September 26, 2009 10:03:00 PM
REFORM, Ala. -- Pickens County High School football coach Scott Marchant knew it would be important for his team to score early on a sloppy surface at G.S. Spruill Field.
The Tornadoes did just that, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions Friday night to beat county rival Aliceville 13-0.
"I kind of knew that might be the case," said Marchant, whose team improved to 5-0. "We wanted to try to go up top a couple of times and do some things because once the field gets nasty it''s hard to break that tackle or make a guy miss if you don''t have any footing. We knew we needed to make hay early and try to capitalize on it."
The schools fumbled eight times and managed only 195 offensive yards combined in the muddy conditions.
Pickens County accounted for most of the yardage with 153 yards. The Tornadoes had 124 yards on the ground going against Aliceville''s highly touted defensive tackle Derrick Billups.
"This was a big win for us," Marchant said. "The kids worked hard all week. They prepared and the field conditions weren''t what we wanted, but we did the best with what we had. The kids had some adversity in this game but they really fought and worked hard and got the victory. I''m proud of them."
Dominique Jones paced the Tornadoes with 74 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown. He also caught one pass for 16 yards.
Deion Curry completed 6 of 16 passes for 29 yards and an interception. Four passes went to James Adams, who had 11 yards receiving.
Pickens County took the opening drive 63 yards in nine plays and cashed in when Adams took a jet sweep off left end and up the sideline for 27 yards. Keith Hall kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.
The Tornadoes capitalized on a high punt snap to set up their second scoring drive at the AHS 41-yard line. Eight plays later, Dominique Jones ran off right tackle for a 24-yard touchdown for the final score with 2 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Aliceville (4-1) had a pair of big plays but couldn''t cash them into points. Marquise Mahew returning the opening kickoff of the second half 63 yards to put the Yellow Jackets at the PCHS 26, but the drive stalled.
Aliceville later got a spark when Edward Daughtry intercepted a pass and raced 73 yards down the right sideline before being caught at the 1-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets went backward from there and were intercepted on fourth-and-goal by Curry.
"Our defense is strong and we depend on them," Marchant said. "If we put them in a situation like that we expect them to have the expectation of stopping them. It''s an opportunity for them to shine. The spotlight is on them for them to do something great."
Aliceville managed just 42 yards on offense and had five turnovers. The Yellow Jackets totaled 38 yards rushing and completed only one pass for 4 yards.
"They got us. That''s about all I can say," Aliceville coach Robin Tyra said. "The difference in the game was two plays -- I hate to say two big plays, but their two scoring plays. ... They got a little momentum going there. They had a couple of long runs there. One was for 15 and the other was for about 15 or 20 by No. 5 (Dominique Jones). It was a good little run. All of a sudden they came back with a jet sweep. We worked it and seen it. We run it ourselves. They just did a good job with the receivers blocking the thing. We just didn''t do a good job pursuing the thing. They got a pretty good angle and the guy turned the corner on us. We had a couple of kids out of position at the time. We just over pursued the thing. The corners came up and my outside backers didn''t do a good job of contain."
Jarvis Jones had 37 yards on 12 carries for Aliceville, while Javaris Dancy was 1 of 6 passing for four yards and one interception.
Gerald Sterling caught the only pass for Aliceville.
"Offensively we just couldn''t put anything together," Tyra said. "We put a few drives together, but we had kids missing holes and we had some missed blocks."
Pickens County will put its undefeated mark on the line next week on the road at Isabella, while the Yellow Jackets will travel to Cordova.
Dispatch staff writer Henry Matuszak contributed to this report.