Tuesday, August 20, 2019






Mars Hill’s Joseph Hanson Swipes 4 Interceptions in Panthers’ 1A Playoff Win

MONTGOMERY – Mars Hill Bible School senior quarterback and safety Joseph Hanson intercepted four passes on defense to pace the Panthers to a 41-27 Class 1A quarterfinal win over previously unbeaten South Lamar to capture the AHSAA Football Playoff Spotlight this week.

   Hanson picked up 126 return yards on the night – including 68 yards on one pick he returned for a touchdown. He has intercepted seven passes in three playoff games with two returned for TDs.
    Coach Darrell Higgins also got outstanding efforts from senior fullback and linebacker Colt Smith and his son, sophomore defensive back Peyton Higgins. Smith was in on 23 tackles and added 130 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 13 carries.
     Higgins returned a kickoff 83 yards for an 83-yard TD – his fifth kickoff return for a touchdown this season. That ties the state record set by four others previously: Javin Thatch, Tanner (2011); Brandon Hale, Lexington (1998); Jason Wilkins, Shelby County (1997); and Steven Reese, Florala (1997).
    The four picks by Hanson tied 18 others for second most in a game, The state record (5) is shared by four players: Justin Little, Tuscaloosa County (2014); Devyn  Murphree, J.B. Pennington (2006); Phillip Williams, Meek (2001); and Charlie McCoy, Georgiana (1981).
   Mars Hill Bible (12-1) advances to the Class 1A semifinals this week to host Pickens County (9-4) Friday night.
    The Panthers’ combined efforts edged out a clutch performance by 5-foot-5 defensive back T.J. Fairs of Piedmont. Fairs blocked two crucial extra points, the last one coming with 3:34 remaining to secure a 27-26 win by the Bulldogs over previously unbeaten Westminster Christian (11-1) in the Class 3A quarterfinals. Piedmont (11-2) will host Randolph County (12-1) in the semifinals Friday.

The senior quarterback and Alabama All-Star was 22-of-32 passing for 305 yards and four touchdowns as the defending Class 6A state champion Indians (11-1) beat Homewood 48-7 to advance to the semifinals to face Clay-Chalkville this week. He also had two rush attempts for 42 yards and one TD and now has 11,760 total yards for his career  -- which ranks second in the AHSAA just 28 yards behind record holder Terrance Hollingsworth of Class 1A Berry High School, who totaled 11,788 yards from 2009-2013.   Nix has thrown 121 TD passes in his career and rushed for 33 scores – a total of 154 accounted for which is 9 shy of the record (160) set by Terrance Wilkes of Class 1A Wadley (2003-2006).  Nix has completed 218-of-360 passes for 3,170 yards and 44 TDs this season.
TAULIA TAGOVAILOA, THOMPSON: Also an All-Star selection at quarterback, the senior engineered two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to lift the Warriors to a 31-28 win over defending state champion Hoover to clinch a berth in the Super 7 Class 7A state championship game for the first time in school history. He finished 12-of-28 passing for 228 yards and one TD – a 56-yard connection to A.J. Bonham on fourth-and-seven with 5:55 remaining to cut the Bucs’ lead to 28-24.
DEANGELO JONES, WETUMPKA: The All-Star running back had six rush attempts for 50 yards and two TDs in the Indians’ 21-17 Class 6A playoff win over Spanish Fort.
LARRY McCAMMON, HOOVER: The All-Star running back had 97 yards rushing on 22 carries and caught three passes for 88 yards in a 31-28 playoff loss to Thompson.
GEORGE PICKENS, HOOVER: The All-Star receiver had four receptions for 40 yards in the Bucs’ loss to Thompson.
D.J. JAMES, SPANISH FORT: The All-Star defensive back blocked a punt in a 21-17 playoff loss to Class 6A Wetumpka.
AMONTAE SPIVEY, CENTRAL-PHENIX CITY: Had 18 rush attempts for 107 yards before the All-Star running back had to leave the game for an injury.

Other top playoff performances reported:

Rushed for 202 yards and two TDs on 17 carries and passed for 132 yards and two more scores as the Cougars won the Class 6A playoff game with Oxford 45-9.
WISE GORDON & THE PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN OFFENSIVE LINE:  Gordon rushed for 185 yards on a school-record 43 carries with one touchdown and also caught a 23-yard touchdown pass in the Eagles’ 23-20 win over Gordo in the Class 3A playoffs. His effort was part of a dominating offensive performance powered by the Eagles’ offensive line: Hayden Parker, Abe Britton, Coleman Wright, Colby Pilcher, Conner Mathis and tight ends Brayden Banner and Jackson Colley that resulted in 366 yards rushing, 26 first downs, 77 plays and  ball control of 35 minutes and 33 seconds out of the 48-minute game.
DAQUON JOHNSON, FLOMATON: Gained 191 yards rushing on 27 carries and scored a touchdown in the Hurricanes’ 12-10 Class 3A playoff win over Pike County.
KAEDON JENKINS, PIEDMONT: Ran for 185 yards and a 58-yard touchdown on 20 carries. He also posted eight tackles and two interceptions on defense in the Bulldogs’ 27-26 Class 3A playoff victory over Westminster Christian.
TYE SMITH-LINDSEY, OXFORD: Totaled 162 rushing yards on 13 carries and scored on a 72-yard run in the Yellow Jackets’ 45-9 playoff loss to Clay-Chalkville.
SHADRICK BYRD, THOMPSON: Rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries in a 31-28 win over Hoover in the Class 7A semifinals. His final 3-yard TD run came with just 21 seconds remaining to give the Warriors the win.
Rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries in a 21-13 Class 2A playoff loss to Fyffe.
Gained 133 yards on 21 carries with one TD and returned a fumble 78 yards for another score as the Blue Devils moved to the Class 5A semifinals with a 41-21 win over Jasper.
JAYLAND WHITSETT, VIGOR: Rushed for 94 yards on 20 carries and scored two TDs in the Wolves’ 27-7 Class 5A playoff win over Demopolis.
ELIJAH McCLAIN, ANDALUSIA: Ran for 92 yards and a pair of scores on eight carries as Andalusia advanced to the Class 4A semifinals with a 28-21 playoff win over Region 1 rival Hillcrest-Evergreen.
LUKE WELSH, SPRING GARDEN: Led the Panthers’ offense with 83 yards on 24 carries and had a fumble recovery on defense in a 13-0 Class 1A playoff loss at Pickens County.


PETER PARRISH, CENTRAL-PHENIX CITY: Connected with Kameron Mason for a game-winning 49-yard TD pass with 8.4 seconds remaining to lift the Red Devils (13-0) to a 34-27 win over Lee-Montgomery in the Class 7A semifinals.
BRETT NEZAT, SARALAND: Was 21-of-31 passing for 260 yards as the Spartans downed Opelika 24-19 in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
JERMAINE BROWN, ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL: Was 10-of-17 passing for 254 yards and three TDs and rushed for 87 yards on 24 carries in a 44-43 Class 1A playoff loss to Linden.
MICHAEL CREAR, JASPER: Was 19-of-27 passing for 235 yards and two TDs in a 41-21 Class 5A playoff loss to Mortimer Jordan.
CADE BLACKMON, OPELIKA: Passed for 210 yards and two TDs on a 12-of-21 performance as the Bulldogs fell 24-19 to Saraland in the Class 6A state playoffs.
Completed 23-of-39 passes for 181 yards and one TD in the Patriots’ 48-7 playoff loss to Class 6A defending state champion Pinson Valley.
GREGARIUS BROWN, LINDEN: Passed for 152 yards and two TDS and rushed for 153 yards and two scores as the Patriots (12-0) edged St. Luke’s Episcopal 44-43 in the Class 1A playoffs.

KEVIN GREEN, LINDEN: Caught five passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns and returned an interception 51 yards for a third score as Linden edged St. Luke’s Episcopal 44-43 in the Class 1A quarterfinals.
DEMARION HOLLOMAN, PINSON VALLEY: Caught nine passes for 121 yards and two TDs and teammate Ty Pouncey had four catches for 72 yards and two TDs in the Class 6A Indians’ 48-7 playoff win over Homewood.
COLE BONNER, JASPER:  Hauled in nine passes for 100 yards and two TDs in the Vikings’ 41-21 loss to Mortimer Jordan in the 5A state playoffs.

DASHUN ODOM, FLOMATON: Had 16 tackles and two interceptions as Flomaton nipped Pike County 12-10 in the Class 3A playoffs.
DEANTHONY WALKER, VIGOR: Blocked a punt that teammate Desmond Little scooped up and ran into the end zone for a TD as the Wolves beat Demopolis 27-7 in the Class 5A playoff quarterfinals. Vigor (12-1) limited Demopolis to minus-29 yards rushing for the game. The Wolves have allowed 26 yards total in the last two playoff wins.
RICHARD BRINSON, UMS-WRIGHT: Had two interceptions, returning one 70 yards for a touchdown, as the defending Class 4A state champion Bulldogs (12-0) nipped American Christian 21-19 in the Class 4A state playoff quarterfinals.
MALIK DAVIS, WETUMPKA: Had two interceptions in a 21-17 Class 6A playoff win over Spanish Fort.
SPENCER SMITH, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Was in on seven tackles and Will Solomon on five, including one for a loss, among just 29 Gordo plays. The Eagles defense limited the Green Wave to just seven first downs, including none in three second-half possessions, and 161 total yards in a 23-20 Class 3A win to advance to the state football semifinals for the first time in school history.

Opening the Tigers’ 27-13 win over Ramsay in the 6A state playoffs with a 72-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Ramsay’s Cedarius Doss responded with a 71-yard kickoff return to cut the lead to 7-6 in a span of only 26 seconds. Riley finished with 294 all-purpose yards with three kickoff returns for 180 yards and three pass receptions for 114 yards and a 37-yard TD.
DAVID WARREN, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Kicked a go-ahead 35-yard field goal in the third quarter in a 23-20 Class 3A playoff win over Gordo. Warren also had an interception and two pass break-ups on defense.
IKE ROWELL, FYFFE:  Opened the game with an 84-yard kickoff return to the 4-yard line to set up lone TD and rushed for another score as the Red Devils (13-0) downed Ohatchee (11-1) 21-13 in the Class 2A state playoffs.

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