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Football Friday Night: Handley takes care of business against White Plains

No surprises, no letdowns. That was the theme of the night for the Handley Tigers in their 48-0 homecoming victory against White Plains.

The Tigers built a 35-0 lead by the 9:47 mark of the second quarter, their starters sat out the rest of the game, and Handley took care of its business in machine-like fashion in a completely one-sided contest.

Handley’s only stumble came on its first possession of the game. Some issues with the shotgun snap led to a couple of fumbles and Handley turned the ball over on downs deep in White Plains territory.

But after that Handley scored at will. Three of the next four possessions were one-play touchdown drives – a 21-yard running score by Ayden O’Neal to start to start the fireworks show, a 77-yard touchdown run by Jay Haynes and a 61 yard touchdown pass from Cannon Kyles to Jamerqui Lewis. Amid all that Kyles connected with Haynes on an 18-yard touchdown on a 4-play drive, then later finished the night for the starters with a second strike to Lewis, this time for 37 yards.

In all Kyles completed 3-of-8 passes for 113 yards, but all three completions went for six points.

Haynes, coming off of his record-setting 476-yard performance against Jacksonville a week ago, finished with five carries for 119 yards and a touchdown.

Handley’s second offensive unit put together a 35-yard drive capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Daquavian Slaughter on his only carry of the game.

Taevion Houston added a 78-yard return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the second half, and that was it for the scoring in the game for either team.

White Plains just missed on a potential touchdown pass on the final play of the game to preserve the shutout for Handley. It was the first shutout for Handley since the end of the 2020 regular season, a 52-0 victory that also cam against White Plains.

Handley, which came into the game ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 4A, is now 4-0 on the season. They will take on Clay Central in Roanoke next week.

Thursday: RCHS 48, Ragland 24

RCHS built a 48-8 lead in the third quarter, quarterback Avion Willis threw three touchdown passes and RCHS blast Ragland 48-24 to go to 3-0 on the season.

RCHS’s physicality on the line of scrimmage and its deep stable of running backs was too much for Ragland. The Tigers jumped out a 14-0 lead early thanks to some special teams magic. Zack Caldwell returned the opening kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown. Then Ragland fumbled the ensuing kickoff, RCHS recovered at the 3-yard line and SanDavion Hardnett punched it in from there on the first play from scrimmage. RCHS had a two touchdown lead less than 30 seconds into the game.

Hardnett and Caldwell were two of six RCHS players that accounted for the seven touchdowns scored by the Tigers. Willis, Johnathan Wilson, Isiah Wright and Christian Jefferson all found the end zone in a variety of ways as the Tigers built that 40-point lead.

Willis finished 5-of-7 for 112 yards and three touchdowns and also came up with two interceptions on the defensive side of the ball. Wilson led a balanced rushing effort with 52 yards on nine carries.

RCHS will return to region play with a road game against Weaver next week.

Other scores

Wadley 44, Donoho 12 – Thursday

Clay Central 48, Elmore County 21 – Thursday

Thorsby 42, Woodland 6

BB Comer 32, Ranburne 7

All three of Handley quarterback Cannon Kyles’s completions went for touchdowns in the Tigers’ 48-0 win over White Plains Friday.

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