Auburn, Jackson, Opelika Grab Challenge Wins
Auburn built a 23-0 lead over Spain Park by halftime Saturday night and cruised to a 30-3 win to close out the the fifth annual al.com Champions Challenge Preseason Prep Football Classic at Montgomery's Cramton Bowl.
Opelika beat Greenville 34-6 and Jackson downed Trinity 30-8 in the first two games of the 2010 Champions Challenge, which is hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association of the AHSAA.
Auburn 30, Spain Park 3 (Stats)
The Tigers, 13-1 last season on the way to the Class 6A semifinals, dominated the Jaguars on defense, limiting Spain Park to just six first downs, 71 rushing yards and 18 passing on the night. Coach Tim Carter’s offense rolled up 257 total yards, including 208 rushing despite nine penalties for 57 penalty yards.
Quarterback Cameron Echols rushed for 87 yards on eight carries and scored twice on runs of 3 and 1 yards. He had one run of 58 yards to set up one score. Echols also completed 4-of-9 passes for 40 yards. Marcus Harris added 46 yards on nine runs and scored once on a 1-yard run in the second period.
Mason Wachter booted a 37-yard field goal to start the scoring for Auburn with two minutes left in the first period. Just 1:21 later Rodney Joiner picked off Spain Park quarterback Reid Reinagel’s pass at the Jaguars 22-yard line and scored the game’s first touchdown to make it 10-0 heading into the second period.
Auburn controlled both sides of the ball the rest of the night.
Reinagle was 2-of-5 passing for 18 yards and was sacked three times for 19 yards in losses. Backup Nick Mullens was 0-of-5 passing and was sacked once. Steven Silvo led Spain Park with 32 yards rushing on two tries. He had the long play of the night for the Jags with a 21-yard run. Alex Robinson added 28 yards on 12 carries.
Destin Challenger led all defenders with 13 tackles for Spain Park. JaMichael Payne had six for Auburn and Josh Brown had five. The Tigers had 14 stops that led to 36 yards in losses for Spain Park.
Prior to the contest, Spain Park assistant coach Kenneth Hand, whose son Army Specialist Andrew Hand was killed July 24 while serving in Afghanistan, was presented a special letter of condolence from Major General Donald Campbell Jr. of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. The letter was presented by Lt.Col. Kevyn Bryant at the 50-yard line as both teams stood lining each 40 yard line.
Auburn opens the regular season next Friday against Valley while Spain Park travels to Georgia to take on Grayson High School.
Jackson 30, Trinity 8 (Stats)
Jackson rushed for 292 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns Saturday afternoon to beat Trinity Presbyterian 30-8 in the second game of the 2010 al.com Champions Challenge Preseason Prep Football Classic at Cramton Bowl.
The Aggies, 13-2 last season en route to the Class 4A state finals, totaled 419 yards with a 9-of-12 passing effort for 127 yards. Lardarious Bowe scored the first TD on a 5-yard run in the first quarter. Jacoby Ezell ran 28 yards in the second period for a TD, Joseph Jackson added a 3-yard run for a score in the third period and Jerel Foreman tacked on a 1-yard TD run in the final period. Lakendrick James also tackled Trinty quarterback Josh Watkins in the end zone for a safety in the second period.
Jackson led all rushers for the Aggies with 93 yards on 14 carries. He also had three catches for 52 yards. Ladarius Richardson added 71 on five tries with on run covering 47 yards. Six different backs had runs of 13 yards or longer for Coach Jeff Kelly’s Aggies. Dustin Moseley did all the passing for Jackson.
Watkins and Allen Wood combined to complete 29-of-43 passes for 263 yards for Trinity, 11-1 last year in Class 3A. Wood’s 69-yard pass to Walker VanHooser in the final quarter accounted for the Wildcats’ only TD. Watkins was 25-of-35 for 163 yards and Wood finished 4-of-8 for 100. Mark White, who set the AHSAA single-season record last year as a sophomore with 106 receptions, caught 10 passes for 85 yards Saturday.
William Stabler’s eight tackles led Trinity’s defense. Weston Epperson added seven and Will Patty had two sacks. Cortez Williams led the Aggies with six stops. Kyle Poelinitz had a sack for 19 yards.
Opelika 34, Greenville 6 (Stats)
Opelika turned two Greenville turnovers into touchdowns Friday night as the Bulldogs downed the Tigers 34-6 to claim the first game victory of the 2010 al.com Champions Challenge preseason football classic at Montgomery's Cramton Bowl.
The Champions Challenge continues Saturday with a doubleheader at Cramton Bowl, beginning at 5 p.m. with Jackson meeting Trinity. The final game pits Auburn and Spain Park at approximately 7:30. Both games will be televised live by WIAT TV (CBS 42).
Opelika head coach Brian Blackmon, the older brother of Greenville head coach Ben Blackmon, watched the Bulldogs dominate the line of scrimmage as the offense rolled up 19 first downs and 324 total yards.
It was two defensive plays that put the 6A team over the top, however. Leading 7-0 in the first quarter after Cameron Hill’s 15-yard scoring run at 9:32 on the clock capped Opelika’s first scoring opportunity of the night, defensive back Deanthony Huguley came up with the first defensive gem. He picked off a deflected pass at the Tigers’ 33-yard line just a minute after the first TD and sped untouched into the end zone for the second Opelika TD. William Black, who booted all four extra-point kicks he tried on the night, made it 14-0.
Greenville settled down in the second quarter and drove 80 yards on nine plays to notch its only touchdown. The TD came on Jamall Hamilton’s 17-yard run with 4:28 left in the half.
Opelika drove 83 yards on nine plays and took a 21-6 lead when Daniel Pritchett bulled in for a touchdown midway through the third quarter. That’s when the defense stepped up again. Kent Riley recovered a Greenville fumble at the Tigers 12-yard line to set up Hill’s 1-yard run for his second TD of the game. Hill finished with a game-high 133 yards on 15 carries for the Bulldogs.
The final score came on quarterback Calvin Bryant’s 23-yard run with 8:47 to play.
Bryant finished with 40 yards on five carries and was 2-of-3 passing for 49 yards. Starting quarterback Pritchett was 8-of-10 passing for 82 yards. Paul Rowe had three catches for 28 yards and set up the first TD with a 22-yard punt return. Trevor Todd added two receptions for 49 yards including one covering 38 yards from Bryant.
Patrick Bedgood led Greenville with 58 yards rushing on seven carries. Dontae Lee add 42 on nine tries. Riley, who had eight net yards on 12 runs, was 6-of-14 passing for 97 yards. He had 28 yards in losses due to the fast-rushing Opelika defense.
Jay Johnson caught two passes for 62 yards with one going for 45 yards.
Defensively, Terrance Thompson led Greenville with nine tackles and Tijaun Rudolph added seven. Kurt Hale and Tyler Peppers had six tackles each for Opelika. Jamario Alford also had five with one 14-yard sack and another tackle resulting in a nine-yard loss.
Tyler Johns and Huguley each had interceptions.