The first round of the playoffs, quite frankly, isn’t supposed to be that hard for a No. 1 seed. Chambers Academy was picked to roll right through fourth-seeded Jackson Academy on Friday night.
Jackson Academy had other ideas though as Chaambers Academy need every second to claw out a 46-39 victory.
“If that is not a wake-up call, I don’t know what is,” Chambers Academy coach Jason Allen said. “Our kids have won a lot of playoff games the last four or five years, and usually in the first round, you just kind of go through the motions and blow the other team out. Of course, the other team is not always willing to let that happen. We found that out firsthand last night.”
In a game that was back and forth throughout, Jackson Academy took the lead with senior running back Miah Roberts getting into the end zone for a touchdown and then throwing a two-point conversion pass to put his Eagles up one with a minute left in the game.
“I thought they out-played us and out-coached us,” Coach Allen said. “They were ready and obviously we weren’t as ready to play as we needed to be.”
Facing a one-minute drill with no timeouts, Rebel senior quarterback Payton Allen knew he needed to step up.
A Chambers signal-caller worked his team down the field quickly and with less that 10 seconds left used his legs to race into the end zone for the season-saving touchdown.
“It speaks volumes about our character, our determination and our belief in each other,” Coach Allen said.
Payton Allen finished with 197 yards rushing with two touchdowns and added 99 passing yards with another touchdown.
Braxton Allen led the defensive effort with 17 tackles.
Things don’t get any easier for the Rebels next week as they welcome a 10-1 Wilcox Academy team to LaFayette.
“We have to get our edge back,” Coach Allen said. “We are a physical football team. I didn’t think we had our edge this past week.”
Glenwood 28, Macon-East 14
Coming out of the toughest region in AISA, Glenwood entered the state playoffs as a tough, battle-tested group. They needed all their toughness this week as the team dealt with the flu bug ahead of a road trip to Macon East.
“It was a tough week,” Glenwood coach Jason Gibson said. “On Wednesday and Thursday, we had nine kids out with the flu. The flu hit our school pretty hard. … For those guys to come out a perform the way that they did, it was just unbelievable. I thought it was a great defensive performance on our end.”
Despite the more sparsely attended practices than usual, the Gators were able to rally from an early 14-7 disadvantage to take a 28-14 win and advance to the second round of the playoffs where they will match up with Tuscaloosa Academy.
“There are so many unsung heroes that I can’t mention all the names, because there are people who did a lot of dirty work that the average fan doesn’t see,” Gibson said.
Darryl Monn led the Gator rushing attack with 137 yards and three touchdowns.
The Gators other score came on a 33-yard Bryce Newman pass to Tony Mapel. Newman finished with 198 yards passing with Mapel as his favorite target with 106 of those.
Glenwood lost a 21-14 contest to Tuscaloosa Academy last month, but now get their rematch with a state semifinal spot on the line.
“Right now, it is just trying to get healthy,” Gibson said. “I’ve been here four years and I’ve never been hit with the flu the way we got hit this week.”
Patrician Academy 48, Springwood 21
Springwood’s season ended on Friday with a 48-21 loss at Patrician Academy.
Despite a big halftime deficit, Springwood coach Josh Gartman was happy that his team continued to battle in the second half.
“They hit us in the mouth at the start, we hard a hard time stopping them,” Gartman said. “I was proud of the that that in the second half we did play better. We kept getting after it.”
Springwood quarterback Jordan Plank finished his career in a Wildcat uniform with 15 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown. O.J. Tolbert also ran for over 100 yards.
“He did a great job for us on offense,” Gartman said of Plank.
With only three seniors on the team, Gartman is excited about what the returning nucleus of players can accomplish next year.
“We are a young team,” Gartman said. “We only had three seniors playing Friday so we have a lot of key guys coming back.”
Lanett 55, Keith 0
Lanett quarterback Kristian Story made the most of the start of his final postseason run on Friday.
Story made plays throughout the night for the Panthers, scoring three total touchdowns to help the Panthers pulverize Keith 55-0. Story ended the night 11-of-15 passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns then added nine carries for 65 yards and another score.
Story and the Panthers return to action Friday when they host Elba in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs.
Monroe Academy 48, Lee-Scott Academy 27
Lee-Scott Academy’s fantastic bounce-back season came to a close Friday night.
The Warriors put up points but not enough of them at Monroe Academy, falling to the two-time defending state champion 48-27. The loss leaves Lee-Scott with a 5-6 record for the season after going 0-11 in 2018.
Monroe, meanwhile, moves on to host Bessemer Academy in the second round of the AISA Class AAA playoffs Friday.
Reeltown 56, Zion Chapel 0
The Reeltown Rebels put up their third shutout victory of 2019 on Friday, taking care of Zion Chapel 56-0 to open the Class 2A playoffs.
Reeltown running back Cameron Faison put together another impressive showing for the Rebels, scoring three times in the blowout. Faison was part of a quick start for the Rebels (10-1, 6-0), as the team forced two quick turnovers and immediately jumped on Zion Chapel 14-0 within the first 67 seconds of action.
Along with Faison’s three scores, Reeltown had quarterback Iverson Hooks hit Eric Shaw for a passing touchdown, Trey Hughley scored on a 14-yard run, Jay Corbitt ripped off a 33-yard run, Logan Hunt scored from 13 yards out and Scooter Brooks had a scoop-and-score after a Zion Chapel kickoff turn went awry.
Reeltown hits the road this Friday to face J.U. Blacksher in the second round.