November 8, 2009 12:39:00 AM
VERNON, Ala. -- Undefeated Lamar County High School had posted back-to-back shutouts entering its game against Red Bay in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.
Coach Ken Adams said he wasn''t worried about getting a third shutout in a row Friday night as long as Lamar County won.
Adams didn''t have much to worry about as the Bulldogs rolled to a 42-0 victory.
"They have been playing together for a long time," Red Bay coach Dale Jeffreys said of Lamar County, which has 10 seniors. "It is not so much what went wrong, it is just that they are a little bit better than us."
Adams said senior Marquis Plant''s 75-yard return on the opening kickoff set the tone.
But the Bulldogs still had work to do after the Tigers recovered a fumble by senior quarterback Michael Bradley on Lamar County''s next drive.
"We run an option and (Mike) just didn''t get the ball pulled out," Adams said.
Lamar County allowed a first down, but Plant intercepted a pass by Hunter Childers to end the threat.
"Our defense played real well," Adams said. "If we turn the football over, those guys go out there with a purpose. I''m proud of them."
Three drives later, Plant was in the middle of things as he caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Bradford.
"I just go out there and play hard and put God first in everything I do," Plant said.
Jeffreys said his young players blew man-to-man coverage the whole first half.
"We missed our coverage and gave them some free (touchdowns)," he said. "Later on, when we get older and a little more disciplined, we will get better at coverage."
In the second quarter, Bradford scored on a 17-yard touchdown in. On the next drive, he found classmate William Franks for a 20-yard touchdown pass.
"Mike runs the offense, but the biggest thing we want to do is let the offense run through him," Adams said. "We want him to get the ball in other people''s hands, and that is what he did."
With 58 seconds to go in the first half, Bradford connected with Plant for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the drive. They had connected on a 34-yard pass earlier in the drive.
"It was all the gloves this time," Plant joked.
Adams said Plant played a good football game, scoring three touchdowns and grabbing two interceptions.
"With our team, each week somebody steps it up," Adams said. "(Friday night) was Marquis''s game."
The Bulldogs had one more score in them, as Kenneth Hill (two carries, 91 yards) ran 78 yards for the touchdown.
Senior kicker Brandon Merchant, who was perfect on extra points, then added the final touch.
Lamar County held Childers to 44 passing yards and had 364 total yards.
"Defensively, we played well again," Adams said. "Offensively, (the Tigers) were crowding the line of scrimmage but we were able to throw it over them. It kept them off balance."
While proud of win No. 11, Adams said the Bulldogs aren''t satisfied. Tanner (10-1) will be next on Friday.
"Last year, they beat us 14-7 in their place," Adams said. "This year, they gotta make the long trip here. They are a physical team, and it''s going to be a good game."
John P Stephens commented at 11/10/2009 3:43:00 PM:
Lamar County is lucky to have a great coach like Coach Adams. Coach Adams turned Calera around when the job was almost impossible. Calera had not had a winning season for years until Coach Adams arrived. Sunup to sundown Coach Adams was working to build Calera into a football power in 3A. Lamar County will continue to get better and better as Coach Adams builds the program inot a powerhouse. I visited the game Friday from Calera and was very impressed with the large crowd and the way they supported the team. If the community continues to support Coach Adams and the team, a state championship will be the goal every year. Good Luck to the Bulldogs this week and the rest of the year. I plan on seeing the Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa!