Football season is finally here! Months of practice, 7 on 7's, team camps, and year long weight lifting routines, will finally begin to pay off. 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.
The opening week of high school football has come and gone. Here's an in-depth review of what happened in week zero, and what to look for in week one.
Week zero kicked off Thursday night in Remlap, Alabama, as the Southeastern Mustangs played host to the Appalachian Eagles. This game got off to a slow start due to a lightning delay in the first quarter. After almost an hour of delay, the game resumed, but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the opening quarter. Mid way in to the second quarter, both teams exploded on the offensive end. After Appalachian's Trey Calvert returned a 56-yard interception for a touchdown, Southeastern answered on the next possession to take a 7-6 lead. Both teams would score again before the end of the second, but the Mustangs would take a 14-13 lead in to halftime after stopping Appalachian's attempted two-point conversion. While Southeastern controlled much of the first half, the second half belonged entirely to the Eagles. Appalachian would go on to score twenty-one unanswered points to pull away with a victory and the coveted Rumble in Remlap trophy, 34-14. Appalachian will play host to Coosa Christian (0-1) in week one. The Eagles have never lost to Coosa Christian. Southeastern will travel to (2A) Cleveland this Thursday night to play the Panthers in their season opener.
Locust Fork and coach Chris Musso began week zero on the road against Carbon Hill, a team new to Class 3A. The game began slow as neither team was able to get any offense going in the first quarter. Carbon Hill struck first with a 15-yard passing touchdown, but failed to complete the two-point conversion. After several back and forth possessions and just before halftime, Locust Fork would get on the scoreboard with a 24-yard touchdown completion from Chase Rice to Daniel Goss. At the half, Locust Fork would have a one-point lead over Carbon Hill, 7-6. The opening minutes of the third quarter were much similar to those of the opening quarter with neither team being able to find the end zone. Tyler Clevenger, Locust Fork, finally got things rolling for the Hornets in the second half with a six-yard rushing touchdown. Clevenger would finish the game with fifty-eight yards on nine carries and a touchdown. Chase Rice and Drew Rogers would each add a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Hornets. Carbon Hill's red-zone appearances were few and far between as the Bulldogs got inside the twenty-yard line only once. Locust Fork finished with eighteen first downs, 334 total yards, and was 3-5 inside the red zone. Carbon Hill was held to only nine first downs and 150 total yards. The leading rusher for Locust Fork was Jerrett Peeples, who rushed for ninety yards on ten attempts. Senior quarterback, Chase Rice, combined for ninety-seven yards and two touchdowns, while Drew Rogers (Jr.) finished with seventy-three yards and a touchdown. In addition, Rogers led the Hornets on the defensive side of the ball with eight total tackles. Locust Fork will return home to take on Pisgah in week one. Pisgah is coming off of a 48-0 win over Section.
J.B. Pennington opened week zero in explosive fashion by hanging forty points on (3A) Brindlee Mountain. This was Pennington's first shut-out win at home since 2003, when the Tigers defeated Pleasant Valley, 54-0. Outside of the opening quarter, this game was never close. J.B. Pennington took a demanding twenty-point lead in to halftime and never looked back. Pennington's senior quarterback, Travis Cleveland, was much improved in his accuracy. Cleveland was 13-19 for 184 yards and threw for three touchdowns. Cleveland's go-to receiver, Bailey Dempsey, had six receptions for seventy-three yards, but also carried the ball on four attempts for forty-seven yards. Dempsey contributed three touchdowns. The second leading receiver was sophomore, Cole Littleton. Littleton finished with five receptions and sixty-one yards. Senior running back, Trey Griffin, was the Tigers' leading rusher with 154 yards on twenty-one carries and two touchdowns. J.B. Pennington hasn't started the season with back to back victories since 2007, but when they travel to Boaz on Friday night to play the Pirates, there's a good chance that they could change that. Boaz was open in week zero.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in week zero was Hayden's fall to (3A) Weaver, 42-21. Despite the final results, both teams opened up strong out of the gates. Hayden fell behind early in the first half, 21-7, but was able to score fourteen unanswered points before halftime to tie it up, 21-21. The Bearcats of Weaver dominated the second half, adding twenty-one more points to their total and holding the Wildcats scoreless. Hayden seniors, Colton Shirley and Leonard Johnson, combined for three touchdowns. Many people predicted this year's defense to be even better than last year's defense that allowed 17.6 points per game, but only time will tell. Hayden will look to regroup against (6A) John Carroll in week one. The Cavaliers were idle in week zero.
Cleveland, Oneonta, and Susan Moore will each open their regular season this week. Cleveland will open against Southeastern on Thursday night, Oneonta will host (5A) Guntersville, and Susan Moore will travel to (2A) West End, who fell to Glencoe in week zero, 28-21.
By: Colton Costa
Posted: August 21 at 7:00 p.m.
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.