November 3, 2013 12:07:32 AM
WINFIELD, Ala. -- The Lamar County High School football team clinched top spot in the Alabama High School Activities Association Class 2A, Region 4 with a 35-10 victory against Winfield on Friday night.
The Bulldogs capped their regular season by winning their final four games. Lamar County (9-1) finished region play last week with a 6-1 record. By virtue of winning two games against Class 3A foes (including Winfield), Lamar County secured the top seed in the region.
Lamar County will open postseason play Friday night when it plays host to Region 2 No. 4 seed Samson (6-4).
"We had a tough night against Aliceville (in a 56-33 loss), but the kids really bounced back from that," Lamar County coach Ken Adams said. "It is really important to be at home in the playoffs. The players knew we pretty much had to win out to make sure we were able to do that. We have only allowed one touchdown each of the last four weeks. That is a testament of how we well we have played down the stretch."
Dallas Cockerham rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 5, 5, and 12 yards. The other Lamar County touchdowns were a 9-yard run by Joshua Smith and a 6-yard run by Bryce Miles.
"Our offensive line play has been really good this season," Adams said, "Being able to finish drives this year has been really big for us."
Smith led the defense with nine tackles, while Ty Herron had six.
For Winfield (6-4), Robby Boyd scored on a 3-yard run, while Jake Elkins kicked a 21-yard field goal.
n Aliceville 61, Greene County 14: At Aliceville, Ala., the Yellow Jackets finished tied for first in AHSAA Class 2A, Region 4, but it will travel in the playoffs as the region's No. 3 seed.
Aliceville (7-3) finished region play last week at 6-1. The victory Friday night was the first for the Yellow Jackets against a higher-classification opponent, which means Aliceville will travel Friday night to Region 2 No. 2 seed G.W. Long (9-1) in the first round of the playoffs.
"We finished the regular season with a really good performance," Aliceville coach Charles Moody said. "Our region had some really good teams this year. We had a chance to host in the playoffs but didn't get it done (thanks to a 28-27 region loss to Oakman). What you do now is prepare the best you can to win five games in the playoffs. Our first game should be one of the better playoff games Friday night."
Aliceville rode the 1-2 rushing attack of Darrion Manning and Christopher Crowell against Greene County (1-9).
Manning rushed for 145 yards and touchdowns on runs of 60 and 16 yards. Christopher Crowell (95 yards) added touchdown runs of 1, 30, and 9 yards. Santiago Taylor also threw two touchdown passes.
"Santiago's play has really improved throughout the season," Moody said. "We have cut down on turnovers and penalties and that has been huge. As we block and run the ball like we are capable of doing, then we have a chance to win most games."
For Greene County, Terry Purse scored on a 31-yard run and LaNathan Herrod caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Denzel Davis.
n Sulligent 29, South Lamar 21: At Millport, Ala., the Blue Devils capped the season with a two-game winning streak.
After closing its AHSAA Class 2A, Region 4 schedule with a 41-6 victory against R.C. Hatch, Sulligent rode that momentum to victory. The Blue Devils have beaten the Stallions four-straight seasons.
For Sulligent (2-8), Nathan Gardner threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another. Gardner scored on a 30-yard run and hit Dominique Wallace for a 28-yard touchdown and 14-yard touchdown. Wallace also added a 21-yard touchdown run.
For South Lamar (3-7), Talbert Pate (10-yard run), Herschel Smith (49-yard run) and Dalton Pollard (27-yard run) each had rushing touchdowns.
Smith led South Lamar with 96 rushing yards. Justin Cheeks had 10 tackles to lead the defense.
n Pickens County 33, Gordo 22: At Gordo, Ala., the Tornadoes completed the regular season with a 10-0 mark.
Playing as the AHSAA Class 1A, Region 5 champions, Pickens County will play host to Region 7 No. 4 seed Gaylesville (6-4) when the AHSAA playoffs begin Friday night.
Pickens County built a 19-14 halftime lead. The Tornadoes scored on a 2-yard run by Darrien Latham, a 48-yard run by Jermarcus Brown, and a 3-yard run by Devonte' Simon. Simon's scored capped a 60-yard drive in the final half-minute of the half to grab the lead.
"The drive before the half was really big," Pickens County coach Patrick Plott said. "We had been going back and forth. We did a great job of managing the clock and working our way down the field there late. That score gave us a lot of momentum."
Another big play in the first half was an interception by Pickens County linebacker Justin Barron.
Gordo scored on a 12-yard run by Malcolm Nicholson and an 8-yard scoring play from Lane Moss to Ben Davis. However, the Green Wave (7-3) found the going much tougher in the game's final half.
"Defensively, we made some adjustments at halftime and played really well in the second half," Plott said. "They were averaging about 35 points per game and were on that pace. We made some really big stops and got some huge turnovers."
Building on that late touchdown in the first half, the Tornadoes scored again on their second possession of the second half. Brown capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Gordo closed within 25-22 on a 6-yard run by Alandis Smith and a two-point conversion. However, Brown gave his team breathing room with his third touchdown of the night on a 9-yard run.
"(Brown) really carried us in the second half," Plott said. "But it all starts with the offensive line. The line played great the whole game. (Brown) he does the easy part, while the line does the hard part."
n Clarke Prep 59, Pickens Academy 19: At Carrollton, Ala., the Pirates finished the regular season at 7-3 and 5-1 in Alabama Independent Schools Association Class A, Region 2 play.
As the region's No. 2 seed, Pickens Academy will play host to Lakeside Academy (6-4) Friday night to begin postseason play in the AISA Class A playoffs.
For Pickens Academy, Josh Lewis rushed 18 times for 150 yards with three touchdowns. Lewis scored on a 95-yard kickoff return, a 38-yard run, and a 12-yard run.
Lewis led Pickens Academy with 13 tackles, while Daniel Powell added six.
For Clarke Prep (6-4), Jarrett Pope scored touchdowns on runs of 6, 9, and 2 yards. Hayden Nichols threw three touchdown passes to Caleb Tucker.
Clarke Prep finished with 577 yards of total offense and 18 first downs, including 47 rushes for 486 yards. Pickens Academy had 199 yards and eight first downs.
1. Injuries hit MSU's secondary hard COLLEGE SPORTS
2. New Hope's Crosson has successful summer on links HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Columbus will try to beat Noxubee County to go 2-0 HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Clayburn will be at center of MSU's line COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Top teams face off in Week 2 LOCAL COLUMNS