Fortune Wheeler

East Limestone junior and running back Fortune Wheeler reaches the ball out into the end zone for one of his four touchdowns on the night in the matchup against the Lee Generals at East Limestone High School.

Football Roundup:

East Limestone defeats Lee for 1st win of the season

By Travis Devlin

travis@athensnews-courier.com

A strong running game by the East Limestone Indians paved the way to a 28-14 region victory Friday night over the Lee Generals at East Limestone High School.

After the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie, things began to pick up in the second quarter for both teams. East's second drive of the game on offense carried into the second quarter with junior and running back Fortune Wheeler finding the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown rush with 9:53 seconds remaining in the first half.

The shutout was held intact by the East defense until 1:18 left in the quarter. Lee quarterback Anthony Mathews connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Isiah Vandenberghe to tie things up at 6-6.

East began the possession with 1:12 left in the first half from their own 35-yard line and ended in a 12-6 lead heading into halftime. Freshman quarterback Jake Cochran threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Wheeler as time expired.

Lee opened the second half with the ball after East won the coin toss to begin the game and elected to receive. The Generals had a quick three and out to give the ball back to East. Cochran, in an effort to throw a deep ball down the sideline, was intercepted by Xavier Ellison and returned for a touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion attempt, the Generals had their first lead of the game of 14-12.

That lead was brief for the Generals, however, as Wheeler found the end zone for the third time, running for a 68-yard touchdown run with 3:09 left in the quarter to retake a 18-14 lead.

Wheeler accounted for all four touchdowns in the win for East, with three rushing and one receiving touchdown. His final one came on a 50-yard rushing touchdown with just under five minutes to go in the game.

Up 24-14 as the clock ticked down, junior Brenton Abernathy sealed the victory for East with an interception in the end zone on fourth down to give East Limestone their first victory of the young season.

“We got some young guys that stood up tonight on the offensive line,” East Limestone head football coach Jeff Pugh said. “We had 18 players missing. We made moves all week long, and we had to move people in to play.”

That play on the offensive line played a big role in the success on the ground for East, leaning heavily on the run game throughout the contest with Wheeler, junior Aiden Griffin and junior Domontrea Johnson.

“I know they had some people missing, but we had a bunch missing,” he said. “For our guys to step up and win this ballgame, it's something we can build on. It's a region game, we got the win and that's all that matters.”

East (1-1) will take on the Mae Jemison Jaguars in another region game beginning 7 p.m. Friday at Mae Jemison High School.

Phil Campbell 55, Elkmont 8

Elkmont's senior quarterback Rowe Allen was 4-14 passing for 41 yards. He also had seven carries for 85-yards rushing and one touchdown. Junior wide receiver Mykell Murrah had three receptions for 31 yards. Senior Chase Haggermaker led the Red Devils defense with nine tackles, six of which were solo. Phil Campbell quarterback Kyle Pace was 6-7 for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Blaine Goodson, a wide receiver, had three receptions for 121 yards and one touchdown. Running back Bryant Hyde carried the ball 11 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns. In total, the Phil Campbell rushing attack totaled 47 carries for 367 yards.

Elkomon (0-3) will be on the road next week to take on Colbert Heights beginning 7 p.m. Friday at Colbert Heights High School.

Tanner 20, Section 14

After a scoreless first half, each team tallied 14 points in the third quarter. But a late touchdown in the fourth quarter by the Rattlers earned them their first win of the season.

Tanner (1-2) will face off against Ider at 7 p.m. Friday at Ider High School.

West Limestone 21, Deshler 19

West Limestone junior and quarterback Colin Patterson got the Wildcats on the board first in the first quarter with a 39-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Christian Smith.

After Deshler scored late in the first quarter to bring the score to 7-6, West added another touchdown in the second quarter, a 33-yard touchdown rush by senior Dakota Wilson to put the Wildcats up 14-6. Deshler once again found the end zone before the end of the half to bring the score to 14-12.

Deshler took their first and only lead of the game in the third after a 1-yard touchdown run to go up 19-14. But another rushing touchdown by Wilson, a 13-yard scamper in into the end zone in the fourth quarter catapulted the Wildcats to a region victory.

West (2-0) will be back at home Friday against Central, who comes in with a record of 3-0.

Ardmore 34, Brewer 14

Despite Ardmore being down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers rallied 34 unanswered points, 21 of which came in the fourth quarter, to give the Tigers their third win of the season.

Ardmore (3-0) will once again be on the road Friday against Lawrence County.

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