To the categories:
TOP PROSPECTS: This game, as noted above, featured two. Both are members of the class of 2012. Hueytown's Jameis Winston, listed at 6-4, 190, has added good weight, strength, and speed since FNL last visited Hueytown a year ago.
"He‘s done a great job, as you would expect," said Hueytown coach Matt Scott. Thought we‘d be a pass-first, run second team this year, but so far, it hasn‘t really worked out that way. If you need a drop-back passer, he can be that, but if you need him to run the ball, he can do that, too. He's just having a really great season for us."
Said McAdory coach David Powell, "He's amazing. Amazing. He can do it all. He can run it, and he can throw it. He's a very accurate passer, a very explosive runner, and a very physical runner."
Winston finished, unofficially, 9-11 passing for 139. He rushed for another 106 yards, and clinched the win on his sixth and final run of the night, a designed quarterback keeper for 58 yards, pay dirt, and the first and only two-score lead
Another thing Winston excels at is carrying out fakes. Homer Smith would call some of his plays "Burgorfian," as Smith always felt ball fakes were the high point of Brian Burgdorf's game. (THERE's a blast from the Bama past.)
Then there's rising star Marcus Turner, a 5-10, 160-pounder who plays a huge role in Powell's defense.
"Marcus has been starting for us since his freshman year. Now that he's a junior, we count on him to control half the field. Last week, he had a 100-yard interception return against John Carroll that really broke the game open. He has another ‘pick six‘ this year, too. On kick returns, he's very explosive if he gets it in his hands. He‘s just an outstanding player."
Scott knows Turner's side of the field won't usually be the first read.
"Just phenomenal speed," he said. "And good size to go with it. He's a force to be dealt with. A phenomenal athlete, with great closing speed, who hits like a linebacker."
The few times Hueytown threw, it was either away from or underneath turner. He was not used on kick returns, and the Gophers never punted, so its not known if he'd have been back on those.
SENIORS WHO SHINEDRunning back Ronald Stewart (5-8, 160) runs pretty hard for his size, and has decent speed He gets things done in Hueytown's running game. Stewart punished the Jackets all night on a night when Scott chose to keep the ball on the ground. His 21-yard dash to open the scoring was a thing of beauty.
McAdory quarterback/safety Brandon Bender (5-10, 170) is one of the flashiest, and most under-rated players, in metro Birmingham. He has Palmeresque moments. One such moment occurred when he went back to pass in the first period, couldn't find a receiver, and scrambled for a 49-yard score. He does it all.