Jay Haynes had one of the all-time great rushing nights in the history of Alabama high school football, and the Handley Tigers won a shootout between highly-ranked teams for the second straight week as they knocked off No. 4 Jacksonville 54-41.
Haynes finished with 476 yards and five touchdowns on 30 carries. That’s the second highest single-game total in state history. That number surpasses every other game except the state record of 531 yards set by Tony Dixon of Parrish in 2003.
All of Haynes’s touchdown runs were for 50 yards or greater. He scored on runs of 86, 58, 52, 72 and 54 yards as Handley built a 48-20 lead in the third quarter.
Overshadowed by Haynes’s outburst was the balance provided in the passing game by quarterback Cannon Kyles. He completed 7-of-10 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns and added 64 rushing yards on eight carries. One of those seven completions went to Haynes, for 31 yards. That gave Haynes a total of 507 yards from scrimmage.
Jamerqui Lewis caught four passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, and Jordan West and Devontae Higgins also had touchdown receptions for the Tigers, who knocked off the No. 4 team in class 4A a week after defeating St. James, which was ranked No. 3 in 3A at the time.
Handley, which entered the game ranked No.2 in the state in Class 4A, takes an important first game in region play and is now 3-0 on the season.
The Leader will have much more on the Handley win and Haynes’s big night in our print edition Wednesday.
RCHS 36, Childersburg 7
There were no state records challenged in Wedowee Friday, but there was plenty to celebrate for Pat Prestridge and the RCHS Tigers after their 36-7 win over Childersburg.
It was the first win for RCHS on their home field in nearly two calendar years, breaking a 6-game home losing streak. The last time the Tigers won on Ron Watters Field was October 8, 2020, a 56-38 win over Vincent. At the time the Tigers were unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the state. But they lost their final four games of the 2020 season, then went 1-9 last year, with their only win coming at Woodland.
They pulled off the victory with a physical brand of football led by the bruising running of fullback Austin Terrell. He carried 14 times for 136 yards and set the tone early with several physical runs in which he carried multiple defenders down the field.
Avion Willis threw for two touchdowns, including a scintillating catch and run by Zack Caldwell for 57 yards that iced the game in the fourth quarter.
RCHS also got short touchdown runs by Quin Johnson, Johnathan Wilson and Willis. The defense, after surrendering an 8-play, 76-yard touchdown drive on Childersburg’s opening possession, completely shut down the Childersburg offense the rest of the night.
Demarcus Chappell, Caldwell, and Kaleb Ennis – among others – were disruptive defensively all night.
RCHS is now 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in region play.
Wadley 9, Spring Garden 0
Wadley pulled one of the bigger upsets in the state Friday with a 9-0 shutout of Spring Garden, which came into the game ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 1A and had not lost a region game since 2017.
Wadley’s defense was the catalyst in putting a stop that streak, pitching the shutout against a team that had averaged over 33 points per game through its first two contests.
Brock Baldridge kicked a first-half field goal to give Wadley all the points they would need. The Bulldogs added a touchdown pass from Mason Wilkerson to Isacc Minnifield in the second half to give themselves that 9-point cushion.
It’s a huge first win of the season for Wadley, which is now 1-2 and 1-0 in region play.
Ranburne 42, Fayetteville 12
Clay Central 21, Tallassee 6
BB Comer 48, Woodland 3