November 8, 2009 12:38:00 AM
REFORM, Ala. -- Top-seeded Pickens County needed to re-establish itself in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs coming off its first loss of the season to rival Gordo in its regular-season finale.
The Tornadoes did just that, lighting up the scoreboard for 43 first-half points in a 57-24 victory against Keith..
"We worked hard all week and wanted to get that bad taste out of our mouths," said Pickens County coach Scott Marchant, whose team improved to 10-1. "We just wanted to concentrate on doing our job and executing on offense and defense, and we did that for the most part."
Pickens County rolled up 292 yards, including 180 yards rushing and another 112 passing
"We felt like our offense had slowed down a little bit and we had some specific things we wanted to attack and take advantage of that we hadn''t done in the previous couple of weeks," Marchant said. "We feel like we are getting toward that end of executing a little bit better on some of the passing plays."
Dominique Jones paced the Tornadoes with 99 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries.
"I''ve been doing that all year," Jones said. "I''ve still got the same line from last year and all of them are seniors. We''ve just had a great year this year."
Deion Curry was 4 of 6 for 112 yards and two touchdowns, while James Adams had one catch for a 59-yard score.
Pickens County got things going on its first possession, marching 40 yards in six plays. Jones capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown on a sweep right.
Pickens County''s Tim Simpson recovered a fumble on the Bears'' first play of their ensuing drive at the Keith 26. The Tornadoes were in the end zone three plays later when Curry tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Giles.
Keith fumbled the following kickoff to give the Tornadoes the ball at the 26. Pickens County added its third touchdown of the first quarter on a 12-yard jet sweep right by Keith Hall for a 21-0 lead.
The Bears answered with their veer offense, orchestrating a 12-play, 68-yard drive that Jeremy Crum ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Matthews on the third play of the second quarter.
Pickens County needed only one play to answer after stopping the Bears on their next drive and taking over at midfield. Jones broke loose on a 53-yard run to give Pickens County a 28-8 lead.
Pickens County pinned Keith deep and forced it to punt out of its end zone. Travis Bailey broke through the line and not only blocked the punt but also fell on it in the end zone for the touchdown.
Pickens County added one last score on the final play of the first half when Curry dropped back and fired a 59-yard strike to Adams. Curry fired a two-point conversion to Giles to give the Tornadoes a 43-8 lead heading into the locker room.
Pickens County added touchdowns on its first two possessions of the second half, scoring on a 9-yard run by Jones and on an 18-yard jaunt by William Stewart.
Keith (5-6) added two late scores against the reserves in the fourth quarter on a 15-yard run by Crum and on a 27-yard scamper by Matthews.
The Bears had 175 yards on the night, including 121 yards rushing and 54 yards through the air.
Rodney Ellis led the Bears with 36 yards on four carries. Crum was 2 of 4 for 54 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Matthews had both Keith catches for 54 yards and a score.
Pickens County will play host to Goshen (8-3), which defeated Fultondale 50-32 on Friday, next week.
1. Pickens County beats South Lamar to take over first in region HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. West Point stomps Olive Branch for big region win HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. A-Train rolls again as Bulldogs pound Cougars LOCAL COLUMNS
4. Bryant's interception helps MSU regain control of rope COLLEGE SPORTS
5. New Hope beats Leake Central to clinch playoff spot HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS