Stars of the South: Alabama

High school football has arrived, and many athletes saw their off-season work-outs pay off in a big way. Take a look at several who were tabbed for their top performances.

Brandon Burks
5-9, 175-pounds
Running Back
Daleville High School

Burks rushed for 400 yards on 26 carries in the 53-23 win against Bullock County giving him better than 15 yards per carry. The senior scored seven touchdowns of 1, 4, 13, 42, 69 and 71 yards. The 400 yards puts him seventh in the record books, former University of Kentucky and Parrish football great Tony Dixon rushed for 531 yards in 2003. The seven touchdowns were good for a 10th place tie in the AHSAA record book.

Dillan Campbell
5-10, 220-pounds
Oak Grove High School

Oak Grove defeated West Blocton 33-26 in the first week of play and to say Campbell had a lot to do with it is an understatement. The senior blocked two extra points, recovered a fumble and made 11 tackles in the victory.

Kaleb Harris
5-11, 180-pounds
Pinson Valley High School

Harris hit 13-of-14 pass attempts for 223 yards in the 69-42 win against Mortimer Jordan. Harris lofted four touchdowns passes including a 68-yard strike to junior running back Aris Freeman. Harris passed for moe than 2,300 yards as a junior. He is a two-sport star receiving college interest for his exploits on the baseball diamond.

Ladarius Rodgers
5-11, 215 pounds
Running Back
Leeds High School

The senior rushed for 256 yards on 13 carries in the AHSAA 3A championship game last fall after both senior running backs suffered injuries. Rodgers gets the start this year, and he wasted little time confirming that form. He rushed for 204 yards on 13 carries scoring on runs of 20, 41 and 94 yards in the 33-14 win against Alexandria.

Maurice Crews
5-9, 185-pounds
Running Back
Eufaula High School

Crews touched the ball 11 times and scored five touchdowns in the 55-27 win against Abbeville. The senior rushed for 191 yards scoring on runs of 5, 15, 25, 33 and 57 yards.

Jeffrey Moss
6-5, 180-pounds
Bob Jones High School

Moss completed 11-of-15 pass attempts for 222 yards in the 66-13 win against West Creek High School (Tenn.). The senior tossed touchdown passes of 12, 23, 27 and 35 yards. He had 30 yards rushing with all of his production coming in less than one-half of play. Moss is a two-sport star also playing hoops for the Patriots.

Carr Tigner
6-3, 200-pounds
Hewitt-Trussville High School

Tigner was the leading rusher for the Huskies last season with almost 700 yards. The senior and second-year starter opened the season with a strong performance in the 28-14 win against Gardendale. Tigner completed 11-of-13 pass attempts for 221 yards hitting Nate McMillan for a 30-yard score. Tigner, suffering from a foot injury, rushed for 131 yards and converted on a two-point try.

Cassanova McKinzy
6-3, 234-pounds
Roderick McKinney
6-3, 235-pounds
Defensive end
Woodlawn High School

McKinzy, the Auburn University commitment, racked up 13 tackles in a 20-9 win against Faith Academy in the opening week. The senior rushed for 65 yards on seven carries and caught a 35-yard touchdown pass in the win. McKinney had nine tackles on defense. The senior also recorded a sack and a fumble recovery in the win.

Collin Wells
5-11, 185-pounds
Running Back
Albertville High School

Wells put on a show rushing for 197 yards on 18 carries in the 28-24 win against East Limestone. The junior scored his third and winning touchdown with less than a minute left in the game.

Cameron Hill
5-10, 195-pounds
Running Back
Opelika High School

Opelika opened their season against Carver Montgomery and wanted to avenge a 55-34 loss to the Rams last season. Hill rushed for 150 yards in the 28-19 win on 21 carries. The senior scored on runs of 21 and 14 yards. The rushing yards were even more impressive considering the Dawgs only completed two passes, one of which was a 10-yard catch by Hill.

Michael Davis
6-0, 165-pounds
Running Back
Geraldine High School

Davis returned two kicks for touchdowns Friday night in the 41-21 win against Randolph. The junior had 91 and 94 yard returns and rushed for 124 yards on nine carries scoring two more touchdowns in the win.

Eli Williams
6-1, 200-pounds
Running Back
Pleasant Grove High School

Williams rushed for 203 yards on 29 carries in the 32-6 win against Lee Montgomery. The senior scored twice on runs of 37 and 18 yards.

Gavin Marsh
5-9, 150-pounds
Hartselle High School

Hartselle is a team that is never flashy, but plays the game traditionally with great fundamentals, so head coach Bob Godsey had to love what he saw from Marsh in the opening game when he booted home three field goals in the 23-0 win against Athens. The senior hit on 39, 43 and 29 yard tries.

Matrell Smith
6-5, 240-pounds
Defensive End
Wenonah High School

The senior led the effort to hold Midfield to -3 yards rushing in the 28-14 win. Smith made six tackles and had four sacks in the season opener.

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