With only a few more weeks of the regular season remaining, many teams are beginning to face reality as to if they will make it to post-season play. Volleyball teams are approaching area tournaments and basketball season is a week away from officially starting. A special thanks goes out to our wonderful sponsors and supporters. We will continue to strive to bring you the most up to date scores, stats, and news surrounding Blount County's teams and athletes.
After starting the season 5-0, the Cleveland Panthers have dropped their last three games, moving them to third place in 2A Region 7. The most recent loss dealt to the Panthers came in overtime against the Tarrant Wildcats. While both Cleveland and Tarrant totaled over 300 yards offensively, neither team was able to put points on the scoreboard until the last quarter. Cleveland’s kicker, Juan Castro, stepped up big in the closing minutes of the game. At the 9:37 mark, Castro gave Cleveland their first lead of the night with a 34-yard field goal, but this was answered on the ensuing kick-off as the Wildcats returned it 79-yards to the house for a touchdown. With 9:10 remaining, Tarrant led 7-3. Six scoreless minutes passed by in a back-and-forth defensive stronghold until Caleb Collum punched it in from one yard out. Castro’s extra-point attempt was good to give Cleveland a 10-7 lead with 1:27 to play. Again, Tarrant came up with another explosive play, this time a 73-yard touchdown pass to regain the lead, 13-10. The Panthers then drove the field with time running out to set up a 35-yard field goal. Castro’s first attempt was wide and no good, but Tarrant had called a timeout in an attempt to ice the kicker. Castro’s second attempt was solid to tie the game 13-13 with 0:17 on the clock. Time expired on the Wildcat’s next possession, sending the game in to overtime. Cleveland elected to start overtime on offense and scored fairly quickly as Nick Randolph dove in for the touchdown from three yards out. After a successful extra-point attempt, the Panthers led once again, 20-13. Following Cleveland’s extra-point, it was Tarrant’s turn. The Wildcat’s stalled on their first two attempts at the end-zone, but were successful on their third try, completing an 18-yard touchdown pass. Instead of kicking the extra-point to send the game in to another overtime, the Wildcats elected to try for a 2-point conversion. The risk payed off as Tarrant’s #7 caught the pass in the end zone to complete the upset over Cleveland, 21-20. Caleb Collum had an ample game on both sides of the ball, completing 6 of 12 passes for 78 yards and rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown. He also added eight tackles on defense. Outside of Collum, Nick Randolph was the only other Panther to score or carry the ball for Cleveland. In addition to his 26 receiving yards and eight tackles, Randolph contributed 95 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts. Hunter Green led the defense for the fifth straight game with nine tackles. Due to the loss, Cleveland has put their home playoff chances at risk. The Panthers, (5-3, 3-2), return home this week to face off with Cold Springs (5-3, 4-1). Cleveland will make the playoffs regardless of the results this Friday night, but they control their own destiny as to whether they finish second or third.
In the BCS Game of the Week, Hayden travels to No.8 Mortimer Jordan to take on their arch rivals in a battle for the 5A Region 6 Championship. Hayden, (7-1, 5-0), defeated Fairview last week in Big 12 fashion, 50-40, setting a team record for points scored by both teams in a single game. The Wildcats and the Aggies combined for 987 offensive yards. Hayden took a 30-14 lead in to the half, but Fairview made it interesting in the second half. Ragan Ashley first hit Scott Bennett for a 7-yard touchdown, then Logan Brooks rushed for a 37-yard touchdown, cutting the Wildcat led to three with 5:50 to play in the third. Hayden’s Levi Snider answered on their next possession by breaking off a 43-yard run for six to extend the Wildcat’s lead, 37-27. Fairview went on to score twice more in fourth, but the first half deficit proved too much to overcome as Johnson and Snider each added a touchdown in the fourth quarter to put it out of reach, 50-40. Hayden finished with 506 rushing yards compared to Fairview’s 81, but the Aggies attacked relentlessly through the air, throwing with 319 yards and four touchdowns. The Wildcat’s quarterback, Sheridan Miller, was 2 of 2 passing with 81 yards and a touchdown. Colton Shirley was a threat on both sides of the ball with five tackles, one receiving touchdown, and 155 all-purpose yards. Leonard Johnson and Levi Snider each had another impactful performance in the rushing assault, combining for 365 yards and five touchdowns. Johnson carried the ball 15 times for 241 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were over 55 yards. Snider, who also lead the team with six tackles, finished the game with 124 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries. Caleb Wilson contributed a touchdown of his own and rushed 11 times for 47 yards. Jacob Sawyer led the team in tackles as well with six, while Garrett Rheame added five. Hayden’s last region championship takes us back to 1992 when they repeated as the 4A Region 10 Champs. This will be the 40th meeting between Mortimer Jordan and Hayden, a series in which the Blue Devils have ousted the Wildcats 27 times. Last year, Mortimer Jordan won for the fourth consecutive time, 40-27.
With a 49-35 win over Hanceville last week, Locust Fork has put themselves in a position for a region championship. The Hornets struck early and often in the first half to take a 27-14 lead at halftime, but they let the Bulldogs hang around in the second half. Hanceville scored on their opening possession of the third quarter to climb back within six points of Locust Fork. After Hanceville’s Alex Campbell found Kaine Yates for a 15-yard touchdown, Locust Fork responded with back to back scores. The first one came with 10:49 to play in the fourth as Laine Terry rushed for a 13-yard touchdown. Less than a minute later, Drew Rogers rushed for a 42-yard touchdown, giving Locust Fork a 49-27 lead. Hanceville scored with 1:09 remaining in the game to make it look closer than it actually was, but the Hornets prevailed, 49-35. Tyler Clevenger completed 3 of 4 passes for 35 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 48 yards on four carries. Drew Rogers, who led the team in tackles with 14, also led the Hornet’s rushing game with 15 carries for 170 yards and three touchdowns. Laine Terry finished with 107 yards on only seven carries. Elliot Dodson and Hunter Neely added 10 and 8 tackles respectively. If the Hornets can upend Fultondale on Friday night, they will be crowned the champions of 3A Region 6, which hasn’t happened since 2001. However, this task will not be an easy one. Fultondale, (7-1, 5-0), is averaging 49 points per game and allowing 19. Outside of their one loss to St. James, J.B. Pennington is the only other team to contest them, a game in which the Wildcats won going away, 49-34. Locust Fork, (7-2, 4-1), is currently tied for second place in the region with J.B. Pennington. A win over Fultondale will put the Hornets in first place and the Tigers would go to third. If the Hornets were to lose to Fultondale, the Tigers will lock in second place, win or lose, and Locust Fork will move back to third place.
Susan Moore kept their playoff hopes alive with a 35-21 showing against Vinemont, but the Bulldogs aren’t in the clear yet. Susan Moore, (2-6, 2-3), is tied with Holly Pond for the final playoff spot as we head in to the last week of region action. To make the playoffs, Susan Moore has to beat J.B. Pennington this week and Vinemont has to upset Holly Pond. The Tigers are fresh off of an idle week and are looking to lock in a home playoff game in the first round. Official stats from Susan Moore’s latest victory over Vinemont will be added once they are received.
Oneonta will miss the playoffs this year after falling to Saks in a nail-biter, 27-24. The Redskins accumulated 305 yards of their own and gave up 468 yards to the opposing Wildcats. Colton Walker carried the weight in the rushing category with 185 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Ferris Phillips was 8 of 18 passing for 116 yards and an interception. Phillips’ leading receiver was Jaden Kent who brought down two receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. Kent also finished with 13 tackles. Beau Ragsdale led the team in tackles with 14 and Kevin Crim contributed ten. This will be the Redskin’s sixth time missing the playoffs since 1990, and the first time since Don Jacobs took over the program in 2010. Oneonta plays Anniston on the road this week and concludes the season next week at (3A) No.1 Piedmont.
Southeastern set a single game scoring record in their loss to Meek last week, 62-45. Along with their single game scoring record, Southeastern has also set a new record for points scored in a season, margin of victory (30), and most points scored in a single game by both teams (107). Southeastern’s offense was clicking on all cylinders against Meek, totaling almost 400 yards, but the Tiger’s offense proved to be just as powerful. The Mustangs surrendered 450 rushing yards to Meek’s Wing-T attack, but the defense did force three turnovers, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Harmon Barton. Southeastern quarterback, Seth Wadsworth, has established himself as an impact player, both on the team and in the region. In addition to his 103 rushing yards, Wadsworth threw four touchdowns and was 15 of 22 passing with 234 yards. Jordan Graham was the go-to receiver for Wadsworth, bringing down five receptions for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Graham is presently ranked No.2 in Blount County for receiving yards, only 64 yards behind Appalachian’s Peyton Dean. In addition to his 55-yard touchdown reception, Albert Tinney led the Mustang defense with 13 stops. Mitchell Young and Connor Barton totaled 12 tackles each. Southeastern plays host to R.A. Hubbard this week in hopes of getting their first ever region victory. The Chiefs are 2-6, 0-5 in region play.
Appalachian, (4-5, 0-5), lost to Talladega County Central in week nine, 53-13. The Eagles struggled on offense, totaling just over 200 yards. Trey Calvert, Blount County’s second leading rusher, carried the ball 29 times for 139 yards and one touchdown. Calvert’s performance put him over the 1,000-yard mark on the season. Jasper Hutchens had a difficult time in the pocket, completing only 5 of 17 passes for 65 yards and a score. Zach Walling and Chase Cooper led the defense with seven tackles each, followed by Calvert, Hutchens, Issac Duarte, and Andrew Whittington, who each added four tackles respectively. Appalachian concludes their season this week at home against Ragland (6-3).
By: Colton Costa
Posted: October 19th at 1:00 p.m.
*Note: All historical references credited to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society.
Shape'n Up Fitness Center is a 24-hour gym located in Oneonta, Alabama. While they do not currently have a main web page, we have linked their Facebook page address.