October 13, 2013 1:34:01 AM
UNIONTOWN, Ala. -- The Aliceville High School football team clinched a berth in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A playoffs Friday night with a 61-6 Class 2A, Region 4 victory against R.C. Hatch.
The Yellow Jackets improved to 5-2 and 5-0 in region play. Aliceville can win the region championship with a win at Oakman (6-1, 4-1 Class 2A, Region 4) Friday night. Aliceville can secure home-field advantage in the playoffs by beating Oakman or winning the following week against Marion at home.
The AHSAA playoffs begin Nov. 8.
"It's a huge advantage to being play at home in the playoffs," Aliceville coach Charles Moody said. "Our goal is to win the region championship, and we will try to do that Friday night. However, it is good to be in this position and to know you are close to hosting when the playoffs begin."
Aliceville won a huge showdown against Lamar County 56-33 last week. The Yellow Jackets took all of the momentum from that victory and put it to good use to blow out the Bobcats (0-7, 0-5).
"We knew they had been having a down year, so the important thing was to come out and start strong," Moody said. "We played really well against Lamar County, so the main concern was a letdown. It was a good thing to take come out and take control early."
Santiago Taylor had another dominant performance. The quarterback threw for 210 yards, including two touchdown passes (25 and 54 yards) to Joe Robinson and 39 yards to Cody Davis.
Darion Manning led all rushers with 10 rushes for 161 yards, including touchdown runs of 5 and 31 yards. Manning also had a 75-yard kickoff return for touchdown.
Rushing touchdowns by Stephon Dunner and Terrell Steele completed the Aliceville scoring.
n Lamar County 28, Cold Springs 6: At Cold Springs, Ala., the Bulldogs bounced back from their stinging defeat to rival Aliceville to win this critical AHSAA Class 2A, Region 4 game.
With two region games remaining, Lamar County (6-2, 4-1 region) is tied with Oakman (6-1, 4-1) for second place in the region standings. The Bulldogs can clinch a playoff berth with one more win. However, Lamar County owns the tiebreaker with Oakman thanks to a 28-19 region win earlier this season.
"I was looking forward to seeing how the kids would respond since last week (a 56-33 loss to Aliceville) took a lot out of them," Lamar County coach Ken Adams said. "I was hoping there was not a letdown after that loss. There wasn't. We pretty much came out ready to go and got a very big win."
Lamar County used a sensational defensive effort to beat Cold Springs (4-3, 2-3).
The Bulldogs scored two first-half touchdowns. Ryan Barham scored from 31 yards and added a 3-yard run. Bryce Myles ran the second-half kickoff back 75 yards for a score. Dallas Cockerham capped his team's scoring by going from 20 yards in the fourth quarter.
Cockerham rushed for 134 yards, while Barham followed with 84 yards. Lamar County finished with more than 300 yards, including 250 rushing.
Cold Springs didn't top 100 yards of total offense. It didn't break up the shutout until the final quarter. Ty Herron led the Bulldogs with 10 tackles.
n Pickens County 50, Hubbertville 7: At Reform, Ala., the Tornadoes nailed down a spot in the AHSAA Class 1A playoffs with a dominating performance against the Lions.
Pickens County improved to 7-0 and 5-0 in region play. The Tornadoes can secure the region's top seed by winning at Marion County (6-1, 4-1 Class 1A, Region 5) Friday night. Pickens County can secure a first-round home playoff game by beating Marion County or winning at home against Berry the following week.
"We will have our hands full against a very good Marion County team," Pickens County coach Patrick Plott said. "Hubbertville has played well this season, so I am glad we were not looking ahead. We came out with a lot of focus and had a solid first half. We did a lot of things well and that is what you want to see going into a big game next week."
For Pickens County, Jermarcus Brown again dominated. Brown ran for 186 yards and four total touchdowns in the first half. Brown scored on run of 17 and 38 yards. He also caught a 14-yard touchdown from Devonte Simon and returned an interception 17 yards for another score.
Deonte' Simon had a 31-yard touchdown reception from Devonte Simon. Marcus Hill scored on an 11-yard run.
Justin Barton and Dontae Hughes each had 13 tackles apiece to pace the defense.
"We have had some great games with Marion County," Plott said. "Last season was such a heart-breaker (a 42-41 loss in the playoffs after a 45-27 loss in the regular season). The kids are excited for another opportunity. They know we will have to go over there and play the perfect game."
Hubbertville (5-2, 3-2 Class 1A, Region 5) scored on a 9-yard run by Tony Pratt in the first quarter.
n Marion 50, Sulligent 27: At Sulligent, Ala., the Blue Devils dropped their seventh-straight game in their AHSAA Class 2A, Region 4 matchup.
With the defeat, Sulligent was eliminated from the postseason.
Sulligent will play host to Hale County (4-3, 3-2 Class 2A, Region 4) in another region contest before traveling to Hatch (0-7, 0-5 Class 2A, Region 4).
n Marion County 54, South Lamar 14: At Millport, Ala., the Stallions were overwhelmed by the Red Raiders in this AHSAA Class 1A, Region 5 game.
Marion County (6-1, 4-1 Class 1A, Region 5) racked up 540 yards of total offense and scored on five of its first six possessions.
For South Lamar (2-5, 1-4), Canaan Flemming scored on a 1-yard run, while Herschel Smith scored on a 65-yard run.
South Lamar will face a must-win to keep its playoff hopes alive Friday night at region rival Berry (4-3, 3-2 Class 1A, Region 5). The final region game is against Parrish (1-6, 1-4 Class 1A, Region 5). The Stallions will need to win both and get some assistance to qualify for the postseason.
n Marengo Academy 28, Pickens Academy 0: At Linden, Ala., the Pirates couldn't put together any offense in a showdown for the lead in the Alabama Independent Schools Association Class 2A, Region 2 standings.
Pickens Academy saw its season-opening six-game win streak snapped, while falling to 6-1 and 4-1 in region play. The Pirates remain in good standing for the playoffs and can secure second place in the region standings with a win at home against Meadowview Christian (1-7, 0-4 Class A, Region 2) Friday night.
For Pickens Academy, Josh Lewis was 6 of 10 for 62 yards. Lewis also had 12 rushes for 40 yards. Lance Acker had two receptions for 45 yards. Lewis led the way with nine tackles. Ryan Harcrow and Landon Hattaway each added five tackles.
For Marengo Academy (7-0, 4-0), Josh Holifield rushed 15 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Holifield scored on runs of 5 and 14 yards. Quarterback Hayden Huckabee rushed for 102 yards on 17 carries. Huckabee also threw a 21-yard touchdown to Hayden Houlditch.
Brent Lewis rushed nine times for 81 yards and scored on a 2-yard run.
The Longhorns had 350 yards of total offense.
After completing its region schedule with Meadowview, Pickens Academy will close its regular season with Patrician Academy (away) and Clarke Prep (home) before turning its attention to the AISA Class A playoffs, which begin Nov. 8.