Coastal Rally: Vigor gets shutout; Spanish fort falls to Opelika
Jacori Barnes carried 13 times for 107 yards and scored on 12 and 42 yard touchdowns the Wolves (11-1) in a 34-0 win over Cherokee County (7-4) in a second round of class 4A at the center.
Vigor traveled over 300 miles from Prichard in the central Mobile area near Weiss Lake in northeast Alabama.
Quarterback Anthony Mix Jr. also recorded nine carries for 93 yards and scored on a 34-yard rush and added a 29-yard touchdown pass to Abraham Daniels. He was 4-for-10 passing for 47 yards.
Jermaine Coleman added 11 carries for 126 yards, and Benjamin Bennett scored on a 6-yard rush.
Vigor now has three shutouts this season, including both playoff wins.
Michael Towner Jr. led the defense with 10 tackles, including five for loss and interception. Brandon Purifoy also had seven tackles and a sack, while Abraham Daniels added six tackles, including two for loss.
Vigor advances to face American Christian in the quarter-finals next week.
Opelika 28, Spanish Fort 14
After making a critical error on the game’s opening disc, Opelika made some Spanish Fort missteps.
The Bulldogs rebounded quickly from throwing a first pick 6 and used strong running play and two Toros turnovers to secure a 28-14 victory in the second round of the AHSAA Class 6A playoffs. Opelika’s victory means the Bulldogs head to the state quarterfinals against Hueytown.
“We’re talking in the playoffs of never blinking,” said Opelika head coach Erik Speakman. “It’s a great team. We said (to our players): ‘Bad things are going to happen, so let’s hang in there.’ “
Opelika (9-3) was leading 14-7 at halftime when Spanish Fort (10-2) gave the home side a great opportunity to gain the upper hand.
Opelika’s Keldon Thompson recovered from a missed kickoff to start the second half, and Jamori Thomas added a 3-yard touchdown run to give Opelika a 21-7 lead.
“We worked hard all week and planned,” said Thomas, who had 23 carries for 173 yards and two touchdowns. “A lot of skeptics have spoken out, saying they’re going to lock us up and their defense is excellent. We came here and worked, and we did what we had to do.
Spanish Fort responded with their most impressive workout of the night. The Toros covered 60 yards in 12 games before Johnny Morris’ 1-yard run with two minutes left in Opelika’s third stroke lead at 21-14.
Thomas and compatriot Kaden Cooper ran hard on Opelika’s next practice, and Thomas again finished it with a one-yard run with 11:12 remaining and a 28-14 lead.
The Toros’ last two practices have featured a bad turnout on the lows on fourth and 19, followed by an interception from Jarell Stinson on a staple fourth and 13.
Cooper finished the night with 20 carries for 85 yards and two scores.
“(The message is) keep winning,” Thomas said. “We love each other. Keep working hard. It’s not over yet. Who’s next?”
– Jordan D. Hill, Opelika-Auburn News
Freshwater 54, Kinston 7
Class 1A, No. 2 ranked Sweet Water ran for 315 yards and five touchdowns in a 54-7 victory over No. 10 Kinston in the second round of the playoffs.
The Bulldogs (11-0) used 12 different runners, led by Christian Dunnings for 80 yards in 10 carries.
Sweet Water’s defense scored twice, with Jalen Lucy returning an interception for a touchdown and Michael Allen Cole scoring on a fumble recovery.
Lashon Young retuned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown.
Jaland Lewis, Trent Smith, Trace Luker and Young scored touchdowns in the first half as the Bulldogs took a 48-7 lead. Deion Blanks added a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Sweet Water will face No.3 Maplesville, a 22-15 winner over Linden, in the quarterfinals.
Jackson 45, Saint-Jacques 33
Jackson racked up 617 total yards of attack as he qualified for the third round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Walter Taylor III completed 11 of 19 passes for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Tylen Campbell had four receptions for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Tychius “Bobo” Caves had 10 carries for 211 yards and one touchdown and two receptions for 45 yards and one touchdown.
Davion “Chunk” Woulard added 103 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. Garrison Holly also had a rushed TD.
Shemar Hayes had an interception.
Jackson (10-2) will host reigning 4A champion Handley in the quarterfinals next week.
Clarke County 27, Ariton 20
Jariyan Jackson scored on a 1-yard run with 4:41 left to finish a 99-yard drive and Clarke County stopped Ariton on a fourth and goal from the 2-yard line with 1:50 left.
The Bulldogs (10-2) travel to BB Comer for a quarterfinal game next week.
QB Pace Young had 6 of 9 passes for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ron Johnson rushed for 84 yards on 15 carries, while Jackson finished with 66 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Jorwaine Robinson also had a 10-yard TD.
Jordan Smith scored Ariton’s three touchdowns on 13, 3 and 6 yard carries.
The game was tied 20-20 at halftime.