North Alabama Playoff Recaps

This clash of the big boys in class 5A proved as one of the best first round games in the state, if not the best. Fort Payne came to upset Russellville, but the Golden Tigers hung on for a 35-31 win as Fort Payne's last hope pass into the end zone fell incomplete.

For much of the game Fort Payne controlled the action, and at the end of the first half of play it appeared Russellville might make an early exit from the 5A title race. All that changed in the second half, as the Golden Tigers rallied behind their prize running back, Brent Calloway for a come-from-behind victory.

Calloway rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns in the contest, with the biggest play of the game coming when he turned a fourth-and-one into a 14-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers the lead with just over two minutes remaining in the game. It was the second fourth down conversion of the drive.

Fort Payne wouldn't go away easily, as they drove the ball back to the Russellville 18 behind the excellent play of Fort Payne's quarterback, Kyle Crabtree. Crabtree launched a pass into the end zone on the final play of the game, but it was broken up by two Tiger defenders.

Tuscumbia: The Deshler Tigers were not impressive in the first half of Friday nights 42-14 victory over Plainview, but the Tigers came to life in the second half behind the strong arm of quarterback Chase Blackburn.

Blackburn threw for three touchdowns in the third quarter, and Jonathan Bates, rushed for the fourth touchdown of the quarter to give Deshler a 42-0 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter.

Blackburn had four touchdown passes on the evening. He found Chris Holland for the first from 12 yards. In the third quarter he hit Jonathan Bates for a 47-yard touchdown strike, another to Deion Belue from 26 yards, and the last one was complete to Coleman Miller from 13 yards.

Deshler will face one of the best teams in the state next week, as they take on Tana Patrick and North Jackson. It projects as a great game.

Lexington: Winston County's Josh Johnson was held in check for most of the evening. When the Yellow Jackets needed a score they called the big man's number, and he answered.

Lexington took a 6-0 lead into the locker room at the half, but Winston County put up two touchdowns in the second half to come away with the win. Jaice Hampton set up the first of two Josh Johnson scores as he hauled in a 39 yard pass from Justin South to set the Jackets up at the 10-yard line. Johnson carried it in from 10 yards with several defenders hanging on him.

Johnson scored his second touchdown of the evening after a Winston County interception. Johnson rumbled 39 yards for the touchdown, the PAT was no good, and Winston County held on for a 13-6 victory as Jaice Hampton intercepted a Golden Bears pass on their final drive of the night.

Josh Johnson finished the game with 117 yards and two touchdowns on 18 attempts.

Tyler Marks and Kollin Ergle led the Jackets with 12 tackles each from their outside linebacker positions. Ergle also had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. This sets up a rematch with the Sulligent Blue Devils next week. Winston County defeated Sulligent during region play 28-13. The Blue Devils are out to avenge their only region loss of the season.

Hamilton: Josh Hollingsworth accounted for all five of the Aggies touchdowns in the first half. The Aggies took a 35-0 lead at halftime and cruised to a 35-7 win.

Hollingsworth threw for three touchdowns, and ran for two more in the opening half of play. He played almost perfectly in the half of football he played.

Hollingsworth had touchdown passes of 21, 36 and 21 yards. He also rushed the ball for 79 yards down to the one-yard line before taking it in for the touchdown. Seconds before the first half came to a close Hollingsworth broke off a 40-yard touchdown scamper to put the Aggies ahead the rest of the way.

The Aggies linebacker, Blake Beck had four sacks and 11 tackles to lead Hamilton on defense.

The Aggies win sets up another big game early in the playoffs, as they face the West Morgan Rebels this week. The Rebels are coming off a 35-19 thrashing of the Vinemont Eagles and currently 10-1 on the season.

Good Hope: Colbert County went into Good Hope and came away with a 33-6 victory. The Indians were led by bruising fullback, JaMarcus Goodloe, as he rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns in route to a physically played game.

The Indians had little trouble as Steward and Jomorris Ricks added touchdowns in the second half to give Colbert County a comfortable margin of victory.

The Indians will face Region foe, Elkmont this week. The Indians won the first contest 30-7 earlier in the season.

Sulligent: The Blue Devils Signal caller, Caleb Massey accounted for six touchdowns as Sulligent blasted Red Bay 46-13. Massey rushed for four touchdowns, and passed for two more as the Blue Devils set up a rematch with the Winston County Yellow Jackets this week.

Alexandria: The Valley Cubs defeated the Haleyville Lions by a final score of 49-28 Friday night as Terrell Stewart rushed for 301 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries. The win didn't come without a fight as the Lions took a 14-7 lead into the locker room at the break.

Haleyville's Jeremy White scored twice for the Lions in the first half. White took the kickoff back to the Valley Cubs 20-yard line before picking up the touchdown a few plays later. White hauled in a short pass later in the half and raced 81-yards to give the Lions a 14-7 halftime lead.

In the end Alexandria's ground game was too much for the Lions, as the Cubs rushed for six of their seven touchdowns on the evening.

Alexandria rushed for 372 yards and six scores. Haleyville could only manage 14 points in the second half as the Valley Cubs held Jeremy White in check.

The Valley Cubs will face host Oneonta this Friday.

Courtland: Perhaps the biggest upset of the first round competition came in the smallest classification, as the Berry Wildcats defeated R.A. Hubbard by a final of 8-6 in Courtland.

The Wildcats defense held Hubbard's Tecumseh Garth to less than 100-yards rushing on 34 attempts, while the Chiefs held the entire Berry offense to seven yards rushing in the first half. The Wildcats finished the game with just 72 yards rushing, but it was enough to get out of Courtland with a huge win.

Hubbard scored first just minutes before Berry's David Morrison scored on a quarterback keeper with just under five minutes to play in the game. He found Dustin Hammack in the endzone for the two-point conversion to give the Wildcats the 2-point victory.

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