian (26-17) finished 4-2 at the Battle of Old Shell Road tourney at Mobile.
ZOEY BENSON, PRICEVILLE: Had 67 kills in six matches for Class 4A Priceville.

ALLIE BRYANT, PLEASANT VALLEY: Had 43 kills, 13 aces, 37 digs and 38 assists in three matches for the Class 2A Raiders.

CALLI TANIELU, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Had 38 kills and a .361 hitting percentage, adding 5 aces and 21 digs in three matches for the Class 5A Wildcats (30-7), who moved up to 5A after winning the Class 4A state championship in 2021.

OLIVIA JACKSON, HOMEWOOD: Had 32 kills, 30 digs, five aces and two blocks in two matches Class 6A Homewood.

SARAH DAVIS, SHOALS CHRISTIAN:  Had 20 kills and 13 digs for the Class 1A Flame in a match versus Waterloo.
KENNEDY VAUGHN, BOB JONES: Had 19 kills in a win last week for the Class 7A Patriots (36-6).

MARIA GROOVER, JOHN CARROLL CATHOLIC: Had 26 kills and 41 digs in two matches for Class 6A John Carroll.

Managed 182 assists in nine matches for Class 5A Brewer (32-13).

ALEXIS BELARMINO, SPANISH FORT: Had 165 assists, 40 digs, 11 kills, 9 aces and 4 blocks in seven matches for the Class 6A Toros (32-13).

BLAKELEY ROBBINS, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: Had 152 assists, 15 kills and 10 aces as Class 6A Bayside (37-11) went 4-1 for the week.
ISABELLA GIBBONS, SATSUMA: Had 125 assists, 47 digs and three blocks for the Class 4A Gators (17-10) in six matches.
HANNAH PARANT, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Amassed 119 assists in five match wins for the Spartans (26-13). She also had 25 kills, 22 digs, and eight aces as Mountain Brook swept Athens, Shades Valley, Pelham, Hartselle, and Hazel Green.

ALLIE AVENA, HAZEL GREEN: Dished out 112 assists in six matches for the Class 6A Trojans (29-18).
TATIANA SHUFORD, SAINT JAMES: Had 111 assists, 34 digs and 14 service aces in seven matches for Class 6A Saint James (19-13).
AVA DODD, HOKES BLUFF: Had 50 assists in two wins for the Class 3A Eagles over Piedmont and St. Clair County in a tri-match last week.
KATE KAISER, VESTAVIA HILLS: Averaged 41 assists in  two matches last week totaling 82 for the week for the Class 7A Rebels (27-2).  Vestavia beat defending 7A state champion Spain Park and lost to 6A power Homewood.

DELANEY CLOUGH, SPANISH FORT: Totaled 104 digs in seven matches for the Class 6A Toros (32-13).
BLAKELY FAULKNER, BREWER: Totaled 95 digs, 16 kills and 15 aces as Class 5A Brewer (32-13) went 7-2 for the week.
LACEY CLARK, PRICEVILLE: Had 93 digs in six matches for Class 4A Priceville.
AUBREY LACKEY, CURRY: Totaled 86 digs and 10 aces to lead Class 4A Curry (39-16) to a 6-0 record and the Walker County tournament championship.
EEVY BELLAR, NEW HOPE: Had 84 digs and 76 kills as Class 4A New Hope (28-11) finished 6-1 for the week.
MK WHITEHURST, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: Had 78 digs in five matches for the Class 6A Lady Admirals (37-11).
EMMA STUDDARD, PELHAM: Managed 67 digs and 10 assists for the Class 6A Panthers (27-12) in five matches.
STELLA YESTER, JOHN CARROLL CATHOLIC: Managed 46 digs in two matches, an verge of 23 per match, for the Class 6A Lady Cavaliers.

HOPE WEST, BREWER: Led Class 5A Brewer to seven win in nine matches with 28 blocks and 54 kills for the week.
AVA GUSTAFASON, MADISON COUNTY: Had 18 blocks and 15 kills in three matches last week for the Class 4A Tigers.
CARLY BROWN, BREWER: Managed 18 blocks and 41 kills for the Class 5A Patriots (32-13).
JOLEIGH PARMER, NORTHSIDE METHODIST: Had 16 blocks, 34 digs, 25 kills, 25 assists and five aces as Class 3A NMA (13-10) went 4-4 on the week.
ABBY WALDREP, ADDISON: Recorded 15 blocks and 25 kills as the Class 1A Bulldogs (33-10) won three matches over Class 4A Curry, Class 3A Oakman and Lauderdale County.
AUBRIELLA HAIRSTON, PLAINVIEW: Had 15 blocks and 18 kills as the Class 3A Bears (50-10) went 6-1 for the week.
LAURA CLEMMONS, LAUDERDALE COUNTY: Posted 15 blocks and 40 kills in six marches for Class 3A Lauderdale County.
CLAIRE HOLT, ATHENS BIBLE: Had 14 blocks, 42 kills, 33 digs and 10 service aces as the Class 1A Eagles went 4-2 for the week.
SERINA PETERSEN, GRISSOM: Had 10 blocks and 16 kills in two matches for Class 7A Grissom.

PRESLEY JONES, BROOKS: Helped the Class 4A Lions (27-27) go 11-1 in 12 matches. She had 23 aces, 35 digs and 152 assists as Brooks advanced to the Lauderdale County finals.
KATY PARKER, FAITH ACADEMY: Served 23 aces, had 150 assists, 38 digs and 36 kills in eight matches for the 5A Rams (19-14) in eight matches.
KARLEE DUNAGAN, CURRY: Had 19 service aces, 63 assists, 31 digs and 17 kills to lead the Class 4A Yellow Jackets (39-16) to the Walker County tournament title.
MAYSIE DOUGLAS, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: Totaled 19 aces, 30 kills and 42 digs in five matches.
GEORGIA VALENTINE, WESTMINSTER-OAK MOUNTAIN: Delivered 19 service aces, 29 kills and seven digs in two matches for the Class 2A Eagles (9-12).

CHARLI PEARCE, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Had 18 aces to help the Class 7A Saints (25-9) go 5-2 for the week. She also had 11 blocks and 19 kills.



DrewD's Key Performers For Alabama vs Vanderbilt



Photo courtesy of AP

MVP: Bryce Young


The reigning Heisman Trophy winner had his best game of the season against the Commodores finishing 25-36 for 385 yards & 4 TDs (1 rush 6 yards). The Alabama offense went up-tempo early, attacking a struggling Vanderbilt secondary. Young got into a rhythm right away and with surgeon-like precision picked apart the Eastern Division SEC foe until exiting late in the 3rd quarter after a Jase McClellan 12 yard TD run staked Alabama to a 41-3 lead. Jalen Milroe & 5-Star frosh Ty Simpson finished the 55-3 rout for the Crimson Tide at QB. 




Photo courtesy of 247sports 

Newcomer Game Ball: Jermain Burton


The junior transfer portal edition from Georgia had his best game in Crimson. The California native finished with 4 catches for 94 yards, including a 48 yard vertical strike with 11 seconds left in the first half that set up a Will Reichard 40 yard field goal to stake Alabama to a 31-3 halftime lead in Tuscaloosa. Hopefully this will be the breakout game he needs to become a bigger part of the offense going forward.


Photo courtesy of the SEC Media Portal 

Newcomer Gameball: Jamarion Miller



The freshman from Tyler (TX) Legacy High School is THE HAMMER of this Crimson Tide offense & is pushing for more playing time in a crowded Alabama running back room. Listed at 5-10 201 on rolltide.com, Miller runs MUCH bigger than his listed size. Since the season opener vs. Utah State, the Lonestar state native has helped Nick Saban do one of his favorite things: Take the air out of the football to close out an opponent. He finished off Vandy with a 40 yard TD on Alabama’s final offensive snap finishing the game with 9 carries for 63 yards & two scores.


Photo courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

Unsung Hero: Ja’Corey Brooks


The sophomore from Miami continues to quietly make plays & had the first 100-yard multi-touchdown game of his career vs. the Commodores on Saturday night. Brooks finished with 6 catches for 117 yards & 2 TDs. On the 1st scoring drive of the game Bryce threw four straight completions (16, 25, 6 & 21) all to Brooks covering 68 yards staking Alabama to a 7-0 lead they would never relinquish with 8:49 left first quarter. The chemistry seems special between this duo since the end of last season. Be interesting to see if he is the number one target of the Crimson Tide when Texas A&M travels to Tuscaloosa.




Photo courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

Co-MVP: Henry To’oTo’o 


The senior Mike Linebacker has played at an ALL-AMERICAN level since the mid-point of last season when he got adjusted to his new teammates. The Sacramento, California, native led the team in tackles (Much like he did last year) with 6 (4 solo). To’oTo’o is a team captain who plays the game with passion & excellent instincts. His leadership will be very important in what will be a very hostile environment for Alabama in Fayetteville.



Photo courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

Co-MVP: Will Anderson, Jr.


The reigning first team All-American had his strongest game of the season inside Bryant-Denny Stadium this past Saturday. The 6-4 243-pound Jack Linebacker finished with 5 tackles, 3 solo, 2.5 sacks & 3 TFLs. He was extremely disruptive off the edge and helped control the line of scrimmage limiting the Commodores to 129 total yards (115 passing, 14 rushing).


Photo courtesy of Jaheim Oatis Twitter

Newcomer Gameball: Jaheim Oatis



The massive freshman from Columbia, Mississippi, continues to impress each week with his physical presence along that experienced Alabama defensive line. He has simply been too dominate to leave out of the lineup. While his stat line continues to be pedestrian (2 tackles), the disruptive impact has not. Oatis has helped the Crimson Tide rush defense hold their first four opponents to 62 yards per game. In fact, Vanderbilt averaged .5 yards per carry. The Commodores finished with 26 rushes for 14 yards.



Photo courtesy of SEC Media Portal

Unsung Hero: Deontae Lawson


The Mobile native tied Henry To’oTo’o for the team-high in tackles with 6 (1 solo). Lawson continues to rotate with senior Jaylen Moody at the Will Linebacker spot inside next to To’oTo’o with ZERO drop off. The Mobile Christian alum is on a fast track to being an elite SEC defender already as a redshirt freshman. He & Kendrick Blackshire give the Alabama defense impressive depth inside & provide a glimpse of a bright future for the Crimson Tide linebacker corps. 



Special Teams:

Photo Courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

MVP: Will Reichard 


The senior kicker from Hoover continues his consistent excellence with a 2-2 evening on Field Goals (40, 21 yards) plus consistent touchbacks/fair catches on kickoff returns ensuring tough field position for Vanderbilt throughout the duration of the contest. Keeping an offense backed up only makes the job of getting stops for the Alabama defense that much easier. The former Buccaneer has become a true weapon for the Crimson Tide.



Photo Courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

Unsung Hero: Malachi Moore



The junior from Trussville finished with 3 total tackles & a pass defensed plus recovered a fumbled punt by fellow safety Brian Branch. This avoided a second Crimson Tide turnover after Kool-Aid McKinstry returned a 2nd quarter punt 40 yards only to fumble it back to Vanderbilt. Moore may have to expand his role in Fayetteville because senior safety Jordan Battle looked to have tweaked a hamstring in the 2nd half Saturday night. He did not return and though he has practiced, Malachi may be needed to play more snaps in the base/nickel defense in Fayetteville. His three years of experience could prove very valuable on the road in the SEC.




Photo courtesy of UGA Wire 

#3 James Smith Defensive Tackle 


Nick Saban & the Alabama Coaching staff welcomed two VERY important visitors to campus for the Vanderbilt game. Two of the best prospects in the state of Alabama for 2023: Five star teammates James Smith & Qua Russaw of Carver-Montgomery. Both are critical needs for the Crimson Tide. Smith could be the final piece to potentially the best DL class in the 2023 cycle. Many consider him the best player in the state. He has been very impressive at the Alabama camp in the recent past in front of the coaching staff at the Capstone. Disruptive defensive lineman are at a premium and this makes Smith a very valuable prospect.


Photo courtesy of Montgomery Advertiser 

#1 Qua Russaw Linebacker


The rising Senior Russaw might be the best edge linebacker in the 2023 class. He has great athleticism and speed. But his skill set also would allow him to play inside which would make him even more valuable to a potential school. He would be a great fit because of his versatility in the Alabama defensive scheme. Nick Saban would like to add a couple of more linebackers to the class.

Qua Russaw is definitely at the top of the linebacker board. The elite duo wants to go to the same school and has a final six of Alabama, Alabama State, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State.






Photo courtesy ESPN


Next Up For 2nd-ranked Alabama: The SEC road opener at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium as Sam Pittman’s Arkansas Razorbacks host the Alabama Crimson Tide for a 2:30 pm nationally televised kickoff on CBS Sports.


Prediction: Alabama 31 Arkansas 17

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