Yellow Jackets-Lions Finish Strong

The Winston County Yellow Jackets (2A) played host to the Haleyville Lions (4A) Friday night at Malcom Blake Stadium in Double Springs, (Ala). The contest was the last for each team, as both were eliminated from the play-offs two weeks earlier. The two towns are separated by only 15 miles, and the two schools have always been a natural rivalry game. did have an opportunity to see a very good football game and take a look at a couple of future prospects from each team.

Haleyville's Jeremy White has been receiving some interest from several schools around the South, and he talks to about his recruitment.

"UAB, Samford, Georgia Tech and a couple other schools have been showing some interest," Jeremy White stated.

Coach Spiller talked with about his talented athlete.

"Jeremy is a very hard worker, and he runs bigger than he is," he said. "He has been banged up a little bit this year because we've had to depend on him a lot over the season."

"He has gotten better and continues to work hard, and that's the kind of kids you want to have playing for you."

White had more than 100 yards rushing on the night and several pass receptions for near, or more than 50 yards. He also had three touchdowns on the evening.

Winston County has a young offensive lineman who is probably flying under the radar a bit. He has come on toward the end of the year to play a key role for the Jackets. Dillon Lowman is 6-4, and a very solid 280 pounds.

Coach Dan Hogan speaks of his young offensive lineman.

"If he will work hard during the off-season with his agility he can be a very good player for us. He's young, and we need to work hard on his technique and footwork. He has the size and the build to be a dominating force on the offensive line in the next two seasons," Coach Dan Hogan stated.

The game began with Haleyville receiving the kickoff and keeping the ball for more than six minutes of the first quarter before Jeremy White scored from four yards out on a straight dive play. The PAT sailed wide, and the score stood at 6-0 in favor of the Lions.

On the ensuing kickoff Winston County started from their own 24-yard line only to fumble the ball to the Lions on their very first play from scrimmage.

Three plays later Jeremy White scored his 2nd touchdown of the evening from one yard out. The Lions lined up to attempt the two point conversion, and Andrew McCarley found an open receiver in the end zone to leave the score Haleyville 14, Winston County 0.

The score remained 14-0 at the end of the 1st quarter.

Jaice Hampton returned the kickoff 24 yards for the Jackets to set up near mid-field. Adam Flanigan gained 11 yards on first down, and the Jackets continued to run the ball right at the Lion defense.

Adam Flanigan broke loose for 25 yards and carried the ball inside the 1-yard line. Flanigan would score from one yard out on the next play. The PAT was blocked, and Haleyville held a 14-6 advantage moments into the 2nd quarter.

The Yellow Jackets tried an onside kick which set the Lions up at midfield. The Jacket defense stiffened and appeared to force the Lions to punt the ball away, but Coach Spiller rolled the dice on 4th and 4 and ran the fake punt. A swing pass to White saw him race inside the 5-yard line before being belted out of bounds by Winston County's Josh Kelly.

Jeremy White recorded his 3rd touchdown of the night on a quick pitch from the 2-yard line. Coach Spiller faked the PAT, and the Hayleyville receiver couldn't haul in the pass as the score remained 20-6 after the failed fake PAT attempt.

After Halyville forced a Jacket punt, the Winston County defense held the Lions to a three and out, but Coach Spiller faked yet another punt and this time it came back to bite him as the Jackets took over on downs at the 50-yard line.

The first play from scrimmage Brett Bryson hit Josh Kelly down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown pass, which cut the lead to 20-14 after Winston County completed a two point attempt.

The score stood remained 20-14 at the break.

In the second half Winston County came out with a long drive that was capped off by a Josh Johnson 50 rumble for a touchdown, the PAT was blocked and the score was knotted 20-20.

After stopping the Lions on their next possession the Jackets handed Haleyville two gifts in the form of a fumble and a pass interception that resulted in two Lion touchdowns to push the score out to 34-20.

The Jackets appeared headed for a touchdown when Josh Kelly ripped the Lion defense for 45 yards to move the ball into scoring position, but the following play the Jackets coughed the ball up again as the Lion defenses thwarted yet another scoring opportunity by the Jackets.

The Jacket defense held Haleyville to a three-and-out to force a punt. With just under four minutes left to play in the game Winston County was able to put together another drive that resulted in a touchdown with less than a minute to play.

The Jackets did not conceed defeat until the last play of the game after an onside kick was recovered by the Haleyville Lions. The contest ended 34-28 with Haleyville taking a knee to run out the clock.

ScoutSouth caught up with the Lions' head man after the game.
"It was a typical Winston County, Haleyville game," Coach Spiller said. "They always play us hard. Last year they didn't win a game, and they came to Haleyville and took us late into the game before we were able to create some space."

"You can see the improvement from a year ago. Coach Hogan does a good job, and he will continue to build their program back to where they were in years past."

Coach Spiller also reported on his own squad for the 2008 season.

"We lose five guys from this year's team, so we are expecting to a better football team next year. We need to get our guys in the weight room this off-season and work hard to put ourselves in a good position for next season," Spiller concluded. source for Alabama high school football.

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