Soph Quarterback Leads The Way

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. -- Things weren't looking too bright for the home team. Hewitt-Trussville was without its starting quarterback, and needed more than a field goal from its steady senior kicker. Enter sophomore signal-caller Sam Miller, a backup who marched his team 80 yards for an improbable go-ahead score and 16-13 win over star-studded Oxford.

Sam Miller kept the march alive with a 27-yard completion to the 1 on fourth-and-4 in the final two minutes. Jake Wilks broke the plane two plays later before being stripped of the ball on a good call by the side judge. Hewitt-Trussville upped its record to 6-1. Oxford fell to 4-3. To the categories:

TOP PROSPECT(S): We'll call it a draw between two Oxford juniors: Linebacker Kwon Alexander (6-3, 215) and safety/wide receiver Trae Elston (6-0, 180). Alexander had (unofficially) a part in ten tackles to Elston's five. Elston caught two passes for 70 yards, including a 51-yard bomb to give his team a lead it could not hold.. He also had a 17-yard kick-off return.

Both coaches had plenty to say about the pair. First up: Hewitt Coach Hal Riddle.

"Wow. What doesn't impress us about their linebacker, Alexander? He's a tremendous athlete that gets to the football, and is aggressive. He makes those big plays. He's got all those kind of things everybody would like to coach."

Riddle likes Elston, too. "He's special, on film. I don't know him, but he looks very talented. Elston is one of those guys that you don't know whether you want to throw at him, or away from him, because they've got so many other great athletes. Those guys (like Elston) need to be able to cover somebody. He can do that. They need to be able to some up on the run, and he can do that."

Oxford Coach John Grass knows he's got a special pair.

"Trae's doing a great job. He's having a phenomenal year, on both sides of the ball, and we hope that continues. Defensively, he just gets to the football. He's got a nose for the ball from the safety position. He just gets back there and makes plays."

Grass uses Alexander (who had a key first-half sack to kill a drive) as both a rusher and pass defender.

"Kwon's just got a phenomenal burst to the ball. He gets there, and makes plays. He plays hard. He causes a lot of fumbles, and touches the ball a lot, when it's in the air.

"Both those guys (Alexander and Elston) need to just continue doing what they're doing, which is having great years."

SENIORS WHO SHINED: Grass has college prospects in his senior class, too. Massive defensive tackle Allen Carson (6-1, 310) is a run-stuffer committed to Tennessee, but he limped off the field in the final quarter. Athlete Bobby McCain (5-10, 180) hasn't selected a school yet, but he has offers from Tennessee, Auburn, Kentucky and Mississippi, among others.

The best Lasagna in the Birmingham area may be in Trussville. Meet kicker Justin Lasagna, who booted three field goals (30, 31, 37) to keep his team in it. He did have one blocked, but that had more to do with a bust in protection. Kid is very accurate.

JUNIORS TO WATCH: Riddle's quarterback, Carr Tigner, has embraced his new position. "He's just been incredible. He was a safety for us last year, because that was where we needed him," said Riddle. "He's just the kind of kid that wants to help Hewitt be successful. He worked at quarterback in the spring, and through the summer, and he's just getting better every day."

Before exiting with a late third quarter injury to his shoulder, Tigner went six-for-nine for 53 yards passing, and ran for another 71 yards on 19 totes. He is 6-4, 190.

SUPER SOPHS: Hewitt safety/punt returner Denzel McDonald (6-0, 160) had a key breakup on Oxford's final, ill-fated possession.

For the Yellow Jackets, Ulric Jones doesn't start yet, but at 6-4, 260 he is used a designated kick-blocker.

HOW ‘BOUT THAT CHICKEN: Knowing how much I liked the original location of Legends Smokehouse in Clay, I was looking forward to trying the new store in downtown Trussville. As usual, owner Randy Walls and staff did not disappoint. I went with the BBQ smoked chicken, which was tender and tasty, complete with Legends own sauce. For sides I had delicious sweet baked beans and freshly made potato salad, complete with skin still on the ‘taters. The sweet tea was so good, it did not need any lemon. Randy is the son of former Tide quarterback the late Clay Walls, who played in late '50s.

NEXT UP: Minor at Bessemer City: Can future Alabama Crimson Tide DB Christion Jones of Minor cover Arkansas commitment/Bessemer City receiver Jervohnte Riles? We shall see.

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