Crenshaw teams hold playoffs in sight
Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Crenshaw County teams are gearing up for the playoffs. In the final games for their regions, each team is focused on winning, knowing the next games will determine their position for post season play.
Brantley triumphed over Pleasant Home with a 38-7 win on Oct. 20, bringing the Bulldogs record for the season to 4-4, 4-2 and placing them third in the region.
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Head Coach Ronald Jones, Jr. expected the win. With all injured players back in play, he said it was bound to happen.
“We play better since we got everybody back,” Jones said. “Everybody is healthy and ready to make a playoff push.”
Quarterback Jayden Parks completed a 21-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, placing the Bulldogs on the board. Brantley gained another touchdown before a 20-yard pass received by wide receiver Daylan Davis increased Brantley’s advantage to 19-0.
Jones noted the Bulldogs play a passing game.
“We throw it around,” he said. “We’ve got a quarterback, Jayden Parks, who hasn’t played all year. Going into the season he broke his foot. This is his first game back, so we were excited to put on a show for the fans.”
Just before the half, another touchdown widened the gap, then Parks completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Davis ending the second quarter at 32-0.
Early in the third quarter, Davis passed the ball 15 yards for the Bulldogs final touchdown.
Brantley will host Red Level for homecoming on Oct. 27.
Highland Home’s Flying Squadron remains undefeated after a shutout 41-0 win over Lafayette Friday. First in the region and ranked second by the Alabama Sportswriters Association riding high and focused to win.
Head coach Will Pouncey said the victory was based on the team’s ability to play as one.
“It’s just team execution,” Pouncey said. “We’ve been having a good streak, a few good weeks in a row, and are just continuing to build on that and trying to continue to get better each and every day. It’s rolling over to the field and I couldn’t be more proud of the team.”
The team seeks another win and a first-seed playoff berth, traveling to challenge similarly undefeated Reeltown on Oct. 27. Pouncey said he expects a battle from the Rebels, but feels the Squadron are prepared to take the victory.
“You’ve got two powerhouses going after [the win],” he said. “We feel good about it. This is for the region championship. The winner will be the one seed and have what should be an easier path through to the playoffs.”
Luverne School fell to Reeltown on Oct. 20, a 13-40 loss which landed the Tigers record at 6-3, 3-3, with the team in fourth place for the region.
Reeltown placed the first points on the board and were met with a Tigers’ touchdown when Mason Miller completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Dante Smith in the second quarter.
The Tigers had a win in sight, before a Reeltown touchdown advanced the Rebels.
Jose Vasquez kicked a 22-yard field goal just before the half.
Head coach Ed Rigby said the Tigers played well in the first half, a fact that changed when play resumed in the third quarter.
“We played a great first half,” Rigby said. “The score was 10-14 at halftime. But the second half was marred by penalties and turnovers. They were able to put the stretch on us.”
Miller threw for 60 yards and one touchdown and Myrez Gross rushed for 39 yards.
Rigby noted the team has the heart to win and is focused on correcting their mistakes.
“These guys are playing hard,” he said. “This is a self-inflicted wound that we’ve got to get cleaned up.”
Luverne has qualified for the playoffs, breaking a state record for 41 years of reaching post-season play. In preparation for the next round, Rigby said players are going back to basics, learning the fundamentals of football.
“We are really focused,” he said. “We’re teaching the game of football, talking about penalties and how they affect the game. The kids are doing a really good job of absorbing the information and working on getting better. We went back to the basics. Our goal was to get to week 11 and we’ve done that. Once we get to the playoffs, everybody starts at zero, so hopefully our best football is ahead of us.”
Luverne will travel to face Lafayette Friday.