Archived Story

Area spring football recap

Published 9:53am Friday, May 24, 2013

With the spring football sessions in the books, the area’s local teams saw a few players emerge, along with some weaknesses to shore up.

Benjamin Russell
Result: The Maroon vs. White intra-squad game ended in a 7-7 tie.
Rundown: Bryant Horn led the Maroon team on a methodical drive, capped by a deep  scoring strike to Qua Johnson.
In the second quarter, the White squad answered on another deep throw from Horn, this time to Marquis Odem, who walked in for a score.
The game was called minutes after Odem’s score due to bad weather.
Familiar Faces: Bryant Horn and LaBrenkin Johnson will spear-head the Wildcats offense. Horn showed good touch on the deep ball, and LaBrenkin runs with good patience.
Spring Emergences: Ellis Holloway (Sr.) is well known for his track exploits, but he has turned some heads in the spring.
Holloway should further strengthen BRHS’ running game. Holloway repeatedly gashed the BRHS defense during practice and ran well during the intra-squad game.
In addition, the Wildcats looked like they found playmakers at the wideout position in Qua (Jr.) and Odem (Sr.), both players showed great speed and Qua in particular showed off a flair for the exciting with a juggling one-handed touchdown catch.
Red Flag: Early in the spring activities, the ‘Cats seemed to be lacking at the wideout position but if the abbreviated spring game was any indication, BRHS seems to have shored up that potential problem area.
However, during the spring game the Wildcats offense seemed to stall in the red zone thanks to inconsistent play from the O-line.
“We gave up two sacks in the red zone, and we can’t have that,” BRHS head coach Danny Horn said.

Horseshoe Bend
Result: Lost to Elmore County.
Rundown: Elmore County seemed to be able to move the ball at will against HBHS’ defense. A Generals fumble effectively ended their chance at a comeback.
Familiar Face: The Generals don’t have many returning key contributors, but Major Abernathy (Sr.) has the reins at quarterback and brings a dual-threat aspect to the team.
Spring Emergence: Jackson Sexton (Sr.) is bringing an authoritative north-south running style to the backfield. Sexton scored the Generals’ lone spring game touchdown.
Red Flag: While the Generals have the potential to field a three-headed monster in the backfield as led by Sexton and Issac Holt (Soph.) HBHS needs to find playmakers in the passing game, as the Generals’ spread-style offense was quiet through the air versus Elmore County.
Additionally, Horseshoe Bend may need to shore up what was seemingly a leaky run defense from their spring game.

Dadeville
Result: Lost at Sylacauga in a spring jamboree.
Rundown: C.J. Tolbert took the reins at quarterback, using his athleticism to lead two scoring drives.
However, Dadeville’s defense struggled against the run, a weakness that Sylacauga exploited on its way to a win.
Familiar Faces: Tolbert’s speed at the quarterback position gave the Sylacauga Aggies all kinds of fits during the spring game.
A natural running back, Tolbert is expected to hold down the fort as signal-caller until fellow dual-threat Cal Jones is ready to take the helm.
All-State honorable mention Anfernee Jennings steps into the role of leader on the defensive line following the graduation of stud defensive tackle Rod Crayton. Jennings at times was a man among boys in practice.
Spring Emergence: Cal Jones, who is expected to eventually usurp the role of quarterback, has also impressed at wide receiver.
The versatile Jones could add numerous wrinkles to a Dadeville offense predicated on speed.
Shawn Jennings is coming along at wideout as well. D.J. Pearson showed some tough running during the spring game, flattening a defender with a stiff arm.
Red Flag: The loss of Rod Crayton seemed to be felt throughout the spring game, as a good bit of Sylacauga’s big runs were directed up the gut. Dadeville’s interior run defense could be problematic.
Additionally, the center position struggled some, as with Jones at quarterback, numerous bad snaps took place.

Reeltown
Result: Beat Lafayette 16-0 and beat Lochapoka 8-0 in the Reeltown Spring Jamboree.
Rundown: The Rebels were up to their old tricks, using an always-effective run game to grind out victories.
Reeltown’s defense also seemed to be in decent form.
Familiar Faces Reeltown’s Ariko Stewart may not be the speed demon that his older brother Tywone is, but he was just as effective.
After a strong year defensively last season, Ariko enters this season as the lead back and his north-south style was effective, as he scored every touchdown for RHS, all from short yardage.
Spring Emergence: Cody Martin flashed big play ability out of the backfield, gaining over 20 yards a pop during the jamboree.
Pass rusher Zack Giddens almost single-handedly dashed Lochapoka’s comeback hopes when he made three straight tackles for loss when Lochapoka reached the red zone. The defensive stand preserved a shutout.
Red Flag: With Cody Spivey looking comfortable at quarterback and the running back position in great hands, the emergence of a reliable player or two at wideout could keep defenses honest against the smashmouth Rebels offense, which should produce on the ground as usual.

Central-Coosa
Result: The Cougars saw action twice, once in a Blue vs. White intra-squad game and a spring game versus Winterboro.
Rundown: In the Blue vs. White game, the White team pitched a shutout, prevailing 17-0. Central-Coosa was forced in passing situations late, and their inexperience showed.
Familiar Face: After having lost QB Xavier Moon and WR Javaris Whetstone, the Cougars early on seem light on playmakers.
Shakerian Hayes may be changing that, as he returns as the lead dog in the running back position, as he may be counted on to carry the offense with new QB Andrew Hammond under center.
Spring Emergence: CCHS head football coach Richard Bell said that wide receiver Trey Royal is looking like a player on the outside.
At 6 foot 3, Royal has considerable shoes to fill as he will be relied on to be the same kind of threat that Whetstone, a 2012 All-Outlook team selection, was for the Cougars this past season.
Red Flag: Besides Hayes, the Cougars lack experience at key offensive positions, notably quarterback and wide receiver. There may be growing pains early on.

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