Hale County’s Deacon Medders In Week 11 Spotlight;
Guided The Wildcats To First State Football Playoff Win Since 2000
Hale County quarterback Deacon Medders used his talented arm to give the Wildcats of Coach Joey Milligan the lead over Houston Academy in last Friday night’s Class 2A first-round football playoff battle in Dothan. He closed out the 22-16 win with his legs and his tenacity to lead Hale County to the upset win over the No. 1 seed from Region 2.
His performance also earned him the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for the first week of the state playoffs.
Medders’ three TD passes covering 73, 54 and 33 yards had staked Hale County to a 22-8 lead in the fourth quarter when the Raiders (7-3) scored and closed the gap to 22-16 with 5:04 remaining.
Medders then ran the ball 10 straight times behind a determined offensive line as Hale County earned four first downs and ran out the clock to earn the Wildcats their first playoff victory since 2000.
Hale County’s win over the top-seeded Raiders was just one of nine such upsets in the first round. Milligan’s Wildcats (7-4), the fourth seed from Region 4, will host Washington County (10-1) Friday night at Moundville in Round 2.
His effort edged out another very interesting playoff finish.
Garrett Crider of Cullman led the Bearcats to a game-winning touchdown drive in the final minutes of a 20-14 Class 5A playoff win over Moody as he rushed for 30 of his game-high 141 yards in the winning march.
The final score, which came on the final play of the game, was quite bizarre, however. Facing one final play, Trey Moon took the handoff at the 1 and fumbled the ball into the end zone where Cullman receiver Auston Neal fell on it for the clinching touchdown.
Crider had a 4-yard TD run and 123 yards in the second half. The first-round victory was Cullman's eighth in a row and 11th since 2000. The Bearcats (8-3) of Coach Mark Britton travel to Southside-Gadsden (11-0) Friday night.
Two place-kickers also provided some exciting drama in other first-round playoff wins.
Cade Stinnett, Enterprise: Was a perfect 3-of-3 on field goals, including a game-winning 27-yarder in overtime to help the Wildcats beat Spain Park 30-27 in 6A. Stinnett also kicked field goals of 35 and 27 yards in regulation and was 3-of-3 on extra-point kicks.
Bram McGrady, Athens: Kicked a 45-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to give the Golden Eagles a come-from-behind 24-22 Class 5A win over Center Point.
Other highlights reported from round one of the playoffs included:
Jordan Bentley, Guntersville: The sophomore running back rushed 17 times for 184 yards and four touchdowns in the Class 4A Wildcats' 38-0 playoff win over Brooks. Bentley's TD runs covered 3, 59, 2 and 25 yards, giving him a school-record 33 on the season. He also became Guntersville's single-season rushing leader with 1,633 yards.
Ryan Sullivan, Falkville: Threw touchdown passes covering 55, 21 and 27 yards and scored on a 1-yard run as the Blue Devils won their first playoff game since 1999 with a 35-14 victory over Shoals Christian.
John Johnson, Charles Henderson: Rushed 12 times for 300 yards with five touchdowns in a 67-7 Class 4A win over Dora. He had TD runs of 35, 73, 65, 15 and 35 yards.
Brandon Lewis, Fultondale: Ran for 302 yards and three touchdowns (50, 7 and 30 yards) on 23 carries in the Wildcats’ 20-0 Class 2A win over Lexington.
Jamarius Henderson, Dale County: Carried only 14 times in less than three quarters for 234 yards rushing and five touchdowns in a 53-6 Class 3A win over B.B. Comer. The junior scored on runs of 7, 23, 70, 18 and 15 yards and also went over 2,000 yards rushing for the season.
Earnest Andrews, Fairhope: Rushed for 252 yards and five touchdowns on 18 carries as the Pirates rallied to beat Pelham 39-35 to advance to the second round in 6A.
Tyler Rogers, Mobile Christian: Rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns as the Leopards snapped their three-game losing streak with a 55-27 victory over Elba.
Dantley Coker, Southside-Gadsden: Rushed 30 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers' 30-14 victory over Class 5A Wenonah.
Lamarcus Adair, Pike County: Rushed for 212 yards on 41 carries with one touchdown as the Bulldogs upset Region 4 top seed Trinity Presbyterian 21-14 in Class 3A.
Roc Thomas, Oxford: Went over 2,000 yards on the season with 186 yards and three touchdowns as the Jackets beat Tuscaloosa County 50-22 to advance to the second round in 6A.
Tre Nation, Leeds: Totaled 191 yards rushing on 24 carries with two touchdowns (4 and 13 yards) in the Green Wave’s 34-20 Class 3A win over Barbour County.
Hayden Stephens, Tanner: Ran 25 times for 188 yards and four touchdowns as the defending 2A state champs beat Woodland 41-29. He scored on runs of 1, 20, 10 and 71 yards. Teammate Jonathon Fletcher also had a big night with 133 rushing yards on 17 carries. Fletcher also threw two TD passes covering 9 and 15 yards.
Kamryn Pettway, Prattville: Had 19 rush attempts for 184 yards and two touchdowns (56 and 10 yards) in a 30-15 loss to Foley in Class 6A.
Ito Smith, McGill-Toolen: Rushed for 180 yards on 23 carries, including an 80-yard TD run, as the Yellow Jackets edged Opelika 21-20 in 6A.
LaDarius Young, Midfield: Rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns (5 and 73 yards) on 13 carries and caught two passes for 77 yards as the Patriots advanced in 3A with a 36-13 win over Slocomb. He had a 68-yard TD reception.
Troy Dixon, UMS-Wright: Rushed for 173 yards and a TD as the defending Class 4A state champion Bulldogs beat Handley 31-13.
Jakoby Aldridge, Sweet Water: Opened Class 2A play with 172 yards rushing and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs shut out Goshen 46-0.
Isaiah Lewis, Foley: Rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries as Foley beat Prattville 30-15 for a Class 6A road win over the second-seeded Lions
Terrance “Tank” Hollingsworth, Berry: Rushed for 130 yards on 23 carries, threw two touchdown passes, made six tackles and recovered a fumble in a 20-14 win over Donoho.
Gage Davis, Gaylesville: Rushed for 140 yards on 24 carries in the Trojans' 36-13 loss to unbeaten Pickens County in 1A.
Blake Wimberly, Madison Academy: Gained 145 yards rushing on just eight carries and scored three touchdowns to lead defending 3A state champion Madison Academy (11-0) to a 49-7 win over J.B. Pennington. Wimberly scored on runs of 47, 45 and 3 yards and also had five tackles, two sacks and three tackles-for-loss.
Dallas Cockerham, Lamar County: Rushed for 135 yards on 29 carries, ran for a touchdown and threw for another in a 32-21 win over Samson.
Jordan Johnson, Vestavia Hills: Ran for 165 yards on 18 attempts and scored two touchdowns (1 and 16 yards) as the Rebels posted a 38-14 first-round playoff win over Decatur.
Cory Gill, Cottonwood: Was 28-of-47 passing for 340 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-26 loss to Oakman in Class 2A.
Dylan Mackey, Sand Rock: Completed 19-of-33 pass attempts for 300 yards and three touchdowns (56, 60 and 29 yards) in the Wildcats' 35-21 loss at Montgomery Academy.
Drew Guy, Fayette County: Was 16-of-27 passing for 272 yards and a touchdown in a 17-7 win over Opp. He was 12-of-14 for 222 yards in the second half.
Dylan Stone, Glencoe: Passed for 256 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score in the Yellow Jackets' 49-35 win over Hanceville.
Marcus Keys, Bessemer City: Accounted for 289 total yards – 177 yards passing with three touchdowns (20, 43 and 24 yards) and 112 yards rushing on 15 carries – in a 21-20 Class 6A win over Gadsden City.
Devonte’ Simon, Pickens County: Passed for 167 yards and rushed for 174 and accounted for three touchdowns as the unbeaten Tornadoes (11-0) posted a Class 1A win over Gaylesville 36-13. He scored on runs of 4, 44 and 90 yards and threw a 43-yard touchdown pass.
Matthew Jordan, Jackson: Was 14-of-17 passing for 195 yards and two touchdowns as the unbeaten Aggies (11-0) downed LeFlore 50-20 for a 5A win. Jordan also ran 13 times for 61 yards.
Landon Smothers, Muscle Shoals: Ran for 108 yards and touchdowns of 51 and 30 yards and also threw for 95 yards and scores of 39 and 26 yards in a 55-6 Class 5A victory over Mortimer Jordan.
Luke Phillips, St. Luke’s Episcopal: Completed 9-of-12 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score in the Wildcats’ 21-20 Class 1A win over Billingsley.
Carter McGill, American Christian: Caught five passes for 184 yards in a 54-28 Class 3A loss to T.R. Miller and scored on catches of 66 and 19 yards.
Landy Capetillo, Carver-Montgomery: Caught five passes for 170 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown reception, in a 31-12 Class 6A win over Blount.
Sherman Starks, Center Point: Caught three passes for 163 yards in a 24-22 Class 5A loss to Athens.
Brian Clark, Clay-Chalkville: Had five catches for 141 yards and three TDs (21, 45 and 65 yards)—all in the first half—in the Cougars’ 56-35 Class 6A playoff win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.
Ethan Jimmerson, Sand Rock: Caught five passes for 111 yards and a 60-yard touchdown. He also had an interception in the Wildcats' 35-21 loss at Montgomery Academy.
Terrell Martin, Moody: Hauled in seven receptions for 117 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown, in the Blue Devils' 20-14 Class 5A loss to Cullman.
Taylor Daugherty, Glencoe: Had 17 tackles, including two for a loss, in the Yellow Jackets' 49-35 win over Hanceville.
Exavyer Jackson, Piedmont: Posted 14 tackles, including five for lost yardage, with four sacks and a caused fumble in Piedmont's 38-0 victory over Winfield. Jackson also scored Piedmont's first touchdown on a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
Chance Usry, Southside-Gadsden: Had a pair of sacks and an interception in the Panthers' 30-14 victory over Wenonah.
Remington Fowler, Geneva County: Had two interceptions, one at the Bulldogs’ 6-yard line ending a St. Jude threat and the other a 33-yard return for a touchdown, in a 33-6 win over the Pirates.
Stetson Payne, G.W. Long: Had two interceptions, returning one for a 60-yard touchdown on the last play of the first half, in a 32-22 win over Aliceville.
Zakeith Lanier, Autaugaville: Totaled 13 tackles, including the game-ending stop in overtime, in a 28-20 Class 1A victory over A.L. Johnson.
Ty Mattox, Trinity Presbyterian: Had 20 tackles in a 21-14 Class 3A loss to Pike County.
Josh Thomas, Montgomery Academy: Intercepted two fourth-quarter passes in a 35-21 win over Sand Rock. He also completed 8-of-16 passes for 121 yards and ran 17 times for 158 yards.
Jeremiah Chaney, Berry: Registered 12 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in a 20-14 Class 1A win over Donoho.
Jalen Thompson, St. Paul’s Episcopal: Intercepted a deflected Demopolis pass late in the fourth quarter as the Saints rallied to win 21-14 in 5A.
Samuel Grisham, Lauderdale County: Recovered a fumble, returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown and rushed for 113 yards from his quarterback position to lead the Tigers past Geraldine 31-6 in Class 3A.
Cole Murphy, Gaylesville: Posted seven tackles on defense, completed 5-of-8 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 26 yards and a TD on eight carries in the Trojans' 36-13 loss at Pickens County.
Dant'e Reese, Hanceville: Made an interception, recovered a fumble and caught six passes for 79 yards in the Bulldogs' 49-35 Class 3A loss to Glencoe.
Tyler Sims, Saraland: Returned a punt 70 yards for a score as the Spartans improved to 10-1 with a 28-21 win over Gulf Shores in Class 5A.
Keith Mixon, Shades Valley: Returned a kickoff 96 yards for a TD and finished with 205 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in a 49-19 Mounties Class 6A win over Buckhorn. Mixon rushed for three TDs (3, 7 and 30 yards) and caught a 10-yard TD pass to round out his scoring plays.