The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 5, 2013

East Limestone's Gandy honored for big game

By Josh Bean
For the ASWA

— Oxford running back Racean “Roc” Thomas enjoyed the best night of high school career in Friday’s victory over Spain Park.

And it was also better than anyone else in the state during the slate of Alabama’s regular-season finales.

Thomas rushed for 409 yards and five touchdowns – a single-game, career-high in both categories – on 32 carries in a 56-49 victory over Spain Park. For his performance, Thomas is this week’s Alabama Sports Writers Association Offensive Player of the Week.

The two finalists for this week’s award are Southside-Gadsden running back Dantley Coker and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa quarterback Riley Nix.

Coker rushed 38 times for 338 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-28 win over Moody to help the Panthers post their first undefeated regular season since 1980. His final touchdown came with 2:37 remaining and gave Southside its first lead of the game.

Nix accounted for seven touchdowns in a 60-59, double-OT loss to Demopolis. He completed 22 of 29 passes for 457 yards and six touchdowns and gained 66 yards rushing and scored on a 2-yard run.

This week’s Defense/Special Teams Player of the Week is Huntsville High’s Brewer Hicklin, who intercepted three passes and scored on a 75-yard fake punt in a 23-14 win at Hazel Green. He also scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.

The finalists for the Defense/Special Teams award are Demopolis’ Demetrius Kemp and North Sand Mountain’s Cody McBryar.

McBryar had three interceptions, once of which he returned 96 yards for a touchdown, in a 31-12 victory over Pisgah. McBryar is also NSM’s starting quarterback and had a 6-yard TD run on offense.

Kemp had seven tackles, blocked an extra point near the end of regulation, and ran the ensuing kickoff back 75 yards to set up a game-tying field goal before catching the game-winning two-point conversion in the second overtime of a 60-59 win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

This week, ASWA members from Albertville, Alexander City, Anniston, Auburn, Birmingham, Centre, Cullman, Decatur, Demopolis, Dothan, Florence, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Huntsville, Jasper,  Mobile, Montgomery, Oneonta, Scottsboro, Talladega and Tuscaloosa submitted nominations.

Here’s a look at other stellar performances from Week 10:


Devin Adams, Vigor: Passed for five touchdowns as the Wolves rallied to beat Murphy 35-28 in their final game of the season. Adams completed 14 of 23 passes for 237 yards.

Earnest Andrews, Fairhope: Rushed for 180 yards and scored on runs of 77 and 47 yards in a 33-25 victory over Andalusia

Ki'Juana Babbs, Dora: Rushed 15 times for 328 yards and had touchdown runs of 57, 7 and 91 yards in a 56-28 loss to Handley.

Chase Beggs, Hokes Bluff: Ran for 252 yards on 31 carries and scored three times to help give the Eagles their first win of the season against Westbrook Christian.

Khari Blasingame, Buckhorn: Ran for 175 yards and two scores (76, 2) on 20 carries as the Bucks rallied in the second half to beat Gardendale 31-21.

Jahari Brown, New Brockton: Rushed for 226 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries and also returned a kickoff 85 yards for another touchdown in a 38-27 win over Kinston.

Jermarcus Brown, Pickens County: Accounted for 317 total yards and ran for three touchdowns in a 33-22 win over Gordo. He scored on runs of 48, 5 and 9 yards.

Trevon Brown, Beulah: Rushed for 178 yards and two scores on 24 carries while completing 3-of-5 passes for 29 yards in a 33-20 win over Wadley.

Jay Buffer, Brookwood: Rushed for 234 yards on 34 carries and scored one touchdown in a 52-0 win over Holt.

Logan Campbell, Cold Springs: Piled on 183 rushing yards and four TDs in a 60-7 rout of 4A Carbon Hill. The senior, whose scores covered 26, 60, 47 and 5 yards, also had an interception to set up his last touchdown. Cold Springs secured its first winning season since 2004 with a 6-4 record.

Ben Chaney, Fultondale: Ran for two touchdowns and 121 yards with only four carries (30.3 yards per carry) in a  55-8 win over Parrish.

Austin Childers, Red Bay: Ran for 30 yards in a 48-38 win over Marion County. Childers scored on runs of 54, 53 and 29 yards.

Ronnie Clark, Calera: Ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in a 29-18 win over Chilton County.

Dallas Cockerham, Lamar County: Rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-10 win over Winfield.

Daniel Coleman, Hale County: Rushed for 223 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-15 win over Sipsey Valley. He scored on runs of 30 and 75 yards.

Demetrius Davis, Huffman: Rushed for 187 yards and three touchdowns, including a 90-yard scoring run, in the 29-21 win over Jackson-Olin.

Marcus Davis, Geraldine: Rushed 17 times for 122 yards and a career-best six touchdowns in a 63-27 rout of Crossville. The TD runs covered 4, 4, 1, 2, 8 and 26 yards, as the Bulldogs rushed for 505 yards.

Roderick Davis, Demopolis: Carried 31 times for 198 yards and five touchdowns (76, 5, 2, 3, 2), including the game-winner in the second overtime of a 60-59 victory over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

Mason Duke, Spain Park: Completed 32 of 55 passes for 379 yards and four touchdowns (21, 15, 12 and 9 yards) in the 56-49 loss to Oxford.

John Michael Dye, Vinemont: Rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown for a team that gained 337 yards on the ground in a 39-20 loss to Randolph.

Jeremy Frye, Bob Jones: Completed 17 of 26 passes for 200 yards, two touchdowns (2 and 18 yards) and an interception in a 24-23 comeback win over 5A, No. 3-ranked Muscle Shoals. Frye was 12 of 17 for 178 yards in second half as Bob Jones rallied from a 16-0 halftime deficit.

Jordan Gandy, East Limestone: Caught six passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns (66, 69 and 41 yards) in a 56-28 loss to Auburn.

Eric Graham, Autauga Academy: Ran 15 times for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-13 victory at Jackson Academy.

Samuel Grisham, Lauderdale County: Rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns to lead Lauderdale County past Lexington 38-0. Grisham scored on a 63-yard run and a 53-yard run.

Johnny Grizzard, Coosa Christian: Passed for 192 yards and three TDs to go along with 94 rushing yards and two more scores in the Conquerors’ 62-40 win over Southeastern.

Tyler Gurley, Madison County: Completed 9 of 10 passes for 196 yards and three TDs (24, 30, 9), and ran for 72 yards, including a 30-yard score, on 15 carries in a 35-21 win over Scottsboro.

Matt Hagler, Slocomb: Accounted for 381 yards and five TDs in a 34-32 loss to Geneva County. Hagler threw for 203 yards and two scores and rushed for 178 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns.


Kelby Hallmark, Tharptown: Rushed for six touchdowns and also intercepted a pass in a 64-34 victory over Alabama School for the Deaf. Hallmark rushed 11 times for 238 yards and scored on runs of 40, 4, 3, 4, 21 and 42 yards as Wildcats finished 5-5, the best season in school history.


Dylan Hand, Corner: Caught six passes for 177 yards and four TDs (14, 37, 46 and 49 yards) in a 49-7 win over Sumiton Christian.


LaDarius Hayes, Akron: Completed 18 of 24 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-20 win over R.C. Hatch.

Sawyer Holland, Decatur Heritage: Ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns (56, 15, 12) in a 31-20 win at Woodville.

Terrance Hollingsworth, Berry: Rushed for 252 yards and scored on runs of 3 and 42 yards in a 32-20 loss to Oakman.

Kentrel Holloway, LaFayette: Threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns in a 54-26 victory over Bullock County.

Willie Jackson, Faith Academy: Caught eight passes for 110 yards and two scores in the Rams’ 50-43 loss at Robertsdale.

LaBrenikin Johnson, Benjamin Russell: Ran for 121 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries in a 28-7 win over Homewood. His TD runs covered 17, 4, 3, and 4 yards.

Matthew Jordan, Jackson: Ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 142 yards and a score as the Aggies knocked off rival Thomasville 39-17 and completed a perfect regular season.

Connor Kiser, Haleyville: Accounted for three touchdowns in a 28-26 win over Hamilton. Kiser passed 51 yards for a touchdown, ran 25 yards for another and caught a 37-yard pass for his other score.

Gunner Lemons, Guntersville: Ran 20 times for 168 yards and two scores, including the game-winning touchdown on a 21-yard run in the fourth quarter, as the Wildcats beat Albertville 25-22 in the 99th meeting between the teams. Lemons' other scoring run covered 28 yards.

Josh Lewis, Pickens Academy: Rushed for 150 yards and scored three TDs in a 59-19 loss to Clarke Prep. He scored on runs of 38 and 12 yards and on a 95-yard kickoff return, while also leading the defense with 13 tackles.

Keenan Lewis, Sardis: Rushed 32 times for 221 yards and a pair of 1-yard TD runs in a 17-14 win over Boaz.

Willis Knight, Randolph County: Caught seven passes for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns (10, 40 yards). He also rushed for 122 yards on eight carries and an 89-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 38-28 victory over Cherokee County.

Alex Maluda, Northside: Rushed for 182 yards on 21 carries, scored on runs of 35, 86 and 15 yards and caught a 25-yard touchdown pass in a win over Oak Grove.

Chris Manning, Section: Ran for 258 yards and six touchdowns on just 12 carries in Section’s 52-6 rout of Valley Head. Manning scored on touchdown runs of 13, 35, 33, 65, 11 and 55 yards. The 55-yard TD run was his last carry of the game and his prep career. Manning also caught five passes for 123 yards and finished with seven tackles.

Kameron Maye, Murphy: Rushed for 193 yards on 27 carries and also threw a touchdown pass in a 35-28 loss at Vigor.

Keontae McCants, Vigor: Caught four passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-28 win over Murphy.


Elijah McFarland, Randolph County: Completed 16 of 29 pass attempts for 251 yards and two touchdowns (10, 40 yards) in a 38-28 win over Cherokee County.


Ostin McPherson, St. Paul’s: Rushed for 172 yards and three TDs on 26 carries as the Saints beat UMS-Wright 28-0. McPherson scored on runs of 2, 1 and 1 yard.


Brody Meeks, Lynn: Closed his high school career with just under 500 total yards in a 44-26 victory over Meek. Meeks completed 30-of-39 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns. He added 17 rushed for 110 yards, three 2-point conversion runs and a 22-yard kickoff return.


Drake Mercer, Satsuma: Rushed for 350 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries in a 55-28 loss at Bayside Academy.


Ben Mills, Coosa Christian: Ran for 211 yards and had 90 yards receiving and accounted for foru touchdowns in the Conquerors’ 62-40 win over Southeastern.


Nykell Mitchell, Beauregard: Finished with 20 carries for 210 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, in Beauregard’s 42-14 win over Loachapoka.


Keith Mixon, Shades Valley: Totaled five touchdowns and 212 yards in the first half as the Mounties downed Pelham 55-20. Mixon ran for 147 yards on 12 carries with three scores (19, 27 and 8 yards) and caught two passes for 65 yards, both going for touchdowns (55 and 10 yards).


Frank Moody, St. James: Broke a 28-year-old school record with 394 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns on 39 carries in a 48-10 win at Catholic.


Zack Morgan, Daphne: Passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more in a 38-12 win over Alma Bryant. 


Cole Murphy, Gaylesville: Rushed for 116 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. He also completed 7 of 12 pass attempts for 105 yards and led the Trojan defense with eight tackles (1 for loss) in a 24-20 win at Ohatchee.


Jarrod Owens, Curry: Connected on a 19-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds to go and followed that with the game-winning 2-point conversion pass as the Yellow Jackets rallied to beat Cordova 42-41. He finished with 238 yards, completing 9-of-17 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 15 times for 164 yards and three touchdowns.


Thomas Ozmint, Glencoe: Carried 26 times for 165 yards and three TDs in a 31-24 over Etowah.


Jacob Parker, Westminster Christian: Ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns (64, 47, 23) on 14 carries in a 38-6 win over Shoals Christian.


Kamryn Pettway, Prattville: Ran 19 times for 206 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-21 win over Northview.


Jarrett Pope, Clarke Prep: Rushed for 225 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Gators to a 59-19 win over Pickens Academy.


Tripp Puckett, Bayside Academy: Rushed for 255 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries in a 55-28 victory over Satsuma. He scored on runs of 72, 27 and 44 yards.


Tyreek Ricks, Deshler: Rushed three times for 177 yards and an 87-yard TD run in a 49-20 win over North Jackson.


Drex Roach, Abbeville Christian: Threw for 226 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-30 win over Sparta Academy.


Malik Rosier, Faith Academy: Threw for 268 yards and three TDs and ran for 142 yards and another score in Faith’s 50-43 loss at Robertsdale.


Tre Royal, Central-Coosa: Caught five passes for 132 yards and one touchdown in a 20-7 win over Horseshoe Bend. His touchdown grab covered 71 yards. Defensively, he racked up 10 tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.


Jertavious Sanders, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa: Caught four passes for 176 yards and scored two TDs (88 and 26 yards) in 60-59 loss to Demopolis.


Lee Seale, Wilcox Academy: Had 220 yards rushing and four TDs on 16 carries in a 42-14 win at Fort Dale Academy.


Alan Smith, Fort Payne: Threw five touchdown passes in a 37-34 win over James Clemens. The scoring strikes covered 13, 22, 26, 22 and 4 yards.


Denzel Smith, Robertsdale: Rushed for 353 yards and four TDs as the Golden Bears held off Faith Academy 50-43. Smith scored on runs of 3, 16, 32 and 32 yards on 33 carries. He also scored on a key two-point conversion late in the game.


Zekyle Stockdale, Talladege County Central: Accounted for three touchdowns ( 1 and 29 yards rushing, 45 yards passing) in a 30-10 win at Spring Garden.


Thomas Stubblefield, St. Luke’s: Kicked a game-winning 18-yard field goal with nine seconds to go as the Wildcats clipped Cottage Hill 17-14.


Virgil Studdard, Center Point: Ran for 168 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown, on 23 carries in the 26-7 win over Cullman.


Trent Thrash, Fyffe: Carried 15 times for 274 yards and four touchdowns in a 32-7 victory over Plainview. His TDs covered 8, 80, 1 and 39 yards. On defense, he contributed a sack.


A.J. Travis, Northside: Rushed for 304 yards on 24 attempts and scored three TDs in a 55-34 win over Oak Grove. He scored on runs of 45, 82 and 9 yards.


Jalen Tuggle, Mary G. Montgomery: Rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-19 victory over B.C. Rain. Tuggle scored on runs of 7, 7 and 37 yards.


Zacc Weldon, G.W. Long: Rushed for 204 yards and four TDs on 14 carries in a 26-6 win over Barbour County. He scored on runs of 83, 34, 27 and 1 yards.


Darnell Webb, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa: Caught seven passes for 148 yards and scores of 38 and 16 yards in double overtime loss to Demopolis.


Terelle West, Clay-Chalkville: Ran 200 yards and three touchdowns (59, 2 and 85 yards) on 14 carries in the 50-22 win over Oak Mountain.


Cortney Wilbanks, Restoration Academy: Scored four rushing touchdowns (19, 2, 2 and 61 yards) on 19 carries with 263 yards on the ground in a 51-6 win over Kingwood.


Johnny Woods, Smiths Station: Caught seven passes for 134 yards and two scores in a 45-13 win over Valley.




David Baker, East Memorial: Had a team-high 10 tackles and returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown in a 42-20 victory at Cornerstone.


Travis Barnes, Davidson: Intercepted a pass in the end zone with 30 seconds to go to preserve a 24-21 victory over Navarre (Fla). He also forced a fumble on a sack earlier in the game.


LaDarius Brinson, St. Jude: Made two interceptions and threw two touchdown passes in a 34-14 win at Autaugaville.


Mason Brown, Glencoe: had 15 tackles, including four for a loss, and a sack in the Yellow Jackets' 31-24 win over Etowah.


Alex Cofer, Good Hope: Rounded up 11 tackles, including a sack and three others for loss in a victory over West End.


Gage Davis, Gaylesville: Returned a punt 55 yards for a score, posted six tackles, a sack, and caused a fumble in a 24-20 victory over Ohatchee. On offense, he also had 108 rushing yards on 17 carries.


Thomas DeGrange, Lee-Scott: Returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown in a  40-13 victory over Hooper. He also accumulated 163 all-purpose offensive yards, with one rush touchdown and one receiving touchdown.


Ben Evans, Gaylesville: Picked off a pair of passes to go along with four tackles in the Trojans' 24-20 win at Ohatchee.


Bryant Farley, West Point: Started his four-TD night with a 72-yard punt return and later added scoring scampers of 1, 8 and 46 yards to propel the Warriors to a 41-14 victory over Fairview.


Ladarrius Fields, Rehobeth: With his team up two with seven minutes to go, he intercepted a pass at the goal line and added a 3-yard touchdown run to seal up a 23-14 win over Cottonwood, while finishing off a 189-yard rushing performance.


Jake Jones, Oakman: Totaled 22 tackles, including two for loss in the Wildcats' 32-20 victory over Berry.


Ryder Jones, West Point: Intercepted a pass to set up one scoring drive, added a sack and, though usually utilized as a tight end, completed a 33-yard pass.


Tim Kalascheck, Sardis: Kicked a 26-yard field as time expired to lift his team to a 17-14 win over Boaz. The Lions' dramatic victory ended their 15-game losing streak in the rivalry.


Tavon Lawson, Munford: Returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and added a 77-yard touchdown reception in a 33-14 win over Talladega.

Richard McBryde, Charles Henderson: Recorded eight tackles, including four losses of 21 yards, in the Trojans 59-42 win over Eufaula.

Leif Midgorden, Demopolis: Connected on all seven of his extra point attempts as well as a 27-yard field goal that sent the game to overtime in a 60-59 win over Hillcrest.

Tyrone Roscoe, Carver-Birmingham: Had 10 tackles, a sack and an interception in the 10-6 win over Wenonah.

Jamarquise Singleton, Greensboro: Scored on a 52-yard reception, a 72-yard run and a 65-yard punt return in a 33-30 win over West Blocton.

Pate Smith, G.W. Long: Recorded 15 tackles as the Rebels held Barbour County to 146 yards in a 26-6 win over the Jaguars.

Cade Stinnett, Enterprise: Connected on two field goals, including a 51-yarder, hit 5-of-5 extra points and had one punt for 36 yards in a 41-6 win over Jeff Davis. Stinnett’s other field goal was from 38 yards.

Derek Watkins, Fort Payne: Finished with 12 tackles, one tackle for a loss and 10 quarterback pressures in a 37-34 win over James Clemens.

Jake Williams, Ashford Academy: Had 22 tackles in a 34-6 loss to Pike Liberal Arts.

Lucas Wooten, Sylvania: Intercepted a pass with 15 seconds remaining to preserve a 13-12 win over Ider.