Stars of Alabama 4A-6A - Player of the Week

This week's Player of the Week is a duo in Hoover's junior quarterback Ryan Carter (6-2, 180 lbs.) and sophomore place kicker Larson Real (5-9, 150 lbs.). Stars of Alabama for Week 3.

The Hoover Bucs suffered a crushing 44-16 loss to Camden County (Ga.) at home in 2008, and they were determined to return the favor in this renewal.

Hoover fell behind 27-14 at halftime allowing 280 yards in offense, but a national television audience watched Hoover do something they don't often have to do, dig themselves out of a hole. The Bucs turned the tables on the Georgia team and amassed 275 yards offensive yards in the second half.

Quarterback Ryan Carter completed 19-of-33 pass attempts for 252 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 50 yards and scored two more touchdowns. The junior was masterful on the final drive showing great poise and presence putting his team in a position to win the game with a kick from's second Player of the Week.

Kicker Larson Real kicked a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter, a 21-yarder with four minutes remaining to erase the deficit to a 27-27 tie. With seconds remaining, Real was called on again. After being iced by the Camden County coaches' timeout, he booted home a 33-yard game winner in a 30-27 vindication.

Second-ranked Hoover will face a rivalry game this week hosting Thompson (0-3), a team hungry for an upset. Stars of Alabama

Jamal Woodyard
5-10, 195 pounds
Senior Running Back
Fairhope High School

Fairhope came into the third week of the season with two wins over McGill-Toolen and 5A St. Paul's. Woodyard has been an instrumental part of the Pirates' success. Woodyard racked up 384 yards on 32 carries averaging an astonishing 12 yards per carry. He scored all six touchdowns in the 40-20 win over Foley.

Woodyard ran for 240 yards and scored four times in the first half alone. His touchdown scores included two one-yard runs with the remaining scores on runs of two-yards, eight-yards, 90-yard and 80-yards.

Woodyard has several scholarship offers including Mississippi State and Southern Miss.

Fairhope will travel this week to Baldwin County (2-1). Their opponent is 0-1 in the region while the Pirates have two region wins.

Jay LeGrand
6-1, 195 pounds
Senior Quarterback
Ryan Mullins
5-8, 150 pounds
Junior Place Kicker
Dothan High School

Dothan (2-1) pulled off a shocker Friday night when they defeated Opelika for the first time since 1973, snapping an 11-game losing streak against the Dawgs in a 45-41 thriller. LeGrand passed for 273 of the team's 352 yards scoring four times, including two scores in the final two minutes. He also completed a two-point conversion pass on the first of the two late scores to narrow the score Opelika's lead to 41-38.

After an onside kick recovery, the senior faced third and 10 from the opponent's 48-yard line and dropped a short pass off to Brandon Knight who took it to the house in the final seconds of the game.

Meanwhile, Mullins, who executed the perfect onside kick, connected on three field goals of 27, 35 and 32 yards and kicked all four extra points in a game where every point mattered.

Dothan travels this week to face a struggling Smiths Station (1-2). They are winless in the region while Dothan is 1-1.

Gregory Hill
5-11, 165 pounds
Senior Wide Receiver/Safety
Eufaula High School

Eufaula carried a 1-1 record into the home game against undefeated Tallassee Friday night, and Eufaula's Greg Hill accounted for three touchdowns in the 28-14 win.

Hill scored his first touchdown of the night on a 55-yard punt return in the first quarter to close a 7-0 deficit. He caught a 60-yard pass from quarterback Demonte Jett in the second quarter. The senior topped off the night with his most impressive effort coming in the fourth quarter. Tallassee had come within seven points, 21-14, but on the ensuing kickoff Hill returned it 99 yards to seal the 28-14 region win.

Eufaula is 2-0 in region play and hosts undefeated Beauregard this week. They also have a 2-0 record in region play.

Akeem Appleton
6-0, 175 pounds
Junior Running Back
Kyle Conkle
6-4, 210 pounds
Senior Linebacker
Fort Payne High School

The Wildcats got off to another slow start, a 20-0 deficit to be exact, but that's why they play 48 minutes and not 24. After scoring seven points in the first half, they scored 27 points in the second half. Appleton accounted for all five touchdowns which included nine carries for 43 yards and three touchdowns and caught seven passes for 126 yards and two more scores.

Fort Payne won 34-32 over an exciting Arab (1-2) team. Arab's two losses were by a total of three points, and their win over Scottsboro was a two-point, 9-7 margin.

Conkle picked up the defense and accounted for 16 tackles, 12 solo and one tackle for a loss. The senior also had a sack, a quarterback pressure and had five big hits for the night.

Fort Payne (3-0) will face a rejuvenated Southside-Gadsden this week (2-1) in a big region game. Both teams are 2-0 in the region.

Brandon Wells
6-4, 175 pounds
Junior Quarterback
Calera High School

Wells completed seven of 13 passing attempts for 170 yards and a touchdown. Four of the six incomplete passes were dropped balls. He rushed for 197 yards on 19 carries averaging 10.4 yards per carry scoring three more touchdowns in the 42-21 win over Jemison (1-2).

Calera is off to a 3-0 start with two regions wins, and they will face undefeated Bibb County who also has a 2-0 record in the region while outscoring opponents 142-13.

Will Lang
5-10, 175 pounds
Junior Quartberack
Hartselle High School

Lang was nearly perfect in the Tigers' eye-catching 49-12 win over previously undefeated East Limestone. The junior completed 14-of-15 pass attempts for 243 yards scoring three times and rushing for two more touchdowns.

The Tigers are 3-0 and 2-0 in the region. Hartselle will have their hands full this week when the seventh ranked Tigers face the second-ranked Russellville who are also undefeated and have won two region games.

Daniel Arant
6-3, 195 pounds
Senior Quarterback
Holtville High School

Arant's team is off to an impressive 3-0 start. The senior completed eight of 14 passing attempts for 156 yards and two touchdowns in the team's 22-21 win over Montgomery Catholic.

Holtville has two region victories as they face a dangerous, if not snake-bitten, Alabama Christian (1-2) this week. ACA has lost their last two games by three points in each game including an overtime loss.

Zach Jones
5-11, 205 pounds
Junior Linebacker
Clay-Chalkville High School

Jones and his teammates took their record to 3-0 with a 21-12 win over the previously undefeated Shades Valley (2-1). The junior had 15 tackles in the win. Clay-Chalkville will have to avoid letting down their guard this week when they face 0-3 Pell City, a team which has managed only seven points in three games.

Zeke Walters
6-4, 235 pounds
Senior Linebacker
Briarwood Christian School

The Southern Miss commitment racked up 16 tackles in the 16-14 win over undefeated John Carroll in a big region win. The sixth-ranked Lions (2-1) will face Moody (2-1) this week with both teams undefeated in region play.

Coty Blanchard
6-1, 180 pounds
Senior Quarterback
D.J. Fife
6-0, 150 pounds
Senior Running Back
Cherokee County High School

Blanchard led his team to a 49-21 win over Hokes Bluff for their third overall victory and their second region win of the season. He completed nine of 10 passing attempts for 166 yards scoring three touchdowns. He also punted three times for a 43-yard average. Blanchard is committed to play baseball for Mississippi State.

Fife rushed for 152 yards on eight carries scoring three times on runs of 1, 73 and 13 yards. He added another 87 yards in receptions including a 43-yard score.

Their fourth-ranked football team will face undefeated and 10th-ranked Oneonta this week in a big region matchup.

Honorable Mention:

Chris Branch, 6-1, 185 pounds, Senior Quarterback, Mountain Brook – Branch completed 19-of-28 pass attempts for 304 yards in their 36-17 win over Pelham. He also rushed for 58 yards. The eighth ranked Spartans will face undefeated Spain Park this week.

Frank Rivers, Senior Quarterback, Fairfield – Rivers completed 15-of-22 pass attempts for 319 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers' 46-0 win over Carver Birmingham. The win takes them to 2-0 in their region.

Jonathan Embry, 6'3 165 pounds, Senior Quarterback, Arab - Completed seven of 133 passing attempts for 140 yards and a touchdown. Rushed for 170 yards on 26 carries scoring four times in a 34-32 loss to undefeated Fort Payne.

Drew Phillips, 6-0, 185 pounds, Senior Running Back, Boaz High School - Boaz defeated Albertville 31-19 with a heavy reliance on the BYU commitment. The senior rushed for 248 yards on 36 carries while battling cramps. He scored two touchdowns on runs of two and 58 yards. Phillips has more than 600 yards rushing in three games.

Attention High School Coaches: Submit your nominations each week for 'Stars of Alabama' by emailing

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