Sunday, August 18, 2019

 

            


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AHSAA News


Spanish Fort Opens Season With Champions Challenge Win Over Stanhope Elmore

    MONTGOMERY –  Spanish Fort High School quarterback Tyler Johnston opened the season with a bang Saturday night, connecting with Kristian Cotton on a 90-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter to give the Toros an early two-touchdown lead in the final game of the 2014 Champions Challenge.
     Johnston, who rushed for 101 yards on 12 carries and scored the game’s first TD on a 20-yard first-quarter run, finished the game 16 of 24 passing  for 353 yards and 5 touchdowns as Spanish Fort (1-0) won its 25th straight game with a 42-14 win over Stanhope Elmore (0-1).
     Cotton also caught TD passes of 90, 26 and 16 yards in the first half and added a 30-yard reception in the third quarter to set a Champions Challenge record with four TD receptions. His 16-yarder came on the final play of the first half when he made a spectacular grab in the end zone over the arms of a Stanhope defender.  Cotton wound up with seven receptions for 199 yards.
     LaDarrell Pettway had a 74-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter for Coach Mark Freeman’s Toros.
     Johnston’s 90-yard connection to Cotton was upstaged in the second quarter, however, when Mustangs quarterback Tanner Anderson completed a pass to Michael Brown that covered 99 yards and Stanhope Elmore’s first touchdown of the night.
    The 99-yard reception ties a state record for the longest on record and just the 10th in state history. The last receiver to snag a 99-yarder was Etowah’s Darrin Peterson in a 21-14 win over Fort Payne in 2011.
    Brown also caught a 30-yard TD pass later in the second quarter for Stanhope’s second TD. He had the two catches for 129 yards.
   Cameron Harrison added 99 yards rushing for Spanish Fort, which had 251 rushing yards and 604 yards overall. Pettway had six catches for the Toros for 129 yards.
    Kareem Jackson led Coach Jeff Foshee’s Mustangs with 94 yards on seven carries, and Bennie Smith had 72 yards on 13 attempts.
    Alijah Reeves led Stanhope Elmore’s defense with 13 tackles and an interception. Timothy Brown added 10 stops.
   Pacing Spanish Fort’s defense were Tre Threat, Maurice Cole and Thomas Johnston with six stops each. The Toros made 11 tackles behind the line for 39 yards in losses.


Box Score


Game 2 of 9th Annual Champions Challenge: Dadeville Edges Piedmont 14-8

     MONTGOMERY – Dartavious Pearson scored two touchdowns in the second half to break open a scoreless defensive battle and Dadeville edged Piedmont 14-8 in Saturday in the Champions Challenge high school football triple-header.
    The Alabama High School Athletic Association has held the Champions Challenge for nine years to open the prep football season, The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association manages the games each year.
     Pearson scored on a 20-yard run on the last play of the third quarter to give Coach Richard White’s Tigers a 6-0 lead. The extra-point try failed.  Pearson, who led all rushers with 118 yards on 16 carries, scored his second TD with 8:34 left in the game on a 6-yard gain.
    Dadeville appeared to seal the win one series later when Tyreke Stone intercepted Tyler Lusk’s pass at midfield and returned it for  touchdown. The score was called back when a Tigers defender was called for roughing the Piedmont passer.
   Lusk, who had a 65-yard touchdown strike to C.J. Savage called back in the first half, took full advantage of the opportunity and quickly led the Bulldogs of Coach Steve Smith to the end zone. He found Savage open again for a TD covering 42 yards and then passed to Austin Brazier for the two-point conversion to pull Piedmont to within six with 5:53 to play.
    The Bulldogs defense got the ball back late, but Dadeville’s defense rose to stop the final threat.
    Lusk was 8-of-20 passing for 181 yards with Savage hauling in four receptions for 107 yards.
   Jaquan Alvies and Trevorous Johnson had six tackles each to lead Dadeville. Alvies, Jalyn  Johnson  and Antonia Jennings each had two sacks to lead a Tigers defense that had 7 ½ sacks on the night. Alvies also had an interception he returned for 40 yards.
    Neonta Alexander led Piedmont with seven tackles.
    The game was played as a preseason non-counting contest. Dadeville hosts Tallapoosa County rival Reeltown Thursday in its season opener and Piedmont is also at home against Cherokee County on Friday.


Box Score


Bulldogs Hold Off Wolverines To Win Champions Challenge Battle

    MONTGOMERY – Opelika built a 20-7 lead after three quarters, then held off a fourth-quarter Carver rally to beat the Wolverines 20-16 Friday night as the ninth annual Champions Challenge prep football classic got underway at Cramton Bowl.
      Two more games are scheduled for the Champions Challenge Saturday: Dadeville vs. Piedmont at 5 p.m. and Stanhope Elmore vs. Spanish Fort at 7:30. Both games will be telecast live over the Raycom TV Network.
     Josh Johnson’s 1-yard touchdown run capped Opelika's 17-play, 70-yard march that ate up 6 minutes, 22 seconds to open the game. Chazdon Blackmon kicked the extra point and then followed with a 35-yard field goal five minutes later to extend the Bulldogs lead to 10-0.
     Carver struck quickly in the second quarter when quarterback Mike McKinney connected with Nagee Clay on a 78-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 10-7.
     Jack Slay booted a 23-yard field goal at the six-minute mark of the second quarter as  Coach Brian Blackmon’s Bulldogs carried a 13-7 lead into halftime.
    Jake Bentley’s 12-yard TD run and Slay’s extra-point kick put Opelika up 20-7 with 1:45 to play in the third period.
    Carver’s Marlon Davidson blocked an Opelika punt that resulted in a safety with 5:42 to play to make it 20-9.  Melvin Tyus then grabbed the ensuing free kick at his own 22-yard line and sped 78 yards for a touchdown just 18 seconds later. Nagee Clay’s extra-point kick cut the Opelika lead to four, 20-16.
    Carver got one more chance but ran out of downs as the Bulldogs held on to win.
    Opelika finished with 279 total yards and Carver had 244. Johnson was the leading rusher with 125 yards on 25 carries. Carver’s Jayland Horne had 105 on 12 tries.
     McKinney was 11-of-23 passing for 175 yards and the one TD for Coach Billy Gresham’s Wolverines. Clay had four catches for 100 yards.
     Matthew Christian was 9-of-17 passing for 91 yards. Tight end Kyle Fourtenbary had two catches for 32 yards.
     Ismail Saleem, who played for now closed St. Jude last year, had two kickoff returns for 62 yards, including a 53-yarder, and Tyus had 106 yards on three returns. Tyus also led all tacklers with 13 stops. Brandon Northern also had nine and Davidson seven for Carver.
    Roy Yancey and Jared Gentry each had five tackles for Opelika. Two of Gentry's stops were sacks for 13 yards in losses.
    The game was played as a preseason, non-counting contest. Opelika opens its regular season next Friday at arch-rival Auburn while Carver returns to Cramton Bowl to face Lee-Montgomery (1-0), which opened its season Thursday with a 15-0 win over Sidney Lanier.”


Box Score


9th Annual Champions Challenge Set for Cramton Bowl Friday, Saturday

Six high schools, including one defending state champion, will play Friday night and Saturday at Cramton Bowl as the 9th annual Champion Challenge officially kicks off the 2014 prep football season for the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
              Spanish Fort, which will be staking a 24-game winning streak on the line Saturday night against Stanhope Elmore, won the last two Class 5A state titles. The Toros (15-0) of Coach Mark Freeman will meet Coach Jeff Foshee’s Mustangs (4-6) in the final game of the series Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
            The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) hosts the series, which played its first Champions Challenge at Cramton Bowl in 2006.
            Carver-Montgomery (10-3), which reached the Class 6A quarterfinals in 2013, opens the triple-header Friday at 7 p.m. against Opelika (7-4). Coach Brian Blackmon’s Bulldogs reached the Class 6A finals in 2012.
           Stanhope Elmore, Carver and Opelika will be competing this season in Class 6A with Spanish Fort, which moves up a class as the AHSAA changes to seven classifications.
          Class 4A Dadeville (11-2) takes on Class 3A Piedmont (11-2) Saturday at 5 p.m. in the small-school game of the series. Coach Richard White’s Tigers have been one of the winningest 4A schools in the state over the last six seasons. Coach Steve Smith’s Bulldogs, the 2009 3A state champions, are likewise in Class 3A. Piedmont lost 34-33 in overtime to eventual state champion Madison Academy last season.
          The 2014 will mark the first year that schools will have 11 weeks to play 10 games and the first year for the new seven-classification system. Schools still have a choice to count any week one contest as a regular-season or exhibition contest. The Carver-Opelika and Piedmont-Dadeville games will remain as exhibition games and will not count on either team's record. The Spanish Fort-Stanhope Elmore game will be the regular-season opener for each school.
         All six schools are taking the playoff-type approach, however. “This game offers a real state playoff atmosphere,” Spanish Fort’s Freeman said. “We played in this game in 2012 and it helped us prepare for the state playoffs and the state championship game.”
          His Toros have compiled a 38-5 record in three seasons under Freeman’s direction and 73-12 over the last six years with three state titles.
         Class 6A Stanhope Elmore finished 4-6 last season. The Mustangs are coached by Jeff Foshee, who has compiled a 98-58 record with 11 playoff appearances in 13 seasons.
         Gresham has led Carver to a 29-9 record the last three seasons. The Wolverines have gone 60-16 over the last six years with six straight playoff appearances. Brian Blackmon has guided Opelika to a 35-20 record in five seasons with 17 wins over the last two years. The Bulldogs have reached the 6A playoffs for four straight seasons.
        Piedmont has won 10 or more games the last seven seasons. Dadeville (11-2) reached the 4A quarterfinals in 2013, losing a 35-34 heartbreaker to UMS-Wright. The Tigers are 66-9 over the last six seasons with an amazing 40-2 record in region play.
        The 2014 Champions Challenge will be televised live and web-streamed by AHSAA TV partner Raycom Network. Stations on the network can be found at www.ahsaa.com. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all three games live. The AHSAA Radio Network affiliates can also be found at www.ahsaa.com.  Live stats will also be available online at www.ahsaa.com.
        The Champions Challenge schedule:

        Friday, August 22 – 7 p.m.: Carver-Montgomery (10-3) vs. Opelika (7-4)

        Saturday, August 24 – 5 p.m.: Dadeville (11-2) vs. Piedmont (11-2)

        Saturday, August 24 – 7:30 p.m.: Spanish Fort (15-0) vs. Stanhope Elmore (4-6)

CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE HISTORY

2013
Benjamin Russell 28, Walker 14
Straughn 35, Walter Wellborn 26
Bob Jones 23, Enterprise 20
2012
Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22
Central of Clay County 25, Beauregard 13
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0
2011
Hueytown 36, Thomasville 27
Hamilton 38, Sweet Water 35
Daphne 24, Clay-Chalkville 21
2010
Opelika 34, Greenville 6
Auburn 30, Spain Park 3
Jackson 30, Trinity 8                                     
2009
Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0
T.R. Miller 27, Leeds 7
Hoover 32, Oxford 27

2008
Prattville vs. Oxford, canceled due to inclement weather

2007
Prattville 36, North Gwinnett, Ga. 3

2006
Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0
Clay-County 41, Addison 6


AHSAA Will Mandate Heat Timeouts Once Again

Guidelines for the proper administration of football games during the 2014 season have been have been finalized by the AHSAA, including mandatory heat timeouts during early season games.


Heat Timeouts:
According to Rule 3-5-7g in the National Federation Rules Book, an official may grant a heat timeout anytime during the contest when it is warranted. As a matter of procedure, the AHSAA has instructed the Referee at each game to make this decision.

The AHSAA will mandate the heat timeouts being called during the first dead ball period after the six-minute mark in each of the four quarters. These mandated timeouts will be used during the first three weeks of the season that begins Aug. 21 or 22.


25-Second Clock:
The use of a 25-second clock as supplemental equipment has been approved by the AHSAA. The home team will have sole authority whether to use it or not. The 25-second clock operator must be registered with the AHSAA as an official or an Electric Clock Operator (ECO).

After a game has begun, the Referee will have the authority by rule to make any adjustments to timing issues and competency of the operator. This clock will be used for the “Super Seven” championship games in Auburn Dec. 3-5.

All varsity games must have a registered official operating the game clock. All non-varsity games must have a registered official or an AHSAA-approved Electric Clock Operator (ECO) running the game clock.


Chain Crews:
Each host school should use three competent adults on the chain crew for each home game.


Halftimes:
According to Rule 3, Section 1, Table 3-1 Note 2, the AHSAA has set a mandatory length for halftimes of all member school contests. Varsity game halftimes will be 20 minutes in length while all sub-varsity halftimes will be 15 minutes in length. By rule, 20 minutes is the maximum length allowed.

By mutual agreement of opposing coaches, the intermission may be reduced to the minimum length of 10 minutes for all levels of play.


Warm-up Periods:
All players, including team captains, shall have the opportunity to warm up during the mandatory three-minute warm-up period prior to the second half of play. This mandatory period will begin at the conclusion of the scheduled halftime. If the bands are late leaving the field and other appropriate areas are not provided for the teams to warm up, then the three-minute warm up will begin as soon as the bands exit the field. The home school will be penalized for such a delay.

If the bands clear the field prior to the conclusion of the scheduled halftime and opposing coaches agree to shorten the halftime, the mandatory three-minute warm up period may begin at that time.

 

Modifications of Seventh Grade Games Only:

For seventh grade games only, a running clock may be used during each of the four periods played. Each period will be eight minutes in length. Also, modifications of kicking rules including kickoffs, free kicks and scrimmage kicks during a seventh grade contest are now permissible upon mutual agreement of the opposing coaches. This mutual agreement of opposing coaches pertaining to these modifications shall be done prior to the start of the contest.


Knight Eady Unveils New Logo for AHSAA, Super 7 and State Basketball Tournament

    Knight Eady Sports Group, the new marketing partner of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, unveiled the a new AHSAA logo to the state’s media gathered at the AHSAA’s annual Media Day Wednesday.
        The marketing group also displayed new logos for the Super 7 state football championships and the State Basketball Tournament.
      Michael Eady unveiled the logos that will be used in all future AHSAA marketing and branding endeavors. “Since the AHSAA is moving to seven classifications, the time was right for this change,” Eady said.
     AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said the new logos will help move the AHSAA forward. He said, “I really like the changes. The new logos are clean and very well thought out and are already being well received.”
     The AHSAA launched its new-look website recently utilizing the new AHSAA logo. That logo now will also have a secondary mark that will help promote the AHSAA and its branding.
     Eady said the Super 7 logos have been designed specifically to blend easily at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium and Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. Each will have its own color scheme.
     The State Basketball Championships logo has undergone the biggest change since the Final 48 logo used in the past is not applicable since there will be 56 participants with seven classes. Knight Eady said two websites are also being launched to promote the football and basketball state championship events.
    The logos can be found at the following link:
http://www.ahsaa.com/AHSAA/Information

Raycom Announces Raycom/AHSAA Thursday TV Game of the Week Slate

       Raycom Media’s Mike Llewellyn announced the first slate of games for the new Raycom/AHSAA Thursday Night Game of the Week Wednesday at the Champions Challenge press conference at the Alabama High School Athletic Association Office.
     Raycom, the AHSAA’s TV Partner for the Super 7 football championships and State Basketball Tournament, will show 10 Thursday night football games, beginning Aug. 28 with Mountain Brook at Huntsville.
      The remaining schedule includes: Sept. 4: Shades Valley at Center Point; Sept. 11: Florence at Cullman; Sept. 18: Washington County at Sweet Water; Sept. 25: Montgomery Academy at Trinity Presbyterian; Oct. 2: Hoover at Spain Park; Oct. 9: Charles Henderson at Eufaula; Oct. 16: Smiths Station at Enterprise; Oct. 23: R.A. Hubbard at Hackleburg; and Oct. 30: Blount at Saraland.
       “We have an outstanding lineup of games for this first year,” said Llewellyn, Raycom executive producer for the telecasts. “We worked very hard to try and reach every section of the state and give every classification representation. We want this to be more than just a football game. We plan to showcase the communities and the traditions of the schools.”
        Raycom, which plans to broadcast all three Champions Challenge contests at Cramton Bowl Aug. 22-23 over its network of six stations as well as its internet site, will also make the games available through its mobile link each week.
       Stations in the network include Raycom stations WAFF TV 48 (Huntsville), WBRC Fox 6 (Birmingham), WSFA TV 12 (Montgomery), WDFX TV 34 (Dothan) and WTVM TV 9 (Columbus, Ga.) as well as non-Raycom station UTV44 (Mobile). Jack’s, Alabama National Guard and the Alabama State Department of Transportation are the major sponsors, Llewellyn said.
      More information will be available about the Thursday Night Game of the Week package at www.pathtotheplayoffs.com.
     Llewellyn also announced that Montgomery’s Graham Dunn and Mike Peacock will be the Game of the Week broadcast team for the Thursday Night Game of the Week series.

Six Schools Making Debuts In Ninth Annual Champions Challenge Aug. 22-23

            Six high schools chosen to participate in the ninth annual Champions Challenge high school football triple-header addressed the media Wednesday at the 2014 event press conference at the Alabama High School Athletic Association Office in Montgomery.
          The press conference closed out the AHSAA’s annual Media Day, which was attended by more than 50 media representatives from across the state.
          Carver-Montgomery will meet Opelika Friday night, Aug. 22 in the first of three games, according to Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association which hosts the event each year.
        The two remaining games will be played Saturday, Aug. 23, beginning at 5 p.m. with Piedmont taking on Dadeville in the small-school game. Class 6A teams Spanish Fort and Stanhope Elmore will meet in the final game at 7:30 p.m.
        “We are very appreciative of the AHSAA for inviting us to participate,” Carver head coach Billy Gresham told the media. “We think this is a great opportunity for us to play a team we have the utmost respect for.”
        This coming season will be the first year that schools will have 11 weeks to play 10 games and the first year for the new seven-classification system. Schools still have a choice whether to count any week one contest as a regular-season or exhibition contest. The Carver-Opelika and Piedmont-Dadeville games will remain as exhibition games, Briggs said, and will not count on either team's record. The Spanish Fort-Stanhope Elmore game is set to be the regular-season opener for each school.
        “Coach Blackmon and I have talked and although it is officially an exhibition game, we are going to be playing all out just like a regular game,” Gresham said.
         Piedmont Coach Steve Smith said his Class 3A Bulldogs will be facing a powerful opponent in Dadeville. “We lost of lot from last year’s team,” he said, “but we have young players who are having to step up and be leaders this year and this will be a very good challenge for us.”

        Class 6A Carver (10-3) reached the third round of the 6A state playoffs last season and Class 6A Opelika (7-4) reached round one after playing in the 6A finals in 2012. 
       Spanish Fort (15-0) coached by Mark Freeman, moves up to Class 6A after winning back-to-back Class 5A state football titles. The Toros will be riding a 24-game winning streak heading into the Champions Challenge. The team is 38-5 in three seasons under Freeman’s direction and 73-12 over the last six years with three state titles.
         Class 6A Stanhope Elmore finished 4-6 last season. The Mustangs are coached by Jeff Foshee, who has compiled a 98-58 record with 11 playoff appearances in 13 seasons.
          “We think this is a great game for our program and our community,” Foshee said. “This is an exciting opportunity for our players, coaches, dance team, band and our entire community.”

         Gresham has led Carver to a 29-9 record the last three seasons. The Wolverines have gone 60-16 over the last six years with six straight playoff appearances. Brian Blackmon has guided Opelika to a 35-20 record in five seasons with 17 wins over the last two years. The Bulldogs have reached the 6A playoffs for four straight seasons.
        Piedmont (11-2) reached the Class 3A quarterfinals last season, losing 34-33 in overtime to eventual state champion Madison Academy. Smith’s Bulldogs averaged 43.2 points per game in 2013 while yielding only 12.5 points per game. He is beginning his ninth season as head coach. Piedmont has won 10 or more games the last seven seasons with an 86-18 record overall and a 17-7 mark in eight playoff appearances. The Bulldogs won the 2009 Class 3A state championship.
       Dadeville (11-2) reached the 4A quarterfinals, losing a 35-34 heartbreaker to UMS-Wright. Coach Richard White’s Tigers are 66-9 over the last six seasons with an amazing 40-2 record in region play. Dadeville will be in Class 4A, Region 3 and Piedmont is in 3A, Region 6 this fall.
        In last year’s Champions Challenge, Benjamin Russell beat Walker 28-14, Straughn downed Walter Wellborn 35-26 and Bob Jones edged Enterprise 23-20.
        The 2014 Champions Challenge will be televised live and web-streamed by AHSAA TV partner Raycom Network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all three games live.             
        Raycom announced at the press conference the first slate of games for the its new AHSAA Thursday Night Game of the Week.  Raycom, the AHSAA’s TV Partner for the Super 7 championships and State Basketball Tournament, will show 10 Thursday night games beginning Aug. 28 with Mountain Brook at Huntsville.
       The remaining schedule includes: Sept. 4: Shades Valley at Center Point; Sept. 11: Florence at Cullman; Sept. 18: Washington County at Sweet Water; Sept. 25: Montgomery Academy at Trinity Presbyterian; Oct. 2: Hoover at Spain Park; Oct. 9: Charles Henderson at Eufaula; Oct. 16: Smiths Station at Enterprise; Oct. 23: R.A. Hubbard at Hackleburg; and Oct. 30: Blount at Saraland. Executive producer Mike Llewellyn announced that Graham Dunn and Mike Peacock will be the announcers for the Thursday Night Game of the Week.
        The Champions Challenge schedule is:

        Friday, August 22 – 7 p.m.: Carver-Montgomery (10-3) vs. Opelika (7-4)

        Saturday, August 24 – 5 p.m.: Dadeville (11-2) vs. Piedmont (11-2)

        Saturday, August 24 – 7:30 p.m.: Spanish Fort (15-0) vs. Stanhope Elmore (4-6)

CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE HISTORY

2013
Benjamin Russell 28, Walker 14
Straughn 35, Walter Wellborn 26
Bob Jones 23, Enterprise 20
2012

Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22
Central of Clay County 25, Beauregard 13
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0
2011
Hueytown 36, Thomasville 27
Hamilton 38, Sweet Water 35
Daphne 24, Clay-Chalkville 21

2010
Opelika 34, Greenville 6
Auburn 30, Spain Park 3
Jackson 30, Trinity 8                                     

2009
Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0
T.R. Miller 27, Leeds 7
Hoover 32, Oxford 27

2008
Prattville vs. Oxford, canceled due to inclement weather

2007
Prattville 36, North Gwinnett, Ga. 3

2006
Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0
Clay-County 41, Addison 6