Tuscaloosa, Ala.--Speedy running back Ostin McPherson showed his toughness time and time again on a cold night at Bryant-Denny Stadium as he carried the ball 27 times for 155 yards and two scores to earn MVP honors as St. Paul’s defeated Mortimer Jordan 41-26 to win the Class 5A title.
Combining with quarterback Miller Mosley, who added 81 yards on the ground and two more scores, McPherson was part of a St. Paul’s rushing attack that powered for 278 yards on the ground while holding Mortimer Jordan to just 65 yards on 30 attempts. That was one of the biggest differences in the game said St. Paul’s Coach Steve Mask.
It didn’t take long for St. Paul’s to get things going as the Saints looked to defend their 2014 title. Taking the opening kickoff they went on a 15-play march that ended with McPherson carrying it over from five yards out for the touchdown. Eating up 6:14 of the clock in the process the Saints then proceeded to get a three-and-out on Mortimer Jordan that took less than a minute, putting the Blue Devils’ defense back on the field.
That proved to be bad news as St. Paul’s once again went on the offensive. This time it was an eight-play, 54-yard drive that finished with a Mosley six-yard run. Dominating the first quarter with 116 total yards to just 11 for Mortimer Jordan, the Saints held a commanding two touchdown lead after the first 12 minutes.
With Duncan Hodges and the offense struggling to get anything going Mortimer Jordan finally got the help it was looking for when B.J. Edmonds fumbled a punt at his own four-yard line or St. Paul’s. That gave the Blue Devils a very short field and Spencer Brown made it pay off with a two-yard touchdown run to put the visitors on the board.
Edmonds didn’t let the mistake ruin his night however as he finished off the next St. Paul’s drive with a short touchdown run to put the Saints in front 20-6 with 6:58 left in the second quarter. Two Mortimer Jordan possessions later it would be Edmonds again making the play, this one to essentially put the game away. Dropping back to pass on third and 17 from his own 23 Hodges was picked off by Edmonds and he raced untouched into the end zone for the touchdown. Just like that it was 27-6 St. Paul’s and the Saints had things firmly in hand.
The Blue Devils answered back halfway through the third quarter when Hodges capped of a 71-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to cut the lead down to 27-12, but just before the end of the quarter Miller’s second touchdown plunge of the game for St. Paul’s put them ahead 34-12. St. Paul’s would tack on another score before Mortimer Jordan added a pair of late touchdowns the make the final 41-26.