Benjamin Russell Wins Champions Challenge Opener


        Benjamin Russell rolled up 318 yards as quarterback Bryant Horn completed 9-of-14 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in the Wildcats’ 28-14 win over Walker High School Friday night in the 8th annual Champions Challenge preseason football opener.
        The AHSAA Champions Challenge continues Saturday at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl with Walter Wellborn of Anniston playing Straughn at 5 p.m., followed by Bob Jones of Madison taking on Enterprise at 7:30.
        Horn, who played only three quarters, directed two quick first-quarter drives to give Benjamin Russell a 14-0 lead.
        DeAndra Graham climaxed a five-play, 48-yard drive bulling in from the 2-yard line to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 5:03 left in the period. The march took only 78 seconds and showcased Benjamin Russell’s fast-paced offense.
        LaBrenkin Johnson found himself wide open in the right flat near midfield on the next Wildcat series as a scrambling Horn connected for what turned out to be a 56-yard touchdown. Collin Sharpe kicked his second extra point with 1:21 left in the quarter. The drive was also another fast one – using only two plays and covering 58 yards in 38 seconds.
        Walker, which was flagged eight times for 90 yards in penalties before intermission, was sparked by a 38-yard pass completion from Bryant Atkins to Keyon Abrahm midway through the second quarter. The Vikings marched 85 yards in 18 plays to finally get on the board with 2:20 left in the half. Abrahm grabbed a perfect throw with a diving catch from the left-handed Atkins at the goal line for a 7-yard TD. Brayden Banks’ kick made it 14-7.
        Benjamin Russell moved 71 yards on seven plays in just 2:42 to start the third quarter with Graham scoring his second touchdown on a 6-yard run to give the Wildcats a 21-7 lead. Later in the period, Coach Danny Horn’s team began a march at its own 35 and scored on the third play of the fourth quarter as Jerome Harvey scored from the 2 for Walker’s final TD.
        Walker got its final touchdown on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Jackson Holladay with 2:41 to play. The score was set up by Holladay’s 45-yard pass to Karter Smith, who streaked down the right sideline before being knocked down at the 1 by Benjamin Russell’s Eron Deloney.
        Ellis Holloway was Benjamin Russell’s leading rusher with 50 yards on eight carries. Horn also had 31 yards on seven carries.
        Joe Bell led Walker with 33 yards on nine carries. Atkins was 10-of-19 passing for 115 yards and Holladay was 4-of-7 for 54 yards for the Vikings of Coach John Holladay. Abrahm had seven catches for 93 yards.
        Tabias Russell had nine tackles and Scott Sturdivant eight for the Wildcats’ defense.  Sawyer Smith led Walker with nine stops and Cody Brown had eight.


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