August 23, 2014 11:38:17 PM
ALICEVILLE, Ala. -- Aliceville High School fourth-year football coach Charles Moody believes this is his best defense.
Friday's result helped back that assessment.
Aliceville held visiting Paul W. Bryant to 106 yards of total offense in a 33-21 victory in the Alabama High School Activities Association season opener for both teams.
While the Yellow Jackets won, they were also challenged. Bryant closed to 26-21 late in the third quarter. The Stampede then had an apparent go-ahead touchdown called back when a wide receiver was ruled to have crossed the line of scrimmage on a lateral.
Aliceville answered with a 59-yard run by Jamar Richardson to put the game away.
"(Richardson) is an athlete," Moody said. "He's a dynamic athlete. We want the ball in his hands as much as possible. On the play, there was a bad snap and it looked like we were going to lose a bunch of yards, but he kept scampering and made a big play."
Aliceville rushed for 237 yards and controlled the turnover battle. The Class 3A Yellow Jackets excelled on defense all night, collecting two safeties to knock off the Class 6A foe.
"We really expect to win each week no matter who we are playing," Moody said. "We knew they were a bigger school and they had a lot of success last year. However, we have a lot of confidence in our guys. We have seen how much they have grown during the offseason. This is a great way to start the season."
Sophomore quarterback Santiago Taylor ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Jeremy McMullen rushed for a team-high 119 yards and another score. McMullen is back in the lineup after missing last season due to injury.
"We are a lot of different team with (McMullen) back in the backfield," Moody said. "Once he gets in shape, get back in a rhythm, he is going to be really great."
Aliceville will travel to Wilcox Central on Friday night. Wilcox Central opened with a 41-7 loss at Greenville.
n Pickens County 26, Addison 23: At Reform, Ala., the 2013 AHSAA Class 1A state champion Tornadoes erased a 23-14 halftime deficit to win its debut in Class 2A.
Darrien Latham scored the game-winner for Pickens County on a 1-yard touchdown run with 4 minutes, 2 seconds remaining. The score helped Nick Roberson win his head coaching debut with the Tornadoes.
"We played so many young guys tonight and they found a way to win," said Roberson, who served as defensive coordinator on last season's state championship squad. "I can't tell you how proud of them I am. I think this team grew up a whole lot tonight."
Sophomore quarterback Zachary Thomas hit Javarius Jefferson for an 80-yard touchdown on Pickens County's first play.
Addison then took control with its powerful rushing attack. Kolby Kirk scored on touchdown runs of 6 and 13 yards to give his team a 14-6 lead.
Latham followed with a 24-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion run to tie it at 14. Addison answered with a safety and an 8-yard touchdown run by Kyle Denson for a 23-14 halftime lead.
Lathan took matters into his hands with a 56-yard punt return touchdown and a couple of key runs on the deciding drive. An interception by Tarvarius Steele in the closing minutes sealed the victory.
Pickens County will travel to Greensboro on Friday. It will be the season opener for the Raiders.
n Hale County 44, Sulligent 14: At Moundville, Ala., the Blue Devils allowed the first 37 points and failed to recover in the coaching debut of Drew Robbins.
Hale County junior quarterback Deacon Medders led the offense with two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. Medders rushed for 147 yards and threw for 46 more.
Sulligent broke the shutout when Cordarius Metcalfe returned the second-half kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. The Blue Devils got another score minutes later on a 2-yard run by senior running back Roman Glass to cap a 10-play, 57-yard drive.
"Our guys played a lot harder in the second half than we did in the first half," Robbins said. "We just got to get better and improve and use this game as a way to help us get better."
Hale County finished with 302 yards offense. Sulligent had 133, including 121 rushing. The Blue Devils completed two passes.
Hale County scored 28 first-half points on four turnovers.
Sulligent will play host to Hamilton (Ala.) on Friday night. Hamilton opened with a 14-10 win at Moody.