Loachapoka vs. Notasulga high school football

Daryl Brown Jr., (21) carries the ball during the Loachapoka vs. Notasulga high school football game at Sanderson Knapp Stadium in Notasulga on Oct. 3, 2019.

The Notasulga Blue Devils knew a playoff spot was likely on the line against Loachapoka on Thursday. In order to keep up in a competitive region, the Blue Devils leaned on what they do best to get another win. 

Notasulga (3-3, 2-1) rode its run game to a 28-0 victory over Loachapoka (2-5, 1-3) in the Battle of Highway 14. Daryl Brown was again the Blue Devils’ go-to ball carrier, and his 171 rushing yards and three touchdowns paced the Blue Devils to another win. 

The victory gives Notasulga its sixth straight over Loachapoka, the longest streak for the Blue Devils in the rivalry since winning seven in a row from 1989 to 1995. 

Although the Blue Devils managed 261 rushing yards, Brown was the first to say Notasulga is capable of even more. 

“(The run game) could have better and should have been better,” Brown said. “We’ll go back to practice Monday and take another step to make it better.”

Brown had several big runs on Thursday, but none was bigger than his carry with 4:21 left in the third quarter. 

With Notasulga leading 14-0, Brown officially put the game on ice on his 15th run of the night. Brown took the hand-off to his right, accelerated through a hole, broke three would-be tacklers and won a foot race to the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown on the ground. 

“I remember breaking a tackle and seeing a lane to the right. I just tried to get there as fast as I could,” Brown said. “A man grabbed me from behind, but you’re not supposed to stop pumping your legs once somebody grabs you. I kept pumping, and all I saw was daylight after that.”

Brown’s third and final score put the Blue Devils up 21-0. Blue Devils quarterback Walter Tatum added the team’s fourth and final touchdown when he hit Jakerious Simmons on a 10-yard pass with 5:51 left in the game. 

The Blue Devils only completed two passes for 20 yards in the victory.

Notasulga needed no help in making plays, but Loachapoka lended them a hand late in the first quarter. 

Two plays after Tyquan Daniel recovered a fumble deep in Loachapoka territory, Brown made his first house call of the night. Brown took the carry to his right and outran the Indians to the end zone to score on a 14-yard run. 

An unsuccessful two-point conversion left Notasulga’s lead at 6-0 with 4:32 left in the first quarter. 

The Blue Devils benefited greatly from a Loachapoka miscue for their first points, but that wasn’t the case on their second scoring drive. 

Notasulga put together its longest drive of the opening half with 8:29 to go in the second quarter, gaining 78 yards on a 12-play drive that took over six minutes off the clock. 

The final play of the drive saw Brown score again from 14 yards out. This time the Blue Devils converted the two-point attempt, leaving Loachapoka in a 14-0 hole with 2:01 to go in the half. 

Notasulga only attempted one pass in the first half and did not complete it. The emphasis was completely on the rushing attack, which piled up 110 first-half yards. 

Although Notasulga put up a shutout victory, head coach Anthony Jones was less than pleased with the result. The Blue Devils had 11 penalties in the victory, and Jones felt the team did not take a step forward after last Friday’s win over LaFayette. 

“A win is a win, but I’m not satisfied with how we got this win. I’m not pleased with how we played tonight,” Jones said. “We’ve got to go back to work because this is not acceptable for me or the coaching staff.”

The Indians showed promise on several first-half drives, but penalties repeatedly derailed their scoring chances. Even with the missed opportunities, the Indians made a big play before halftime that ultimately did not count. 

Loachapoka appeared to have scored on the first half’s final play when Brandon Bedgood picked up a blocked field-goal attempt and ran it 78 yards to the end zone. Much to the chagrin of Loachapoka head coach LC Cole, the return did not count and the Indians had to take solace in stopping Notasulga from scoring. 

Loachapoka quarterback Aaron Frazier made plays to give the Indians hope, but it was never enough to find the end zone. Frazier had eight completions for 78 yards, nine carries for 22 yards and an interception on defense. 

Notasulga 28, Loachapoka 0

LOA — 0 0 0  - 0

NOT — 6 8 7 7 - 28

1st Quarter

NOT — Daryl Brown 14-yard run (2-pt no good), 4:32

2nd Quarter

NOT — Brown 14-yard run (2-pt good), 2:01

3rd Quarter

NOT — Brown 55-yard run (XP good), 4:21

4th Quarter

NOT — Jakerious Simmons 10-yard reception from Walter Tatum (XP good), 5:51

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