Parker Powers Addison Past Brantley

Addison running back Caleb Parker led the Bulldogs to the Class 1A title.

Birmingham, Ala.-—Addison proved that North Alabama football can get the job done with a 21-12 victory over perennial powerhouse Brantley Friday afternoon in the Class 1A State Championship game at Legion Field. Game MVP Caleb Parker was the star of the game with 133 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in the win.

The 6-0, 180 senior tailback, wide receiver, cornerback, kick returner was superb for Addison the entire contest. Early he had a 70-yard punt return wiped away because of a penalty. It didn't matter though because after a Brantley explosion for two quick touchdowns he took over.

But, it was Brantley that struck first thanks to the speed of junior running back James Pittman. Taking the handoff on his own 25, Pittman raced to daylight and put on the afterburners. He didn't slow down until he crossed the goal line with Brantley ahead 6-0.

Parker finished the season as the leading rusher and receiver for Addison.

The lead pushed out to 12-0 later in the second quarter as Brantley took over on its own 41 with 7:35 left in the half. With junior tailback Chris Booker carrying the load, Brantley quickly moved deep into Addison territory. At the 24 on second down and 12, Brantley struck for another big play as quarterback Edger Walker completed a touchdown pass to tight end Shane Corley off a play-action fake. It was Corley's eighth touchdown reception of the year and put Brantley ahead by 12 with just 4:16 left in the first half.

Then came the Parker show. Accounting for 54 of 68 yards on a 14-play drive that lasted 3:55, Parker gave Addison some life going into the half when he caught a four-yard touchdown pass on fourth and goal from quarterback Jake Gilliland. Now back in the game at 12-7, Addison would put the hammer down in the second half behind the play of Parker.

Pittman finished with just over 800 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on the season.

To open the second half Addison took the opening kickoff on its own 35 and proceeded to drive for a touchdown and take the heart of out Brantley. Once again using 14 plays, Addison marched 65 yards for the score. The final play came from the Brantley two-yard line on third down. When all else fails you give the ball to your best player and that's what Addison did with Parker taking it in for his second score of the day. With the extra-point Addison led 14-12.

The lead grew to 21-12 early in the fourth quarter with Addison again controlling the ball, this time for 10 plays, on a touchdown drive. Marching to the Brantley 28 they faced a fourth and six call. With all eyes on Parker Addison used a play-action fake in his direction before Gilliland hit Blake Turner on the sidelines. Latching onto the ball, Turner tight-roped his way into the endzone to put the game away and give Addison its first state championship since 1976.

Big 6-2, 225 junior Jeffrey Daniels was all over the field for Brantley with several tackles in the backfield.

For the game Parker led Addison in rushing with 84 yards on 21 carries and also added 49 yards receiving for the game. Pittman led Brantley with 102 yards on just nine carries while Booker added 69 on 15 carries. For the game Addison ran 26 more plays than Brantley and had 29 minutes for the game compared to just 19 for Brantley.


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