November 29, 2009 12:11:00 AM
ASHLAND, Ala. -- The Lamar County High School football team came up short Friday in its quest to set a school record for wins in a season.
Lamar County had its season come to an end with a 38-7 loss to Clay County in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A state playoffs.
Lamar County (13-1) finished one win shy of setting a school record for most wins in a season that it set in 1984 and equaled in 1992 and this season.
"They were the better football team and there are no excuses," Lamar County coach Ken Adams said. "We fumbled it and turned it over. Some of it was due to them and some of it was due to us."
Lamar County had four turnovers, including three fumbles, one that was returned for a touchdown to end the first half.
The Bulldogs scored their only touchdown in the opening quarter on a 66-yard punt return by sophomore Eric "Turbo" Hudson that gave them a 7-0 lead.
Jerdarius Williams rushed for 165 yards and scored touchdowns on runs of 9, 51, and 35 yards. Freeman Ackles gained 100 yards and scored on two 34-yard runs for Clay County (13-1).
"The better team won," Adams said. "They were the more physical team. They deserve it and they''re going to represent the North Half well."
Clay County will play Reeltown for the state championship.
Clay County is bidding for its sixth state title. The Panthers have won titles in 2005, 2000, 1996, 1995, and 1994.
"Clay County''s got a tradition and these kids grow up watching Clay County compete for state championships," Adams said. "That''s the same thing we want do here at Vernon. I don''t want to take anything away from the game."
Adams was disappointed the Bulldogs couldn''t finish the season undefeated, but the loss doesn''t take away from a successful season.
"I''m proud of our kids and where we''re at," Adams said. "We want to be back here. We know the effort that it''s going to take.
"Everybody is saying it''s a good season, and it is. These seniors were 23-3 the last two seasons after starting off 3-17. They were part of this transition. It''s something they should be very proud of. These kids have built something here or rebuilt something, or whatever you want to call it that hopefully we will continue next year."
Michael Bradford was Lamar County''s leading rusher with 41 yards. He was 8 of 17 for 30 yards. Marcquis Plant had 33 yards rushing and Lance Bobbitt had 27 yards rushing.
Will Franks was the leading receiver with two catches for 15 yards.
Bobbitt had a team-high 12 tackles, Brandon Merchant had eight, and Franks had a fumble recovery.
n Reeltown 22, Pickens County 6: At Notasulga, Ala., the Tornadoes also went down to defeat in the semifinals of the Class 2A state playoffs.
Pickens County (12-2) lost two of three fumbles, had two passes intercepted, and was penalized nine times for 65 yards.
"We didn''t execute real well," Pickens County coach Scott Marchant said. "We always try to limit turnovers and big plays and dumb penalties, and we had our share of all three of those things. It just didn''t go our way tonight."
Dominique Jones scored Pickens County''s only touchdown on a 4-yard run in the second quarter.
Trey McKeithen caught a 21-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and scored on a 5-yard run in the fourth for Reeltown (13-1).
Reeltown had 220 yards rushing.
"Disappointing is how I would sum it up," Marchant said. "We had a couple of turnovers, a couple of penalties, a couple of big plays where we didn''t do well. Any ballgame can go back to those things. That''s the same way it always is."